Review On Amazon UK: "Once I had started the book and really got through the first few chapters I was, in the overused phrase, â€œunable to put it downâ€. Setting the book just slightly in the future was a good idea as the scene was similar enough to todayâ€™s world but with the future setting to be relevant and believable if not frightening. I suppose that is the abiding thought of the book that we are about to enter a rather frightening time in this country and perhaps not just in the UK. I have just read on the Internet that one of the States of the USA is researching using a new gas a Nitrogen based gas (new in as much they have never used it in this context before) for their executions.
I thought that the Epilogue was quite inspired as it reflects what happened to the main protagonist and showed that what happened in the past will continueâ€¦..
This book deserves a mass audience."
2nd Amazon Review: "This is an interesting book set in a dystopian near-future. It is frighteningly easy to see how our society could develop in such a way. The characters are well drawn. They handle the dilemmas caused by their convictions and beliefs within the constraints of the new society in believable and convincing ways.
The style of writing and excellent editing makes the book very easy to read. The story is utterly believable and the book is hard to put down as the main protagonist slips ever further into the complications and difficulties thrown in her way as she follows her beliefs into untenable places.
An excellent read."
3rd Amazon Review: "I found this a highly original book because of its underlying but never cloying spirituality, but it is also full of profound human insight and is absolutely gripping. Once started I could not put it down. Early on, the author skilfully conveys a sense of something sinister that lies behind the apparent ordinariness, and as the plot unfolds we are held absolutely in suspense. I thoroughly recommend it as not to be missed."
Thank you to NetGalley and Troubadour Publishing Ltd. for the arc of Beyond the Water Meadows.
How would the world be different if you had never ventured past your yard? If you knew nobody outside of your household? For Daisy this is her life. After four pandemics and years of lock downs, cultural revolutions, global warming, and the take over of the Chinese as a world power Daisy has never known a world outside Xunzi House, the care home where she lives. Now the world is changing and lock down is over, the children and teenagers are about to discover that there is a whole lot more of the world to explore and there are a lot more dangers in the world than just becoming sick.
Allder created a wonderful reimagining of our world if pandemics as well as other social issues continue. There is a lot about the world that could have been explained in deeper detail, and I would love a history book rather than vague notions from our narrator. What I enjoyed about this book is the timeliness and the parts where you could pick out very interesting pieces or little laugh points that have to do with our world today (rainbow pictures in a window of an abandoned house from the "first" pandemic and C-Pop that took me 3/4 of the book to realize was Covid-Pop). What made this book challenging was that it was sometimes told as if it was from Daisy as a 15 year old's perspective but sometime a much older Daisy would interject reminding the reader that it was all a memory.
Overall, a well written book that sucked me into the story and despite being slow moving at first the last half of the book flies by.
by NetGalley review
Maggie Allder was born in 1951 in rural Cambridgeshire, the second of four daughters, to parents who might have been considered mildly rebellious for their time. Her mother came from a middle class family, her father from an urban working class family, and both were taking an unusual route through life when they chose to work in the Land Army during the war. Their marriage was a love match that thrived despite their very different backgrounds, until her father's untimely death when Maggie was 14 years old. The environment in which the girls were raised was one of deep love, acceptance, and a grounding in values of equality and generosity.
Educated at King Alfred's College in Winchester, the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia, and later Reading University, Maggie spent her working life teaching in one comprehensive school in Hampshire. Although an atheist as a teenager, her spiritual life has been important to her since her college days, and has taken her to various churches and denominations until she finally found her home among Quakers.
As well as writing, Maggie's interests have often brought her into contact with various disadvantaged and troubled communities, from drug addicts to homeless people in Britain and from a black ghetto church in Richmond to a poor white rural community in the Southern Appalachians and a Blackfeet reservation in Montana. Maggie has been involved with the organisation Human Writes which concerns itself with befriending prisoners on America's death rows through letter writing, since 2008.
Maggie now lives in retirement in Hampshire, but still enjoys travel and continues wit her friendships with death row prisoners.