Sixteen-year-old Daughter4254 lives in a pragmatic world where humanities are outlawed. No names. No art. No music. Her creative soul is suffocating. To avoid the MindWipe reserved for free-thinking delinquents, her mother teaches her how to survive in the community without losing identity. But when Mother falls ill and is sentenced to death, she spills the biggest secret of all: people used to have real names, and she once had a secret love. Not only that, but there are others like Daughter4254.
Fueled by the grief of losing Mother, and the desire to free her creative spirit, she stages a mutiny of art, music and film. Daughter4254 almost succeeds but is betrayed by her brother and thrown into prison, where she meets Thomas, a boy from the mythical mountain colonies where the arts are encouraged and people have names. If they can’t escape quickly, they will both be sentenced to the MindWipe – a process that erases your mind leaving your body free for the government to use. When their escape plan goes awry, Daughter4254 is forced to choose between changing the world or following Thomas to the quiet life of freedom she has always desired.
First 150 Words:
It was against the law for my mother to comfort me when I cried, but that’s what I remember most vividly about her. If it was at all possible, she would hold me while I sobbed like a brand new one. My mother tried to teach me not to break down emotionally when I was young; it would give away my mental status. But it was not a lesson I learned quickly or easily. the hugs and kisses and pats on the back were part of many secrets we owned. We constantly gambled that the Auto Eye attendants would not notice us: one small blip of a family on their hundreds of monitoring screens.
Still, the large round bubble loomed like a wicked insect on the ceiling of our home pod. The camera and microphone concealed beneath the dark plastic lump recorded our every word and move and sent them back to the government for monitoring.