Hey friends! Today is my stop on the blog tour for Omen Amen by Jenny Ackland, and I am bringing you a guest post. Enjoy!
The novel concentrates, initially,on the years around 4000. A totally different society has evolved from past ecological and environmental mistakes.
It is a time of strict expectations following the devastation. Time Capsules are found, from two millennia past, illustrating peoples’ habits and lifestyles. Were lessons learnt?
Time moves to the years around 6000 with a rigidly controlled society, led by Summiters, Emotions are forbidden.
Discs are found which install instant historical information into the ‘brainstores’ of the surviving Summiters.
One character possesses a unique ability to create a barrier permitting emotional reactions freely without sanction. Her name is Opal. She revels in the wonderful visions of millennia past. Dance, drama, art, music, sport and literature are received by Opal into her personal ‘brainstore’. She manages to activate her emotional barrier to avoid detection.
Her enthusiasm for past creativity might make her careless.
Five plus favourite things about my protagonist.
As the protagonist in OMEN-AMEN doesn’t appear until the second part of the book the appearance will, hopefully, come as a surprise. This is intentional as it will draw attention to the situation in which she finds herself.
Opal, the character that appears, silently, is a quiet, submissive female. She has no strong characteristics at this point,therefore cannot draw attention to herself unnecessarily.
She has the unassumingly powerful physique and receptive brain. She is reliable, straightforward and immensely able. Opal is part of a team initially; a team of leaders, named as Summiters. They work in unison with total and automatic levels of functioning. She is almost identical to all the other Summiters, possessing an impeccable level of detachment and honesty. At this point, I don’t find these characteristics particularly attractive.
As time passes and ancient experiences are instilled into the Summiters’ brains she develops a welcome appreciation of certain other aspects of the long distant past. She reacts with a calmness, which is expected. I particularly admire the slow, almost osmotic emotional development she allows. She remains collected and in control, as is expected. She finds that she has become receptive to certain reactions of which she has no experience. These ‘feelings’ are alien to her.
She retains her impassivity, which is laudable considering the total scrutiny all the Summiters extend automatically to each of the team.
Opal’s ability to remain seemingly impartial and, in fact, to increase this parallel personal trait of emotional response,deserves admiration. At last she has found a method by which she can create a barrier. This barrier prevents any emotional reactions she experiences being passed on to the other Summiters. One particular personality trait that Opal develops is her blossoming ability to internalise these increasingly powerful emotions; reactions to scenes of many millennia past.
Opal permits herself to sink deeply into these experiences. She is committed to keeping all the intensity of her reactions private, knowing the risks she is taking.
She is on her own throughout these activities, keeping all her new knowledge to herself. She shows immense courage as she perseveres in her quest for more emotional stimuli. She is fully aware of the punishment if her newly found emotion of ‘enjoyment’ causes suspicion.
Opal’s courage is entrenched in her daily routines and her awareness of the privileges she possesses increases her need to continue. She is feeling a hitherto unknown emotion of obsession and only allows herself a minimum of time to feed it.
I have immense respect for the calmness Opal manages to develop in her isolation. She shows a level of self-control which must be highly respected.
Teaching degree, worked for 16 years with children with specific disabilities, writing early learning Activity Books for Oxford University Press. Also wrote the Activity Books supporting the Oxford Reading Tree which is a reading scheme adopted by the majority of Primary Schools.
Continued writing for children.
Wanted to write non- academic material, so have many long and short works needing attention. My main obsession has been to keep the pressure on the world to meet the Global Warming reductions of carbon and other pollutants. I was please that I had finished OMEN AMEN before COVID 19.