Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Review: The Only Ones
In The Only Ones, Carola Dibbell has carefully crafted a world where disease is everywhere and tomorrow is certainly not guaranteed. Inez does not have education, but she does have experience and that experience has taught her that she has to think fast and keep moving. That gets much more difficult when she finds herself with a baby. Since her daughter was created in a lab and not born through more traditional means, Ani needs to stay off the grid. That is difficult to do, though, when your child needs to go to school or see a doctor.
The most striking thing to me with this story was how much was exactly the same, even as the world is ending around us. Inez is, for all intents and purposes, a single mother and she frets about how to make money or scavenge for food and supplies with a baby. When Ani is older, she has to face that heartbreaking parenting moment when you leave your child at school and they cry for you to come back. Inez listens to a daughter who understands only that they do not have the same things as her peers and not the sacrifices that she makes for their survival. Can Inez raise Ani to be better, to accomplish greater things than she did, even though they live in the same environment and share the same cells?
The Only Ones is one of those wonderful stories where you are hard-pressed to quickly say what the book is about. It's about survival, or medical ethics, or motherhood, or all three. It's about the lengths we will go to for the safety and happiness of someone we love. Carola Dibbell has written a unique and powerful book that I am still thinking about long after I finished reading it.
The Only Ones
By Carola Dibbell
Two Dollar Radio March 2015
From the publisher for review