The Third Way: A Novel
Arden Firth is an undergraduate attending the University of South Dakota when her world is turned upside down. She is notified that her financial aid has dried up, meaning her options are limited and unappealing. She can apply for loans to help backstop the shortfall, but student loans are notorious for their usurious interest rates and difficulty in paying back. Arden is unable to reach out to family for assistance, as her mom is deceased and her father disappeared from her life long ago. Her grandmother faces financial uncertainty as well, as her farm is currently facing possible foreclosure. Frustration is the constant thought in Arden’s worldview.
Arden is a good student, but she decides the risk of being manacled to a large debt for the foreseeable future isn’t worth it. However, a defiant streak runs through Arden. Her grandmother had previously fought against unfair laws when it came to farmland. Arden and her friend Ophelia hatch an idea to battle the corporations who take so much and give back so little. They contact their political science teacher and ask how they would go about evicting corporations from South Dakota. He informs them that they would need to get the electorate to vote on a proposition calling for such reform.
The proposal, soon dubbed Proposition 99, if voted upon, promises an upheaval in the corporate structure and puts power back in the hands of the individuals. The vote is not guaranteed, however, as the populace will need to be convinced of its merit. Despite initial reluctance about opening up about herself, Arden possesses a charisma and natural ability to appeal to an audience. The movement soon has backers and a publicity machine, but can they succeed against the behemoth of the corporatocracy?
In a polarized political climate, divisions are rampant and adhere to ideology. In The Third Way, author Aimee Hoben dramatically illustrates how a grassroots movement can help opposite sides find common ground. Arden is the reluctant hero of the story, as she hungers for change in the world but shies away from being the voice of the movement. The reluctance in Arden renders her all the more compelling because without her voice, the movement could falter in its initial steps. The consternation of Arden and her movement will echo with many readers. This is a book that will appeal to any and all who wish that they were heard among the din of the two-party noise machine. A wonderfully written book that may prove prescient.
|Page Count||312 pages|
|Publisher||She Writes Press|
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