à Read ✓ Journey Outside by Mary Q. Steele ✓ Grandfather Said They Were Headed For The Better Place, But Dilar Suspected They Were Headed Nowhere, Simply Following The Dark Underground River Blindly And So One Night He Leaped Onto A Shelf Of Rock And Watched The Flotilla Of The Raft People Disappear And From There He Found His Way Outside, Into A World So Beautiful And Strange He Could Only Suppose He Had Died A World Of Day, And Sun, Of Trees And Sky
Dilar lives on a raft with his family, in a convoy of rafts that drifts along an underground river Supposedly the rafts are headed for a better place, but they never get there, and Dilar starts wondering if they aren t just going in a big circle This thought consumes him until he hops off the raft onto the riverbank and watches his whole life float away.
He starts climbing up the cave walls and eventually makes it to the surface of the earth, where he gorges himself on peaches and gets a bad sunburn when he falls asleep A young sheperdess takes him home and for a time he lives with her family In this society, people are very generous and the concept of private property is comfortably lax, but no one plans ahead for anything They don t even save firewood for the winter.
When Dilar hears that wise men who can answer any question live over the mountains and far away, h
The Raft People have been floating down an underground river for generations, but Dilar dreams ofIf that sounds good to you, then you are the weirdo that this book is looking for.
Dilar escapes the Raft People and travels through a series of weird societies Each society has quirks relating to some form of willful ignorance and some form of seeking peace It reminds some readers of Gulliver s Travels, which is fair, but it reminds me a bitof The Little Prince in its focus on the human condition The microcosmic cultures remind me of the works of Jack Vance, and the refusal to judge them reminds me of Ursula K Le Guin.
I loved Steele s pacing Each setting gets just enough attention to make me ask questions, then it s off to the next enigma Some people complain that the setting changes too quickly, but I disagree If there was an extra 20 pages The story of a tween or teen who becomes dissatisfied with the lifestyle of his people As a member of The Raft People, Dilar floats along on an underground raft with his family and friends on rafts close by One day Dilar sees a cliff outcropping and on a whim, jumps off his father s raft He finds the way to the outside world and has many adventures and makes many discoveries.
The only fault I have with the book is that it ends with Dilar just beginning his voyage back to the hill from whence he came I would have liked to see the return journey, his people s reaction to his wild tales of the outside world and their decisions afterwards.
My favorite quote Vigan Nothing is harder to believe than the truth If it weren t so, all men would be good and kind and wise and happy p 139That needs some pondering on