This is the question Veronica “Ronnie” Billings poses to Phoenix, her sworn enemy, the leader of the Peaceful Revolution, and the one she loves.
Kidnapped by Phoenix’s rebels, Ronnie learns how wrong she has been. She had no idea that her patriotism was wasted on a corrupt government. Ronnie was proud to be a Leader; taking hundreds of harvested girls to the Letting facility. After all, she was saving them from future Couplings and bringing them to the safety of the New World. Or so she thought…
Confused, Ronnie realizes the only way to discover the truth is to trust her heart. Together, Phoenix and Ronnie devise a plan to stop their corrupt government and preempt the dangerous rebel coup which is approaching. But when their plan goes awry, will Ronnie be strong enough to save Phoenix, her country, and herself?
“What if the Devil doesn’t know he’s the Devil?” I ask.
Phoenix shakes his head, confused. “What?”
“Why? Why does the bad I’ve done have to define me?”
“Because you’re a murdering sadist,” he snaps back at me.
“No, I am not.” I clench my teeth, standing my ground. I am tired of these labels I am suddenly wearing. “I never, I mean never knew what happened to those girls I led to the Lettings. I am so very sorry I played any role in this vile enterprise in which we exist, but I was clueless. Maybe I’m ignorant, or downright stupid, but I would rather have been dead than be responsible for hurting anyone. And before you go throwing malicious names around, maybe it’s time you consider maybe you’re wrong…? What if you kidnapped and tortured me in the name of a revolution that is wrong?”
“It’s not,” he argues.
“But I didn’t think I was wrong, either.” I am exasperated.
“Don’t you get it?”
He takes a step back away from me, but I go on.
“We are completely turned around. The only information we’re fed is from a corrupt enterprise. What makes you think your information is any more accurate than mine?”
For the first time ever, he looks terrified. I let a moment go by before I gesture for Raven to come over, and she hurries to my side.
“This is Raven,” I say, slowly, talking to Phoenix. “She’s your sister.”
About the Author:
Given my love for cities and all that is gritty, my new obsession with trees really has me stumped. (Sorry.) Maybe it’s because trees are the inspiration behind my new YA/NA novel, THE LETTING.
Whatever the reason for my new infatuation, some things remain constant — like my love for: coffee (although sadly, it’s now decaf); yoga; Luna bars (I am petitioning for them to bring back Chocolate Raspberry!); running in my neighborhood; Hemingway; Bukowski… and, above all, my husband and my girls.
I am the author of the bestselling novel, Sleeping With Mortals: The Story of a New York Mistress, and I’m also a playwright. I have my B.A. in English and my M.A. in Theatre.