The Chrysalids by John Wyndham is a futuristic tale told by a boy named David. At the beginning of the book he is about 10 years old living in a small community of people years after a devastating nuclear war has laid waste to much of the planet. God's Tribulation has destroyed the unworthy. In David's community life is spent without any technology and anything that isn't deemed normal, is looked at as an abomination in the eyes of God. People that have abnormalities, called "deviations", are considered Mutants. Mutants are sterilized, so that they can not reproduce, and sent to the "Fringes", the wild land outside of the community to fend for themselves. Any crop or animal that has a deviation is destroyed. Every child that is born must be inspected and given certification. Any type of difference is not tolerated. When David's friend Sophie is found to be a Mutant because she has 6 toes, he realizes how dangerous it is to be different. And David IS different. He, along with several other children in the area, are able to communicate with each other by "thought-shapes" or telepathy. After Sophie is taken, the children understand that they must hide their abilities. Although difficult at times, this works for awhile. Until David's younger sister Petra is born. Petra has the ability to communicate with the others as well. But Petra's powers are far superior to the others, but she is so young she can't control them.
David are Rosalind try to teach Petra to hide her abilities. But Petra communicates to someone outside their area. In a place that none of the other children have heard of. A place where there are many people with the ability to communicate through thought-shapes. A place where the children would not be considered different or a Mutant. But by this time, David, Rosalind, Petra and the others are under suspicion. What happens next is an escape attempt through the Badlands and the Fringes.
This book is so far ahead of it's time. It denounces bigotry and religious fundamentalism. It shows what a world that supports intolerance would look like. And it isn't pretty. This book was great and has my highest recommendations!! 5/5