Hostage story ‘Above’ holds readers captive

By Alison Berstein
Staff Writer

Imagine being 16-years-old and suddenly swept away from all you know by a man who is convinced that the world is going to end.

Now stop imagining and pick up this book.

“Above,” by South African-born Isla Morley, follows Blythe Hallowell, a young Kansas miss who is kidnapped by survivalist Dobbs Hordin. Firmly believing in the world’s subsequent destruction, Dobbs locks her in a silo for years. What follows is Blythe’s struggle to return home as she raises a child of her own.

AboveAs Dobb’s concerns become stronger, so does his grip on his hostage. This constant struggle poses a fascinating question: is he the “bad guy,” or is he really protecting Blythe as he says he is from some unavoidable disaster?

Let me tell you that Blythe’s person was not all that was held captive; Isla Morley had my attention hooked something fierce. I’m not a morning person in the slightest, but if I woke up earlier than I wanted to on a given day, I felt a pang of excitement. “Now that I’m awake, I can read!” was my mentality. I found myself eager to wake up early just so I could get through another chunk of pages before classes began.

Released this past March, “Above” is a captivating story of freedom, and of home. Blythe’s journey reminds us that even in the scariest of circumstances, something somewhere allows us to hold on to that smidgen of hope.

Five pages in, and I knew I wanted a sequel, as well as Blythe, to be released.

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