Underbrush Book Club

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“The Other Valley is a genre-defying novel that puts ideas of destiny, free will, obligation under a microscope. Somehow Alexander-Howard has told the story of a complex, dystopian-adjacent society through the eyes of a teenage girl without losing the magical, awkwardness of adolescence.” – Courtney

For fans of Never Let Me Go and The Giver, an elegant and exhilarating literary speculative novel about an isolated town neighbored by its own past and future, and a young girl who spots two elderly visitors from across the border: the grieving parents of the boy she loves.

Sixteen-year-old Odile is an awkward, quiet girl vying for a coveted seat on the Conseil. If she earns the position, she'll decide who may cross her town's heavily guarded borders. On the other side, it's the same valley, the same town. Except to the east, the town is twenty years ahead in time. To the west, it's twenty years behind. The towns repeat in an endless sequence across the wilderness.

When Odile recognizes two visitors she wasn't supposed to see, she realizes that the parents of her friend Edme have been escorted across the border from the future, on a mourning tour, to view their son while he's still alive in Odile's present.

Edme--who is brilliant, funny, and the only person to truly see Odile--is about to die. Sworn to secrecy in order to preserve the timeline, Odile now becomes the Conseil's top candidate. Yet she finds herself drawing closer to the doomed boy, imperiling her entire future.

A breathlessly moving "unique take on the intersection of fate and free will" (Nikki Erlick, author of The Measure), The Other Valley is "a stellar debut, full of heartbreak and hope wrapped up in gorgeous prose" (Christina Dalcher, author of Vox).

  • April book pick
  • Book club discussion guide
  • Access to our monthly meetings
  • Underbrush tote-bag (First time members only)
  • Ships for free each month

    Boxes will begin shipping on 4/5. The in-person meeting will take place on Monday, May 13th at 6:45 CST at The Parlour Room in Rogers.

    You can choose to make your Underbrush membership a recurring subscription and receive $5 off each box. Subscriptions will be renewed on the 1st of each month. You will have the option to skip a month without being charged.