We can’t always travel to the places on our bucket list. But we can go there with books! I started the Fifty States Of Fiction challenge with the aim of reading one book from every state in the country. Each week in 2017 I’ll be here to talk about a different state, share with you some geographical fun facts, and explore how a novel, play, or personal narrative captures the essence of the area. Want to follow along? Check out this free printable calendar I’ve created just for you! Let’s get started!
Today’s State: Maine
Nickname: Pine Tree State
Motto: “I Lead”
Flower: White pinecone and tassel
Entered the union in: 1820
Now, pack your bags everybody. We’re about to explore Maine as Lauren Oliver portrays it in Delirium.
Love is a disease in the United States. And Lena is ready for her cure. In fact, she’s counting the days. After her parent’s death, she was accepted into her aunt Carol’s house, with its lethargic fans and lack of air conditioning. If she is paired well, her entire household will benefit. Lena’s uncle makes their living running the Stop-N-Save, a store lined with canned vegetables and the stock boy’s hidden boogers. Outside, the June air hangs heavy and thick. The scent of seaweed and salty wood lingers. Seagulls squawk over the bay. The water holds two islands where lookout towers climb into the sky and overlook the open ocean. Out in the distance, the fallen civilizations torn apart by the disease stand abandoned. Lena used to be afraid of the putrid smelling Portland streets, but now she knows them well and yearns to canvas them as a girl cured from amor deliria nervosa. She hates to think about the disease pulsing through her veins. She fears the possibility of falling sick or becoming a sympathizer. Sympathizers are taken to the crypts and locked away for three lifetimes. Their high security punishment is a good thing; the entire society would crumble if sympathizers ran free. Third parties carefully configure marriages in order to maintain a stable social foundation in Portland. Since the procedure was created and the practice of arranged marriage was introduced into society, Maine has seen less than a dozen divorces total. Today, the iron gates guarding the lab complex open to admit a cluster of young teenagers. The long line inches forward. Lena joins it, waiting to begin her final evaluation. Waiting to be cured from love.
Have you read any other books set in Maine? Have you traveled there yourself? Make sure to let me know what the Pine Tree State means to you in the comments! Check back here next week to explore Maryland through literature.
And remember, if you want to keep up with our schedule as we travel the country, you can download my free printable calendar.
See you all next week!