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The Governor's Daughter by Maria Ereni Dampman
The Governor's Daughter is a brutal, dystopian read, with a powerful and visceral message, not unlike that of The Handmaid's Tale. In this story, Emma, the daughter of a Governor in the "New America", a dystopian place not too far in the future, where the new Church and State are united, where Purity Police and Watchers are constantly ferreting out undesirables from the population and sending them off to a finite fate, and in this category includes dissidents, anyone who disrespects or speaks out against the regime or the "faith", homosexuals, etc. This is the Puritan "America" - where women are subjugated as secondary citizens at best, in a patriarchal society where church and state give men complete power over women, power to abuse and even to kill if they fail to live up to their duties. Emma, now coming of age, is fated by her father to marry the most powerful man in America, a sociopathic and violent man who repeatedly beats her and sexually abuses her. Emma finds love in another man, a love affair that surely will destine them to death, but a bond that inescapably draws them together and sends them on a road of resistance against the entire regime. This is not a read for the faint hearted. The author pulls no punches on scenes where Emma is beaten and abused, but then again, it carries a powerful message to the reader, that in such a "puritan" and tyrannical state, where laws have been rewritten to "keep America pure" - the only purity in it is the brutal reality that freedom and democracy have been entirely sacrificed and replaced by a degenerate hypocrisy that hides under the mantle of a religious platform, but is in fact, nothing more than despotism in the hands of sociopaths. The ending is not what one expects - and there will be a sequel. Definitely worth the read.
Maria Ereni Dampman was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. An avid writer since she earned an Honorable Mention with her short story entry in the Scholastic Short Story writing contest when she was in the sixth grade, Maria can't remember a time since then when she wasn't writing something ranging from poetry to plays. In college, she joined the Forensic Speech Team, where she competed with speeches she researched, wrote and delivered. In three years she was nationally ranked nine times and had several of her speeches printed in multiple editions of college textbooks. She obtained a B.A. in Communication Studies and Journalism from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and over the years has written for numerous international newspapers, magazines, forums and blogs.
When Maria isn't either reading or writing, she can be found on her farm in western Virginia with her husband and a wide variety of rescue animals. She's known for her work rehabilitating abused horses and rescuing animals ranging from Mammoth American Jackstock to her beloved Plott hounds, Zoey and Furgus.
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