Above

Above

  • reading group guide
I am a secret no one is able to tell.

Blythe Hallowell is sixteen when she is abducted by a survivalist and locked away in an aban­doned missile silo in Eudora, Kansas. At first, she focuses frantically on finding a way out, until the harrowing truth of her new existence settles in—the crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of a captor who believes he is saving her from the end of the world, and the persistent temptation to give up. But nothing prepares Blythe for the burden of raising a child in confinement. Deter­mined to give the boy everything she has lost, she pushes aside the truth about a world he may never see for a myth that just might give mean­ing to their lives below ground. Years later, their lives are ambushed by an event at once promis­ing and devastating. As Blythe’s dream of going home hangs in the balance, she faces the ultimate choice—between survival and freedom.

Above is a riveting tale of resilience in which “stunning” (Daily Beast) new literary voice Isla Morley compels us to imagine what we would do if everything we had ever known was taken away. Like the bestselling authors of Room and The Lovely Bones before her, Morley explores the unthinkable with haunting detail and tenderly depicts our boundless capacity for hope.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476731520 | 
  • March 2014
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Isla Morley: Book That Changed My Life

Isla Morley, author of Above, talks about the most important book for her as a writer.

Read an Excerpt

Above I
DOBBS WINS THE fight easily. He shuts and locks the door. I feel a small sense of relief. With a hulking slab of metal separating us, I am finally able to breathe just a little. It is only when I hear another thump, another door closing someplace above me, that I understand: not only am I to be left alone; I am to be hidden.

I am a secret no one is able to tell.

Just like that, instead of wishing Dobbs gone, I am waiting for him to come back.

Surely, it won’t take long.

When Dobbs returns, I’ll... see more

Hear an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Above includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Isla Morley. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

When Blythe, a sixteen-year-old girl from Eudora, Kansas, is abducted and held captive underground by a conspiracy theorist who believes he is saving her from the end of the world, she imagines her greatest challenge will be finding a way to escape. But as her years in captivity pass, Blythe begins to realize she must also struggle against crushing loneliness, the encroaching madness of her captor, and the persistent temptation to just give up. Nothing, however, can help her prepare for what will be her greatest challenge—raising a child in confinement. Out of terror, she must fashion wonder for the boy, setting aside the truth about a world he may never see for the myth that just might give meaning to his life underground. After seventeen years of captivity loneliness, and the trials of raising her son, Adam, a shocking event offers them the opportunity to escape—only to discover a world radically different from the one Blythe left behind. As Blythe and Adam navigate the dramatically altered landscape, and confront the t see more

About the Author

Isla Morley
© Carol Saggese/trueshotphotos

Isla Morley

Isla Morley grew up in South Africa during apartheid, the child of a British father and fourth-generation South African mother. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband (a minister) and daughter and an assortment of animals. Her debut novel, Come Sunday, was awarded the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction in 2009 and was a finalist for the Commonwealth Prize. It has been translated into seven languages.

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