An unwilling couple are stranded on a strange, distant planet while the others attempt to get back to earth leaving only a promise that they will send help. This story starts around a century and a half later and their descendants now number over five hundred, most of which are beset with deformities arising from their incestuous ancestry. They have formed an inward looking, insular society that does nothing but try to survive, clustered around their circle of stones, their one hope that help will eventually arrive from earth and whisk them all away. But there is now one who is not content to carry on living this way, determined to shake things up but will he be their saviour or merely tear them apart?
An interesting premise and an easy going prose style made this a pleasure to read. The world on which they are stranded on, and wildlife that inhabit it, is evocatively described bringing it effortlessly to life.
Biblical parallels abound, some more explicit than others. The tensions that arise between the young and old, between conservatives and progressives, are played out. The hearts of those who lead are examined, to what extent are they guided by the common good or merely power and glory?
But for the sexually explicit content (reflecting the family's relaxed attitude towards promiscuity) I thought that this felt like a "young-adult" novel because of somewhat heavy handed way the author went about making his point and general hand holding of the reader throughout. But besides that I thought it was a very good, if not overly original, story.