The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver
It’s the year 2029. America’s national debt has arisen to an all time high. The American economic situation can only be compared to a modern and worse version of The Great Depression. After a mass hacking attack on their infrastructure, Americans have had to resort to a lifestyle much different to that than they were previously used to. Water is now less common and taps often dry up. Jobs are less bountiful and salaries are lower than ever. Things can only get better, right?
Wrong. After the sudden rise of a new, global currency called bancor, the dollar is in severe trouble. However, America’s first Latino President, Dante Alvarado does not buckle under the pressure set on his shoulders by other world leaders; instead, he fights back with the aim of saving the dollar. To try to protect the United States Treasury and Government, he rules that all gold belonging to any individual or corporation in the United States of America henceforth belongs to the government and that people will be tried for treason, if found to be in possession of bancor.
The Mandibles are a family, four generations long. Three generations are waiting for a sudden increase in much-needed wealth, anticipating that the 97-year-old patriarch of their family will soon reach the end of his life. However, they are unsure just how much money the secretive head of their family has. Will it be enough to help his financially struggling children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in an era where the dollar is nearly worthless? How will they survive in a country, once so wealthy, now so poor? Will the richest stay standing, or will they fall with the poor?
AGE RATING: 12+
TEEN RATING: 3.7/5
TEEN OVERVIEW: The Mandibles follows the story of how one large family navigates an ever-changing America. The quantity and complexity of real economic terms that she uses alongside her detailed writing creates a very real and genuine setting. The financial terms do get very detailed at point but overall they are very beneficial for the novel. Interesting, detailed and relevant in today’s world, The Mandibles is a very unique book.