The Chrysalids

by John Wyndham

In Brief

In post-apocalypse Canada, a young boy witnesses his friend being chased out of their strictly religious community because she has six toes. As he comes to realize that he too is “abnormal”, David Strorm starts to question the Puritanical, intolerant society in which he has always lived.

Why you should read it

Arguably Wyndham’s best book, this frightening and plausible account of how it feels to be different and persecuted is totally absorbing. Parallels can be drawn both to eugenics and the persecution of the Jews during the Second World War. Although the novel was written in the 1950s it is still highly relevant to issues affecting society today.

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