Author(s): Bernard Beckett
Trapped in a car wreck, upside down, bleeding, broken and in pain, Tristan and Grace are staring at death. As they await their fate, with only a glimmer of hope they might be seen and rescued, we discover the stories of their lives, the sequences of events that brought them together and the shocking truth behind the cause of their crash. Tristan, a brilliant student at the privileged St Augustine's school within the walls of the City, was the subject of an elaborate series of experiments on the seemingly contradictory concepts of determinism and free will. Part willing participant and part unknowing victim, Tristan grapples with the apparent irrefutability of a deterministic world. There is only one thing that distracts him: a woman he has glimpsed only twice, a woman he longs to know, a woman he loves. Banished from the City at the end of the experiments, he embarks on a desperate personal quest to find the woman and to prove the existence of free will, a proof he cannot live without. Meanwhile, Grace grows up outside the City walls, in a place of impoverishment and despair. Her life of hardship allows no place for philosophical musing. Forced through desperation into a life of prostitution, her only hope of escape from the life she leads is the young man she has seen watching her, the young man who would not speak to her. The young man who stopped at the roadside and picked her up in his car...
Bernard Beckett has a degree in economics, and has taught in the Wellington region of New Zealand for several years. He has published ten books, and has won many awards. In 2006 Bernard was awarded a New Zealand Science, Mathematics and Technology Teacher Fellowship where he worked on a project examining DNA mutations. This new direction led to the publication of Genesis, winner of the 2010 Prix Sorcieres. In 2008 the book made publishing history when UK publisher Quercus Books offered the largest advance ever put forward for a young-adult novel in New Zealand. The novel has also published in twenty other countries around the world. August is Bernard Beckett's second novel for adults.