Shortly after she turned 16, Willa escaped from the Renton Children’s Center where she’d been confined since birth. Willa had been one of the unlicensed kids confiscated by the state to be raised as a laborer.
Four years later, now the mother of a 3-year-old unlicensed kid herself – Katy, who at 3 is wise beyond her years – Willa meets Thomas Sawyer, a computer genius and CEO who is one of the richest men in Seattle, who she saves from a mugging.
Willa’s life takes a drastic turn when it intersects with Julia Amberton, director of a children’s center, who is motivated by greed, and who uses the Bureau of Population Management to take custody of Katy.
Come on home, Children by Victoria Randall is the second in the Children in Hiding series, which tells the story of a country gone off the rails as the effects of well-meaning, but ultimately wrong-headed legislation leads to what amounts to a police state, where reproductive rights are restricted to only the very rich, and freedom is nonexistent.
Randall paints a grim picture of what can happen when politics and greed merge and the rights of people get mangled in the process. You find yourself identifying with and rooting for the characters, especially Willa and Katy, who just want to live their lives without government interference. Ordinarily the villains in a story should have some positive traits, but in this case, Amberton is ‘bad to the bone,’ but that’s believable considering the circumstances, and readers will find themselves wishing fervently for her downfall.
This novel is intense, covering a socially relevant topic in an entertaining way without sermonizing. It is also uplifting as it shows that sometimes those with resources are good people, and when good people decide not to stand idly by, justice can be served.
This is a good follow on to Get on Board Little Children, with a new cast of characters operating in the world created in that book. I give it a solid five stars.