About the Book
Author: Kari Aguila
Genre: Suspense / Science-Fiction / Women’s Fiction
Would anything change if women ruled the world?
In a devastated country, those in charge rule by fear, inequality, and oppression. Rhia, a strong and independent sea captain, just wants to keep her head down and do her job, unitl she finds herself trapped in a re-education facility designed to help people fit into the rules of the New Way Forward. The warden claims to be guiding those in her care, but Rhia quickly sees the cracks in the system. As she is faced with torture and brainwashing, those cracks become gaping holes that threaten to pull her down into the depths of despair. Can Rhia resist the slow subversion of re-education and become the reluctant hero the new world needs?
RUN Ragged is the thrilling second story by the award-winning author of Women’s Work. This brilliantly imagined novel is both a scathing satire and a profoundly poignant look at the price we are willing to pay for peace and what we are willing to ignore to keep our conscience clear.
Kari Aguila was the recipient of an IndieReader Discovery Award for her first novel, Women’s Work. Her stories are gripping and thought-provoking looks at gender stereotypes and relationships set in a dystopic future. She is also an avid gardener, geologist, outdoor enthusiast and mother of three. Aguila lives in Seattle with her family. RUN Ragged is her second novel.
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RUN Ragged Excerpt 1:
Rhia powered down with a flick of the switches. Her boat now attached to the noisy, throbbing machine that was the trade, Rhia stepped out into the harsh glare of noon on Midsummer Day.
“Peace to you, Ginny,” Rhia said to the woman, who was already climbing back onto the dock.
“Peace to you. Come on up.”
Rhia deftly made her way along her deck, pausing to secure a loose bungee cord around a crab cage to the metal railing behind it before following Ginny up to the dock. Men scrambled all around her as the women in charge called out orders.
“How’s your week going?” Rhia asked as she quickly hugged Ginny.
“Busy. Fifty shipping containers came in by Safe Rail on Tuesday, so we had to move all the cranes to off-load them.”
“Full or empty?”
“Empty. Headed to the Re-education center.” Ginny made notes on her clipboard as she talked, marking the date and time, scanning Rhia’s boat and jotting down the types of goods she saw. “They turn them into fully functional houses there—basic plumbing, electric, interior work.”
“Re-ed. Jesus. A rusty old boxcar isn’t my idea of house.”
“Well, apartment then. Better than nothing.” Ginny glanced at Rhia. “From what I’ve heard about the Center, men there are grateful to have anything at all.” Pointing her pen toward the barrels, sacks, and boxes on Rhia’s boat, she asked, “From New Hope, Campbell, and Miranda, right?”
“Yep.” Rhia hesitated, then dropped her eyes to the soft leather sandals tied around her feet. “I heard a man from Jenkins got sent there last week.”
“Well, half the men working here have been through it. It seems like they’re sending people for even the littlest things these days.”
“Do they ever talk about it?”
Ginny’s voice dropped to a whisper. “You hear rumors, horror stories, but these guys won’t say much about their time inside. If they say anything, it’s always positive. You know, ‘Re-ed helped me realize my full potential as a man’ or ‘The Center taught me how to use my skills for good instead of evil.’”
“Sounds just like the billboards plastered all over the towns.”
“Exactly. Seems like the Re-ed centers are getting their message across.”
“Well, that’s what propaganda is for, right?” When Ginny smirked, Rhia added, “They never say anything about the rumors?”
“No. But they don’t say much at all.”
“Do you think any of it could be true?”
“’Course not. And even if I did, I wouldn’t say anything, right? What woman would want to threaten the peace we worked so hard for? I’m a model citizen fully on board with the New Way Forward.” Ginny said it in a singsong voice, as if parroting other people’s words. She lifted one eyebrow and added, “Just like you.”