Faith in a Cruel World

The theme of my novel Remnant is faith. Since it is a character-oriented story, and it is written from their points of view, you get to know them fairly intimately by the end of the novel. I think the underlying theme to everything they are all going through is having hope when it is foolish to have any. As one example: Theia hopes to find her parents, even though she has no idea where they are, and she starts to be convinced her parents don’t even want her back. Another character has religious faith, believing that God will make the world right again, and he is utterly patient to find out if that will happen.

Of course, my novel’s meaning, theme, and even exact plot, is subjective and up to the reader’s interpretation. There absolutely is a specific direction the plot is going, and a theme, etc., but I don’t want to sit here as the author and say “this is what you should get from it,” because that would defeat what I want readers to take from it. It is written from several characters’ perspectives, and nobody in the book perceives everything correctly all the time.

In the context of this story, though, I think it is apparent that everyone relies on some kind of faith. Everyone’s circumstances are absolutely dire. They live in a familiar land, but that land has been torn apart by internal war, and now the land they once knew is desolate and destroyed. Food is scarce, and is equally as difficult to come by as friendly people. Basic human needs, from shelter to companionship, are all nearly impossible to come by. Yet, these people continue to try. In that environment, if someone is alive, it means they are putting your faith in something. Maybe it’s finding you family, maybe it’s having a family at all.

Remnant is a fictional story, but I put extra care into making it as realistic as I could. Because of that fact, I think the underlying theme of faith is something that drives all people to live from day to day, especially when life is difficult. If we didn’t crawl toward the light at the end of the tunnel, we’d just give up. Some people do give up, some people have a longer tunnel to crawl through, and some reach the light. What is pushing us, and how long it will push us, is all subjective and depends on the person. there’s never a guarantee we’ll get what we seek, but we always believe it’s worth trying, don’t we?

Some characters don’t have a happy ending, but some do, just as in real life. I openly forewarn everyone who has not read Remnant but is interested: it takes place in a kind of cruel world most people aren’t accustomed to seeing depicted, and cruel thing happen to the characters… but don’t hard times make it so much sweeter when we reach the light at the end of the tunnel?