The Babysitters' Club is a chilling Southern Gothic epic set in the postapocalyptic ruins of Rockeyrill, Connecticut.
It is the twilight of humanity. Nuclear devastation and disease have wracked the planet, killing 90% of the population and bringing civilization to its arthritic and already skinless knees.
When a mob of unemployed anarchist potato pickers kill their rich father and lay waste to the privately owned, hermetically sealed biosphere that has been their home for years, 17-year old twins Jessica and Elizabeth are forced to roam the streets of ruined suburbia searching for food, shelter, and protective gear.
After many harrowing misadventures, they are captured by a group of militant survivalists. Desperate for healthy, fertile young women, the survivalists allow Jessica and Elizabeth to remain safely in their vast underground bunker, caring for the survivalists' few remaining children as they go to war against the Feds, an organized crime empire made up of former accountants and government desk jockeys.
When the adult survivalists are wiped out in a final bloody battle with the Feds, the food quickly runs short. Jessica and Elizabeth are forced to choose between starvation and devouring their helpless, succulent young charges. They must venture forth again into the suburban wasteland, defeat Ashlee, the vicious yet compelling Fed leader, and, ultimately, confront the truth about their beloved father's sordid past.
Much of the tale is narrated by Cygnus, the three-eyed albino puppy whom Jessica rescues from a nauseatingly gory, neocorybantic doom. Once, Cygnus possessed the power of human speech; however, his vocal cords fused together when he was trapped in a burning building. Therefore, he is unable to voice his blossoming but unrequited passion for Elizabeth, his (unsubstantiated) fear that Jessica has fallen in love with him, or his growing suspicions about Zane, the silent young man with only half a smile who pays ambiguous court to both sisters. Nor can he warn his beloved and her sister of the sinister cult that will stop at nothing to capture him. Torn between love and fear, guilt and responsibility, duty and dog biscuits, Cygnus must finally face the ultimate truth of his troubled past and shocking destiny.
This dense, symbolist tome offers the rigorous reader a dry yet rather florid mouthful of achingly schizhoid solipsism, set in a world which no longer has rhyme, reason, or a steady supply of Raisinets. Strangely unemotional in its harrowing portrayal of gang warfare and cannibalism, broken promises and broken nails, The Babysitters' Club nevertheless treats its villains as well as its protagonists with sympathy and an almost preternatural understanding. If you can manage to wade through the constant stream of invective that floods its pages like a New Orleans basement, you may actually discover the smooth, ivory bones of a very fine novel.
Although Ksiusia was widely denounced as paranoid, shortsighted, and dorky on her first trip back to the planet of her birth, she takes great pleasure in pointing out the shortcomings of the planet where she grew up. Because of this, not many people notice her equally profound appreciation for its many natural resources, not the least of which are the fiery patchwork of the Berkshire hills in autumn, feminist utopian novels, Tuvan punk music, and big round asses.