Author(s): L. J. Ritchie
If the government can define a 'superior' race, where does the power end? In 1928 Parliament was on the brink of enacting a eugenic sterilisation law allowing the state to decide who was fit to breed. This was despite New Zealand's reputation for being a liberal country committed to equal opportunity for all. Ritchie's new young adult novel mixes fact with fiction: the bill has been defeated, but the agenda continues. Monsters of Virtue plays out an alternative history in which a utopian settlement is established in the Otaki River Gorge where the country's 'finest' youth are chosen to lead, and breed, a new superior race. But is anyone prepared for the consequences of allowing prejudices and power to intervene with nature? Through powerful storytelling, Ritchie exposes the disturbing places powerful individuals will go in the name of social progress. In an era of Trump, genetic testing and designer babies, Monsters of Virtue is a timely reminder of the dangers of believing in one 'superior' race.