I can’t remember how old I was when I saw the film ‘The Stepford Wives’ for the first time (I am referring to the 1975 film with Katherine Ross and not the terrible 2004 remake) but I do remember being horrified by it.
In The Adjusters by Andrew Taylor it is the teenagers rather than the women (or wives) who are being made ‘perfect’. I know that it might seem hypocritical coming from a teacher, since teachers spend a lot of their time complaining about discipline problems, but the idea of a classroom of perfectly behaved, perfectly compliant teenagers does not fill me with joy.
Henry’s mum seems to have landed the perfect job in the perfect town but, as Henry is about to discover, perfection comes at a terrible price.
When Henry and his mum stop at a gas station, Henry discovers a girl hiding in the toilets. She pleads with him to help her but is terrified when she discovers he and his mother are on their way to Newton. Henry lies to the policeman looking for the runaway girl but is unable to prevent her from being discovered. As the girl is taken away in a police cruiser by Trooper Dan, she mouths the word ‘Run’ to Henry.
Henry is anxious not to let his mum down again but when someone leaves you a note warning you not to let them ‘scan your brain’, it’s hard not to suspect that everything is not as it seems.