Several generations ago, survivors of a complex apocalypse banned what they blamed for their civilization’s end: religions as instigators of violence. But human nature survived. People with shared belief systems created ethnicities – and prejudices and conflicts reappeared. Erica and Joel grew up in the Fellowship of Abisjamo.
The emotional bond Erica and Joel create trips on their convictions about their ethnicity’s traditions. Erica feels enriched by them, but she’s among the elite of the Fellowship. Joel protects his dignity, which he sees would be at risk if he were obliged to conform. Their love story spans twenty years on the backdrop of the hatreds and violence born as members of another ethnicity endure a no-man’s-land of border strife. Joel, as a photojournalist, brings that tragedy into the public eye. 
Other reporters expose only the rebels’ aggression, which accelerates the longer their plight is ignored. When background events hit close to home, Joel makes the world hear their tears.

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Tony Weber spent his first fifteen years in the sophisticated bunker his parents built when fire ravaged the American farm belt. Raised by their Navajo mother, Evie and her younger brother, Frank, survived in a dam. When Tony finds them, he and Evie discover sex together and build a loving bond. The trio surmounts tribulations until Frank reaches puberty. Then a crisis explodes.

Leading the remnant of urban USA, Jack Sinclair becomes Tony’s antagonist at every level. To forge a new nation, Tony, Evie and Jack, with Frank at the periphery, must each define what they value most. They intend not to repeat Before mistakes.