Ryan H.’s Letter Essay #9: The Compound

Dear Fellow Classmates,

I recently finished the novel The Compound by S.A. Bodeen, I decided to re-read this book when i finished reading other books by S.A. bodeen that i also enjoyed reading it a year ago so i thought why not read it again. The book was posted on September 1, 2009. When reading the book last year it really intrigued me when i read the back and i heard a lot of great things, this book really gave me nostalgia from last year because i read most of my favorite books last year, and having the same feeling i had last year really made me happy that i decided to reread the book. This year i only read 20 books instead of my goal of 35 i had made at the beginning of the year. Im disappointed that i hadn’t even come close to my goal because i felt that i really did improve as a reader from last year but seeing that i apparently did not improve that much will only push me to read more next year. And i will set my own goal at the start of next year and see if i can reach it.


S.A. Bodeen was born in 1965 in Wisconsin. She is best known for her several best selling books like The Raft, The Gardener, The Detour, and her Elizabeti series.


In the book The Compound, the narration is first person from the view of a 16 year old boy named eli who has been in an underground bunker hiding from the nuclear apocalypse on the outside of the blast proof doors. Eli, His mother Clea , His two sisters Lexie and Therese, and his mastermind father Rex. When Eli finds out that Rex and Clea’s 3 new children are going to be used as the family next rations for the families Eli is horrified and knows he needs to stop getting attached to the new children. On one day Eli is looking through his dad’s office he realizes that on his father’s laptop there is an internet connection. In the past 6 years Eli and the family has been internetless and he finds on his father’s laptop that his supposed dead twin brother Eddy is still alive. When Eli confronts the family about his discovery his father admits that the fallout shelter was all a fake scenario and now it is up to Eli and his siblings to escape without their father out of the compound.


I liked the quote from the book “With every ounce of my strength and rage, I punched him in the face. I’d never hit anyone before. The feel of his bones and his flesh connecting with my hand sickened me.” Because this happened at the part when Eli and his family found out that his brother was still alive and that the past 6 years of awful engagement was not needed. And it expressed exactly how i would have reacted and made me so happy when he did it.


I rate this book a 7 out of 10 because though the book had a lot of great parts and twists there were a lot of dull parts, and the book rarely kept me on the edge of my seatat any point.


  • Ryan Hanock
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