Material Remains is written in the oral history tradition. This particular oral history is one woman telling about a pivotal point in her life as a young adolescent. Sophia shares events that began to form who she would become later in life. She tells of her extended family and the education she drew from them, and how family is not just bound by blood, but by relationship bonds. She speaks of the sad times of loss, fun times in play, compassionate intrigue, and new friendships formed under unexpected circumstance. The setting takes place in northern California 100 years plus into the future. This book, however, this is not science fiction.
✍Material Remains is highly detailed with several small anecdotes peppered throughout the story that bring the fictional Sophia to life. Small details such as a five year old questioning why alphabet is arranged the way it is to the unavailing of a particular painting. To more significant events, pages devoted to the kidnaping a fake dead body out of hospital custody.
✍ In the first chapter, the oral historian gives a brief back story on current trends and where these trends lead as time passes: education, technology, environment, economics, and political future of the United States. In later chapters, the historian introduces Sophia's friends in third person based on the historian’s research, events that Sophia could not have known.
✍ So what is this book’s purpose? Well, simply, to entertain, of course, and to inform through fiction. Material Remains is written in everyday language regarding Anthropological and Sociological concepts. Anthropological and Sociological theories and ideas are inferred to and defined by using context clues for a wide audience understanding.