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I am looking for a book I read in the late 80s or perhaps very early 90s as a teenager. It's possible it was shared with me by older hippie friends and was already a considerably older novel. It was a shorter novel but perhaps too long to be considered a novella, also paperback, at least my copy.

I remember that there was a hidden technology that none of the young people were supposed to know about. There might have been machinery housed in a hill or mountain or pyramid type structure but that part is fuzzy.

I don't think it was a young adult book, because there were some adult themes, including that the protagonist (who I believe was female) had grandparents who shed monogamy in old age and had a free love thing going on as part of the elders group.

Anyway, lots of weird rabbit holes if I search based on this recollection! That part wasn't graphic or central to the plot, but it helped shape the youth versus elders divide that was a theme that ran along the nature/technology divide. I think the title was a single word title, but I wouldn't swear to it.

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Possibly Leigh Brackett's The Long Tomorrow (1955)

Not a single-word title, but it is old and rather short. I don't remember the free-love thing

The Long Tomorrow takes place in a bucolic post-apocalyptic world where technology is forbidden by religion (think Amish). The young protagonists are looking for (and eventually find) a fabled city called Bartorstown, where technology is still used. The long-term project of Bartorstown is to use artificial intelligence to develop a forcefield that would prevent atoms splitting in nuclear explosions. The youngsters are shocked to discover that the AI is secretly powered by a nuclear reactor hidden in a mountain.

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  • It's not the book I am looking for, but I will definitely check it out anyway. I worked as a midwife among Amish and Mennonite people so it's probably a read I would enjoy, thanks for responding!
    – user174122
    Commented Apr 11 at 23:11

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