Sunday, 18 August 2019

Before This is Over

A great read but hard to categorise. Not dystopian but definitely a version of the future. I imagine the term speculative fiction fits best.

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Book description

A normal family. A quiet, leafy street. A terrifying epidemic.
It's been coming for a while: a lethal illness. With sons of five and fourteen to look out for, Hannah has been stockpiling supplies, despite everyone telling her that it's unnecessary.
Then it arrives.
At first there are a few unconfirmed cases. Then a death. Now the whole city is quarantined. But Hannah's family is not yet safe behind their locked front door...
Basics soon become luxuries, and neighbours become hazards. There are power cuts, food shortages and an ever-growing sense of claustrophobia. How will the family cope?
How would you cope?
How far would you go to protect your children?

My review  

This book was inspired by the SARS outbreak of 2002/3 which spread with astonishing rapidity. It’s set in Sydney, Australia and feels frighteningly possible. Hannah seems to be paranoid but her meticulous planning comes into play when their suburb is quarantined. It sets up a lot of questions for the reader. Who would you trust? If you isolated your family, would you allow anyone else in? What when the usual services go off? I found this, although long, a really interesting and quite worrying read. I liked the family and wished the best for them. The characters were very well drawn, especially Zac, the teenager, whose principles were bright and shiny and sometimes clashed with his parents’ pragmatism. A great read.

About the author
Amanda Hickie lives a brisk walk from Coogee Beach in Sydney with her two computer oriented sons and husband and two non-computer oriented cats.


Just a thought

I love the solitude of reading. I love the deep dive into someone else's story, the delicious ache of a last page ― Naomi Shihab Nye

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