ISBN: 9780099554721 Global Overview for this book
1 journaler for this copy...
Very strange, unsettling, surreal story here, with a narrator who's suffering from amnesia and what seems to be severe PTSD - not surprisingly, given what she's been through, though we don't learn the details until nearly the end of the story. The early hints are more than enough to suggest very good reasons why she seems to have little short-term memory, often denying having met the other survivors she's staying with - over and over again.
But her memory loss isn't the only issue. While she and the handful of others attempt to scrounge supplies while hiding the entry to their haven from more violent survivors, she finds herself roaming the office building they've settled in, often having visions of the building in pre-apocalypse days, when the power was on and the machines humming and the workers busy... Are these memories? Ghosts? Hallucinations?
The details of the apocalypse are devastating even though we never get a clear explanation for the cause: some kind of pulse of heat caused spontaneous fires, apparently worldwide (though we only see the effects on the greater London area), and was followed by punishing cold. All power and communications were lost, and the immediate death toll was intense, but it seems that there are bands of survivors here and there, some vicious, others pragmatic.
Against all this, the narrator's visions become more frequent and, eventually, more personal and harrowing; and, eventually, her full story came out, or at least what felt like an accurate version despite all the shifting-perceptions of the narrative. It includes about as many adult fears as can be wedged into a single storyline, heart-wrenching and terrifying...
And, depending on how you interpret the conclusion of the book, things might be even worse - or, possibly, more hopeful; but it's difficult to discuss it at all without major spoilers. A very effective and unnerving story!
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