Synopsis First…My Review After

Philip K. Dick Award Winner for Distinguished Science Fiction

When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead.

In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth’s population—killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant—the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power—and the strong who possess it.

A few women like her survived, though they are scarce. Even fewer are safe from the clans of men, who, driven by fear, seek to control those remaining. To preserve her freedom, she dons men’s clothing, goes by false names, and avoids as many people as possible. But as the world continues to grapple with its terrible circumstances, she’ll discover a role greater than chasing a pale imitation of independence.

After all, if humanity is to be reborn, someone must be its guide.

Here’s What I Thought…

A dark yet hopeful story of our world without the miracle of birth and the continuation of human life as we know it.

I LOVED this book! 5 Stars for sure! It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book in the post apocalyptic genre that was different and told a story I didn’t feel like I had heard before. I say that this is different, but if I had to make any sort of comparison, I would say it reminds me of The Earth Abides by George R. Stewart. This a debut novel by Meg Elison who writes as if she has been doing this for years and years. This story takes the reader on a journey through sadness, strength, and perseverance by a main character whose name we never even know. She is strong and wise beyond her years which proves fruitful and life saving in many ways. A flu-like virus has swept the planet wiping out men, women and newborn babies. Our main character goes by the pseudonyms Dusty and then Jane when she meets different survivors along the terrifying and desolate road. It is a worldwide tragedy which sets the story in motion and has a lasting effect on our population. Without new births, the population stalls and women become used for bartering and hordes of other terrible things including rape and slavery. Dusty/Jane was a nurse and midwife when all of this began, and she moves along the road with all sorts of birth control medications in order to help save women’s lives. After much time has passed Dusty/Jane is able to find some sort of settlement, but what will become of the world as we know it? Will women ever bare living children again? This was such a fantastic story!

I really enjoyed the structure of this book. The author would stay on track with the main character for the most part, but would veer off and finish a small characters storyline out randomly. I liked that she did that so that we as readers felt closure even if I wasn’t always happy with where the minor characters wound up. I also thought that it was an interesting concept to have Dusty/Jane be a bit gender fluid. She had to really change her persona to a male figure in order to survive a mostly male filled world. In her past, she also was fluid in who she loved. She had been in relationships with women, but her longest relationship was with a man named Jack who she lost during the virus outbreak.

I definitely recommend it to fellow readers especially those who enjoy post apocalyptic stories that span generations into our future as a species. Even if you aren’t interested in this genre, I think you will enjoy it because of the well written characters and story. It also is very intriguing to think about what would happen if our world changed so drastically. One final disclaimer is that there is some dark subject matter so if that is a trigger for you, avoid this one.

If you want to buy this one…here is the link!

Happy Reading!

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I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author and publisher for this opportunity.