How far would you go to protect your family?
Ann Brooks never thought shed have to answer that question. Then she found her limits tested by a crisis no one could prevent. Now, as her neighborhood descends into panic, she must make tough choices to protect everyone she loves from a threat she cannot even see. In this chillingly urgent novel, Carla Buckley confronts us with the terrifying decisions we are forced to make when ordinary life changes overnight.
A year ago, Ann and Peter Brooks were just another unhappily married couple trying and failing to keep their relationship together while they raised two young daughters. Now the world around them is about to be shaken as Peter, a university researcher, comes to a startling realization: A virulent pandemic has made the terrible leap across the ocean to Americas heartland.
And it is killing 50 out of every 100 people it touches.
As their town goes into lockdown, Peter is forced to return home with his beautiful graduate assistant. But the Brookses safe suburban world is no longer the refuge it once was. Food grows scarce, and neighbor turns against neighbor in grocery stores and at gas pumps. And then a winter storm strikes, and the community is left huddling in the dark.
Trapped inside the house she once called home, Ann Brooks must make life-or-death decisions in an environment where opening a door to a neighbor could threaten all the things she holds dear.
Carla Buckley's poignant debut raises important questions to which there are no easy answers, in an emotionally riveting tale of one family facing unimaginable stress.
©2010 Carla Buckley (P)2010 Random House
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
It seems unlikely that a book about an apocalyptic catastrophe could be boring, but this book pulls it off. These characters are stilted and are just too dumb to live. Scene after scene does not make sense. The family is starving and they know a neighbor with lots of food is dead yet it takes forever before it occurs to them they should go get the food. The actions of the characters just don't seem real. It was like Ozzie and Harriet meets H1N1. I can see that there were plot reasons for all the stupidity, but the author has put setting up minor plot elements above believable characters.
...or unlikeable characters.
A pity. I've read two other books by this author and really liked them. This (her first novel) is amazingly boring and annoying. That's a real feat. It's not often that a possible apocalypse is so deadly dull.
When the reader doesn't care if all the main characters die--and in fact may wish the main character (Ann) and her obnoxious older daughter (95% of her dialogue is her saying mean or snotty things) succumb to the avian flu, that's a problem. As for the rest: the ex husband is boring but decent and intelligent, unlike his horrid ex-wife; his foreign grad student was a missed opportunity--her character was not at all explored; the 8-yr-old daughter was the only one who was likeable albeit not particularly interesting.
The book was about 4 hours too long. I "fast forwarded" through those last hours. Just way too much internal dialogue/thoughts from the awful Ann. Things take way too long to happen--even boring things: Did we really need to listen to 4 minutes of Ann trying to find her keys and all her thoughts about where they could be? Who could have moved them? No, surely not Peter--he wouldn't have done that, and on and on for 4 minutes. So very much of the book was like that.
The audio narrator didn't really help things either.
The only part I liked: the epilogue.
I truly enjoyed this book and completely disagree that it was boring. This book made me question what I found wrong and right and why. What are my moral limits. What will I do and NOT do. This book really made me think about my life and love. I found myself questioning everything and finally had a conversation with my best friend as to why we do what we do and when it is acceptable and unacceptable. I love forward to her next book. However, I do have to say that I did not think that 'love story' was robust enough. I didn't understand why she felt this love for him nor him for her. I would truly recommend this book to all.
Books are a big part of my life. Happiness is a beautiful evening on the houseboat with a good book :)
This story slowly winds up so stick with it because by the last 3 hours or so, you won't want to stop. Performance was excellent and a great match for the story. I've listened to so many books but this is the first one that got me emotional. I feel like I have been on this journey with all of them. Carla Buckley has become one of my favourite authors!
It was a little too long. The mother bear instinct was so strong in the main character that I found it annoying at times. I felt like shaking her like "enough already!". It does make you question how far would you go for your friends and neighbors and to protect your family.
I said it wasn't a typical book for me because it seemed "out there" as far as what was happening to the country...At least I hope it is "out there" and we never see the likes of it.
Definitely worth a listen. It was a good car ride book.
From the very first word to the very last, this book had my complete attention and heart. It portrays struggles and victories defeats and successes and shows the amazing courage of the human spirit. I recommend this book for anyone with a heart for other living things.
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