Joy has no one. She spends her days working the graveyard shift at a grocery store outside Boston and nursing an addiction to cough syrup, an attempt to suppress her troubled past. But when a sickness that begins with memory loss and ends with death sweeps the country, Joy, for the first time in her life, seems to have an advantage: she is immune.
When Joy's immunity gains her admittance to a hospital in rural Kansas, she sees a chance to escape her bleak existence. There she submits to peculiar treatments and follows seemingly arbitrary rules, forming cautious bonds with other patients - including her roommate, whom she turns to in the night for comfort, and twin boys who are digging a secret tunnel.
As winter descends the hospital's fragile order breaks down, and Joy breaks free, embarking on a journey from Kansas to Florida, where she believes she can find her birth mother, the woman who abandoned her as a child. On the road in a devastated America, she encounters mysterious companions, cities turned strange, and one very eerie house.
As Joy closes in on Florida, she must confront her own damaged memory and the secrets she has been keeping from herself.
©2015 Laura van den Berg (P)2015 Tantor
"The book's ambiguous conclusion may lead to rereading as the possibility of multiple interpretations is opened."(Library Journal)
It is hard to rank this book with my other books, but I enjoyed the listen and found that the author's use of masks (a common theme in her stories) translates well to the topic of the book.
I can't necessarily compare the book, but I am sure that there are quite a few books in the post-pandemic genre.
First time. She was good, not perfect, but good.
I actually finished it in one day. I started in the morning on a 5 hour drive and finished it on the return trip that evening.
I think that listeners have been overly critical of what was a refreshing take on the all-to-common theme of the world-wide outbreak. The character interaction is what I enjoyed the most about the book.
tired of surprise endings that are NO SURPRISE AT ALL...... IT'S ALWAYS THE BEST FRIEND OR THE HUSBAND THAT "DID IT"
I liked the book ok, but hate books that have no actual ending. Makes you feel like you've wasted your time bc you don't know what happened
I wish I could give this book negative stars because this is the most poorly written book I have ever laid my hands on. No wonder it didn't cost much. First and last time I will ever read this author.
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