If you liked one of the biggest books of 2016, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, then you need to check out Before This Is Over, by Amanda Hickie.
While Station Elven looked at the national consequences of a fast moving pandemic, Before This Is Over focuses on one family, and the radical changes in their comfortable suburban life necessitated by a modern plague.
An unknown, flu-like illness sweeps around the world, catching Hannah and most of the society unaware. Quick witted, if somewhat naive, Hannah races to gather her family and prepare for the undefined threat. But how much food is enough? How much water, energy, basic resources western civilization takes for granted, will the family need to survive a threatened quarantine? How long will they need to hold out, and will they be able to endure?
Most of us have never been forced to make hard decisions regarding the survival of our loved ones, let alone face the consequences of choices made regarding neighbors, children, community and friends. What emotional cost, what damage to our psyche is too much to bear?
The premise to the novel may seem farfetched to some, but author Amanda Hickie’s life in Canada gave her a unique perspective on this apocalyptic tale. Hickie and her family were living on Toronto when it became the epicenter of the 2003 SARS outbreak in that country.
Compelling, frightening and intensely personal, Before This Is Over looks at one woman’s battle for her family in a suddenly unfamiliar world.
Four out of five stars.
Netgalley provided me with a complimentary copy for review.