Monday, February 8, 2010
The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley
A good pandemic novel..., February 8, 2010
I love an apocalyptic novel! Whether it be meteor strike, nuclear event, or medical meltdown - I'm your reader. For some reason, the stark portrayals of humans trying to survive against insurmountable odds always draws me in. This one did too!
The H5N1 virus (avian flu) strikes and the entire world is held hostage against the scourges of the disease. Of course it's winter (flu season IS in winter) and it's cold and the weather is bad -- which makes everything just enough worse to create an even bleaker picture. In this book, a family takes refuge in their home -- a mother and two daughters allow an estranged husband and his lab assistant in -- and events spiral out of control from there.
Peter is a veterinarian testing water samples after a teal duck die-off when the flu hits with a vengeance. He and his assistant, an exotic Egyptian woman, come back to his house to be with his ex wife Ann and their two daughters. There is the usual scramble for food and water -- supplies and gas. The power goes off. The days are long and cold and tedious -- you get the picture. Everything is about survival. Nothing else. Neighbors come outside but everyone keeps their distance. To each their own. No sharing, no partnering or working together. Everyone is suspect. People die. The very fiber of being human is tested. How far will a person go to protect his/her family? Others in need? Will anyone help?
This is a great viral pandemic novel and I enjoyed it. There were a few things that never got answered and the book lagged a bit with a bit too much detail at times. The ending seemed a bit rushed, but all in all -- read it an enjoy!