In a post-apocalyptic America, a man and his young son try to make the journey south, where they hope to find a life where they can do more than just survive. At the moment, they are just about managing to stay alive in a barren world where houses and stores have been plundered and ruined, and every stranger they encounter is a very real threat.
This is an amazing book. The relationship between the man and the boy – who remain unnamed throughout the novel – is totally believeable. They are both all that the other has, and the man will do anything to protect his son, while the son puts all his faith and trust into his father. The pair show the lengths that people will go to to survive, while still trying to hold onto their humanity; they also show the reserves of strength and thought that people find in such situations, where they are having to consider their every action and deed.
The bare landscape is also portrayed magnificently, and is frighteningly imaginable. The language is very clean, with no unnecessary words; the barren-ness of the prose reflects the barren-ness of the country.
The characters are also beautifully portrayed, with the close relationship between them really coming through. I was completely immersed in the bleak world in which they found themselves, and felt their hopes and dreams, disappointments and despair.
I was drawn into this book from the very first pages, and didn’t want to put it down. I was anxious to get to the end to find out what would be the fate of these two characters, but when I finished it, I wished that there was still more to read.
A very thought provoking novel that will stay with me for a long time – highly recommended.
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