There are a few reasons why I read this novel. The main ones: because of the hype and because Slate Audio Book Club had such a wonderful discussion on it. I was delayed in purchasing the book so I downloaded a sample, which took the edge off my craving for the story. It was a few days before I could buy and read the entire thing and during the wait, my anticipation and expectation of the story gradually grew. However, I believe I would have had a more positive reading experience if not for the break between the sample and reading the story in its entirety.
“Time had been reset by catastrophe.”
It’s present day. You’re going about your life as you normally do. There’re news alerts about an obscure flu outbreak in a country or state not exactly close to yours. You listen to the broadcast but you’re not alarmed. The outbreaks don’t seem threatening, plus they are nowhere close to you. As days pass, you hear more announcements about outbreaks that seem to be happening more rapidly. Some hospitals are too understaffed to handle the cases; others are quarantined. Then you hear that the flu is in your city. Someone you know has the symptoms. People are afraid, even the usually unperturbed newscasters are shaken. People are getting sick and dying quickly. It’s an epidemic. But you have hope. You believe the government will sort all this out eventually so you barricade yourself in your apartment and you wait…