Tuesday 22 September 2009


Ann Burden is sixteen years old and completely alone. The world as she once knew it is gone, ravaged by a nuclear war that has taken everyone from her. For the past year, she has lived in a remote valley with no evidence of any other survivors.

But the smoke from a distant campfire shatters Ann's solitude. Someone else is still alive and making his way toward the valley. Who is this man? What does he want? Can he be trusted? Both excited and terrified, Ann soon realizes there may be worse things than being the last person on Earth.

Like I said the other day, this is a book that I should've read over twenty-years ago. Still, it's better late than never, right? Boy, I've definitely missed out on a terrific story! Seriously. I'm so glad that I finally tracked it down at the library and sat down to read it. I enjoyed it so much that I might just have to buy myself a copy. :)

After a nuclear war, Ann lives by herself in a valley that has been relatively unaffected by the radiation that ravaged the rest of the world. She lives a quiet, lonely life that is busy. She's constantly taking care of her cows and chickens, plus her cousin's dog has finally returned. She's a farmer at heart and knows how to take care of herself. Her life might not be the best, but it's safe and comfortable. And it's hers.

The day a man wearing a radiation suit arrives, her life changes forever. First, she keeps an eye on him from a distance to see if he's dangerous or not. Then one day, he takes a bath in the radiactive creek and gets sick. That's when she finally shows herself and takes care of him. Actually, she nurses him back to health, putting him before her and ensuring she does whatever she can to make sure he survives. During his fever and delirium, Ann gets to hear little snippets of his life. Nothing good, btw.

When he eventually wakes up, we start to realise that Mr. Loomis has a lot of problems. He's possessive, paranoid, rude, demanding and controlling. He's also very creepy, and the night he sneaks into her room, Ann runs and hides in her cave. This is when everything goes downhill. The guy's nuts and cooks up one scheme after another to get her back. He can't handle her not being his. Obviously, being alone for a year without human interaction made him forget that you can't force people to like you! I mean, she liked him already and even had romantic notions about him, but when he gets all rough and forceful, Ann doesn't want anything to do with him. Who can blame her?

Mr. Loomis is an arrogant pig, and I found myself hoping that Ann would kill him. Lol. But all my dislike aside, I loved this book! It was a magnificent study of what happens to people during absolute devastation. Some deal with it by taking each day at a time (Ann) and making the most of what they have. While others (Mr. Loomis) go totally nuts.

Last word: fantastic book told in a very intimate way. Loved it!

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