30 Days of Books, Day 6: Are Those Crocodile Tears?

Day 06 – A Book That Makes You Sad

Twilight makes me sad because Stephanie Meyer makes shedloads of money for writing (badly) a piece of trash literature that encourages the female protagonist to be needy, dependent and useless.

And then, just to spread the love, they made movies with people who can’t act don’t act while doing them.

Thankfully, Daughter has never read it.

I have, and it’s dreadful.

Not sure that a book has ever made me cry because it was a sad story.

Not if I wasn’t post partum – they call them the Four Days Blues for a reason, you know – or menopausal – I cried at everything when I was menopausal. In fact, I was never so glad to leave a phase of my life behind as that. Though I miss the central heating – I didn’t wear a sweater for years!

And after all that, I remembered this book: Carla Buckley’s The Things That Keep Us Here.

I enjoyed this book a lot more than expected, given the reviews concentrated on the writing flaws rather than the story of how a divorcing couple and their two children survive an outbreak of H5N1 trapped in their snowed-in house. No electricity. No radio. Atmospheric and moody.

The writing flaws are there. Don’t let that get in the way of a good read, OK? Ignore A timely premise can’t quite compensate for structural deficiencies in Buckley’s lacklustre debut novel and just enjoy it.

When research scientist Peter Brooks is called to the site of a massive duck die-off, he immediately suspects that their bucolic Midwestern town has been invaded by the avian flu. Peter knows the virus is equally harmful to animals and humans, has a fatality rate of 50 percent, and has no vaccine. The town is immediately thrown into an uproar as schools are closed and grocery stores are overrun by panicked customers.

Peter moves back in with his estranged wife and two daughters, and the family hunkers down, in total survival mode. Soon, however, the electricity fails, the family runs out of food, and the adults are faced with some stark life-and-death decisions as their neighbours sicken and die.

Although Buckley’s prose is sometimes awkward, her story gradually gains depth and momentum, operating both as a psychological profile of a family under duress and as a scary, gripping look at the effects of a pandemic.

In the sense that when I read it, I wanted to change the ending, this book made me sad.

Bonus Video – I loved this off-beat song and video about one childhood memory. And it came out during my menopause.

Does a bit of the Stairway to Heaven thing there, lol!


About bookmole
I am pro-choice. You make yours, I'll make mine, okay?

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