A Beginning at the End

How do you start over after the beginnin of the world?

Six months after a global pandemic wiped out most of the lanet ’ s inhabitant, the survivors are rebuilding the country, split between self-governing cities, hippie communes and wasteland gangs.

In postapocalyptic San Francisco, former pop star Moira has created a new identity to finally escape her past—until her domineering father launches a sweeping public search to track her down. Desperate for a fresh start herself, jaded event planner Krista navigates the world on behalf of those too traumatized to go outside, determined to help everyone move on—even if they don ’ t want to. Rob survived the catastrophe with his spouse, Sunny, but lost his ife. When strict government rules threaten to separate parent and child, Rob needs to prove himself worthy in the ity ’ s lips by connecting with people again.

Krista, Moira, Rob and Sunny are brought together by ircumstance, and their lives begin to twine together. But when reports of another outbreak throw the fragile society into panic, the friends are forced to finally face everything that came before—and everything they still stand to lose.

Because sometimes having one person is enough to keep the world going.
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Published January 14th 2020 by MIRA Books

Community Reviews

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gave it

This book strikes the perfect balance of dystopian collapse from major medical event ( who does n't love rubbernecking at that train wreck?), and a fresh start for humanity.

We meet Tom and Sunny, and we find a father trying his best to shepherd his daughter through a broken world to find the lovin and joy that still exists on the other side of tragedy.

gave it

We follow four characters and their intertwining stories: Moira ( or MoJo) an ex pop star trying to escape her past and stay hidden from her brother, Jason, a widower figuring out how to move on with life after the tragic passing of his girlfriend, Krista, a woman trying to make sure of herself and forget her terrible childhood, and Sunny, Rob ’ s sister, a kid growing up in a post apocalyptic world.The story started fairly strong.

The world building didn ’ t make a lot of sense to me for a post apocalyptic story.

They hire bounty hunters to find their loved ones.Some pockets of people reject that way of life and go out to start a new ay of life centered around farming.

But othing about the world really felt like it ended.

Something in post apocalyptic life in the metro centers seem mostly normal.

I guess in the beginnin I just didn ’ t buy into the world building.It was really driven home when one random character states the metro ( s) of New England are still struggling due to winter storms while Minneapolis was doing alright.

Minneapolis gets more snow then much of New England.

I realize this is one tiny line in the entir nove, and hey, sometimes southern New England has a brutal winter, but as a whole it felt overwhelmingly under researched.Another example ( warning, spoilers ahead) is when the government decides that Sunny would be better off without her dad because her dad, who holds a job and raises her alone and yeah, is grieving, but otherwise okay, is “ unstable ”.

gave it

The grittiness juxtaposed against open-mindedness ( with, yes, some sanctimonious -- we are awesome, and we know it) is pretty typically San Francisco, and Chen did a excellent job portraying it in the setting.I just wish that more was happening.

gave it

It 's a great character study in perseverance and love, especially in how vulnerable we must be to connect with others.

I love how everyone went through the same apocalypse, but of course each character processes it and internalizes it in various ways.

gave it

It 's the sor of science fiction that gives you hope for the future.The story is told through the POVs of four very different characters, all fighting through their personal traumas to create new lives in the ftermath of a flu pandemic.

This essa is n't for everybod.

gave it

Chen weaves a powerful and moving narrative that ties together a complex nucleus of fleshed out characters … Moira, Krista, Rob and his sibling ( with the specter of his dead fiance, Elena) Each of the protagonists are flawed and imperfect … carrying secrets and baggage that guides their motivations and actions.

The retellin is beautiful and moving and attests to the strength of love, friendship and humanity.

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