It’s June now and – wow! am I behind on my #40books40years reading challenge! This spring got away from me with a new-state move and a major medical mishap for one of my kids. The second book in my list (you can see MY chosen books here) needed to be set in Nebraska. This challenge basically takes something monumental from each year of my life. I was born and raised in Nebraska so I wanted to read a book set there but something different than your standard pioneer, My Antionia – Little House genre.
Above All Men Review
Where to begin with this book? I didn’t want a “pioneer, pull yourself up by the bootstraps” kind of book and this was a great choice. However, it is much darker than my normal books of choice. It isn’t quite all the way to post-apocalypse but it is definitely full of misery and desperation . . . and dust…. so much dust. The tone and characters are consistent.
The main character, David, is a veteran just trying to scratch out a living in a collapsed society. No oil, no water, no technology. He is living with PTSD trying to maintain a marriage and a relationship with his son. Maybe it’s because I’m a married woman but I found David’s choices infuriating in many parts. He often leaves his family to pursue justice for other community members, ignoring pleas from his wife to put their own family first.
When a young neighbor girl is murdered the book carries you along on David’s pursuit of justice and his own personal collapse. The end events in the book come pretty quickly and it feels like a lot was crammed into the last few chapters.
Overall, this book gives me a lot to think about. What will happen if (when) the environment collapses? Do we have the infrastructure in place to compensate? What would people do when entire sectors of the economy are wiped out? How would issues such as PTSD be dealt with if there are no capable organizations in place? As I mentioned, this book is pretty dark. I wouldn’t say the author extends hope but there are a few places where sun shines through the dust clouds.
Should You Read It?
If you enjoy post-collapse fiction this might be for you. If you don’t, then give it a shot and see if you get in to it. If you don’t find it compelling don’t waste any time feeling guilty about not finishing a book. 🙂
P.s. I just joined Goodreads so feel free to join me there, too! Can’t wait to see what you are reading!