A Novel

Book - 2014 | First edition
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"The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they've left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable in the face of hardship and isolation. Mourning a past they can't reclaim, they seek solace in each other. But the tentative existence they've built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she's pregnant. Terrified of the unknown and unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses dangers of its own. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316250818
Branch Call Number: F LEPUC-E
Characteristics: 393 pages ; 25 cm


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Oct 10, 2018

Absolutely horrendous. The author obviously knows _nothing_ about the area she sets her story in, nor about wilderness survival. She doesn't even try to provide an explanation for pivotal background events (that is, why society has fallen apart). She has no political or social points to make. The writing in places is quite awkward as she tries way too hard to come up with original analogies and descriptions. And her central character is dumb as a box of rocks.

Jun 03, 2018

meh - not a great book

Jan 21, 2018


LPL_KateG Jan 02, 2018

I am late to the party on this one, but listened to the audiobook (available on Hoopla!) and enjoyed the story. It was not my favorite post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel, BUT it had an intriguing storyline, interesting (read: not super lovable) characters, and made me think about how we'd treat various communities and lifestyles in the wake of disaster.

Cynthia_N Jun 17, 2017

This felt like a softer take on the post-apocalyptic trend. The U.S. as we know has deteriorated to a point where it is no longer recognizable. Frieda and Cal have been doing fine out on their own but now Frieda is pregnant and wants to find people. It does have a few twists and turns and I enjoyed it!

bickjd Mar 01, 2016

The near-future dystopia that Lepucki has imagined seems all too plausible for comfort. Lack of economic opportunity and destructive environmental hazards have devastated the west coast. The dominant commodity is now a sense of safety. Whether that means being held up in one of the high-priced-Orwellian "Communities", or creating a fortified commune in the woods. This story illustrates the different lengths people will go to feel secure, and the different meanings or interpretations of what security is.

Secrets play an important role in the plot, as if they were a character themselves.

Jan 11, 2016

Dystopian fiction: so hot right now. This buzz book from 2014 (see the Colbert bump) is a dreary, lackluster post-apocalyptic tale that takes place in. . .California! Who knew it'd be so boring? Has some similarities to Walker Percy's "Love in the Ruins."

Nov 05, 2015

I was loaned this one at the same time as Neal Stephenson's 'Reamde', which is twice as long and took half the time to read. Lepucki appears still to be working on her craft. Conceptually intriguing, this story is saddled by odd, tangential dialog and not-particularly-insightful psychology of people. Ending is convenient for author and mystifying for this reader: one of the bigger duds I've encountered.

Feb 19, 2015

A slow crumble of government and civilization (widespread blackouts, food shortages, gasoline prices inflated to the point that only the wealthy can afford to travel) compels two twenty-something newlyweds to relocate to the remote woods and live off the land.

This book had the potential to be so much more than it was. The writing was not top quality, which drove me to distraction throughout. The plot also felt overwrought at times, and in the end the story was just not ringing true; I couldn't get past the poorly written melodrama of the couple's relationship or the fact that the most intriguing components of the story were often glazed over.

All in all, as a lover of apocalypse/dystopia, I would not rate this very highly among its genre.

Dec 04, 2014

A complete disappointment. Characters are totally unlikable and I found myself wanting to mentally slap all of them repeatedly thruout for their blatant stupidity.
Author made it appear that main characters at book's end are on the way to living happily ever after, totally ignoring a huge looming disaster disclosed earlier, but not in such a way as to invite a sequel...which I wouldn't read anyway. The "finale" seemed to be a rush job.

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