In the midst of a devastating epidemic, how far will a desperate mother go to keep her loved ones safe?
There is a deadly virus spreading around the world. At first it is a distant alarm bell in the background of Hannah's comfortable suburban life. Then suddenly, it has arrived on the doorstep.
The virus traps Hannah, her husband, and their young sons in their city, then their neighborhood, and finally their own home. As a formerly idyllic backyard and quiet street become battlefields, fear and compassion collide. But what happens when their water supply is cut, and then the power, and the food supply dwindles?
Chilling and suspenseful, at once deeply personal and terrifying in its implications, BEFORE THIS IS OVER invites us to imagine what a family must do to survive when pushed to the extreme.
Hannah Halloran, the heroine of Australian author Hickie's tense debut, worries that an insidious epidemic, which originated in Asia, has invaded her suburban Australian town. She begins stockpiling food and keeping her sons, teenage Zac and five-year-old Oscar, home from school. Hannah's obsession with storing food and avoiding the public intensifies when the first cases are rumored to have occurred in a nearby town. Her husband, Sean, and her employer think she's overreacting. When neighbors begin to die, others no longer doubt her. Under these circumstances, how does one cope with entertaining an active child or feeding a growing, whiny teenager, who eats as if supermarkets are still open and refuses to understand why he can't use the Internet? Neighbors turning on neighbors is expected, but society is beyond broken when a family turns on itself. Hickie realistically depicts how isolation and the threat of disease affect one family, especially when electricity, water, and other services break down.
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Before this is over
This has got to be the worst book I have ever read.