It’s December 2023 and the world as we know it has ended. The human race has been wiped out by a virus called 6 DM (Six Days Maximum– the longest you’ve got before your body destroys itself). But somehow, in London, one woman is still alive. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants, hiding how she feels and desperately trying to fit in. A woman who is entirely unprepared to face a future on her own.
Now, with only an abandoned golden retriever for company, she must travel through burning cities, avoiding rotting corpses and ravenous rats on a final journey to discover if she really is the last surviving person on earth.
Number of Pages: 368 pages
Date of Publication: 04/02/2021
The author of this book is Bethany Cliff and Last One at the Party is her debut novel. The beautiful cover design was created by Jo Myler.
Published by Hodder & Stoughton.
Post-apocalyptic fiction with a female character that had struggle to fit into society and also to hide who she really is and what she really wanted to do. After a virus managed to kill everyone she must learn to survive on her own. It’s a book with drama, horror, emotional moments and with some dark humour.
This book is definitely not for everyone, not just because of how descriptive it was but because there are some references to coronavirus which is a topic that some people might try to avoid. The story is well written and is very well described so it can be a bit gruesome but that is expected if you are talking about a virus and widespread death. The story is told by our main character (we never learn her name) and she is describing how she is surviving after nearly everyone else is gone but also there are flashbacks to just before the pandemic started where we get to know more about the characters and about her life.
We find out from our nameless protagonist what happened during the last couple weeks in England and around the world with the virus and we also learn about her life, friends, work and why she has made some questionable decisions after the pandemic. She is trying to survive without knowing what to do and hiding from reality. She also suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and we learn about how this has affected her life before and after the pandemic.
The narrative jumps between the ongoing story of her survival and flashbacks of her life before and this is structured extremely well with small details being revealed in these flashbacks to explain her sometimes hard to justify behaviour and also to tie them together. Every new element that is revealed changes how you understand the story and this kept me very engaged with the writing.
I enjoyed the book and the story although I do have to say that at first I didn’t like the main character but throughout the story until the last page I learned about her life and struggles and understand and sympathise with her. The end will surprise everyone but also make you wonder if maybe there is more to tell.
“The end of everything was her beginning”
The cover of this book is just beautiful, I am in love with the design.
Availability: The book is available in all good bookshops. My exclusive edition is from Waterstones.