Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Out Now
Synopsis: There is a deadly virus spreading around the world. At first it is a distant alarm bell in the background of Hannah’s comfortable sir urban 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 former 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?
Before This Is Over is a fascinating and believable look at what could happen when an epidemic, which begins in Asia, rapidly spreads resulting in the majority of the world’s population seriously ill and dying. The author was inspired to write this after living in Canada during the SARS outbreak in Toronto which makes this all the more interesting. The story looks at the effects of this calamity on one family living in Sydney, Australia. Hannah and Sean are your perfectly ordinary couple with two sons, teenage Zac and five-year-old Oscar. As soon as the first case of the Manba virus is reported, Hannah becomes obsessed about protecting her family, even while Sean and her colleagues at work tell her she needs to calm down. Hannah’s actions as well as the story brings up several thought-provoking questions. What would you do if a deadly epidemic broke out? Would you go from stockpiling food and other essentials, to stop working and socializing, and basically barricade yourself in your house? And most importantly, where is the line between assisting and having compassion for others and just looking out for yourself and your family? And finally, how would the world cope with the loss of electricity and other essential utilities? Hannah may not always be likable, but what she does in order to protect her family is understandable. The story itself starts out a little slow, but picks up after the first few chapters. The biggest issue I had was with the ending. It was extremely rushed and seemed to be just thrown in at the last minute. Overall though, I thought Before This Is Over to be a fascinating and realistic novel which had me questioning how I would react under similar circumstances.