Not Alone

Doubleday. May 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780385548434. $28. SF
DEBUT The effects of climate change had been felt for a while, but the microplastic storm quickly and unexpectedly decimated the population, leaving few survivors and no functioning infrastructure. Katie was home in London during the storm, but her fiancé Jack went to work that day and never returned. Five years later, Katie is trying to survive with her young son Harry, who was born after the storm and has never been outside, where it’s still hazardous. They are isolated in their abandoned apartment building, but when Katie discovers an old letter from Jack, she has new hope that he’s alive. That hope, encroaching threats, and her declining health spur her to take a harrowing journey across the UK in search of Jack. Interspersed with flashbacks of life before the storm, the story captures not only the physical harshness of Katie’s life after this catastrophic event but also her emotional anguish over what she’s lost, balanced by her fierce love for her son.
VERDICT Ecologist Jackson makes her debut with this engrossing postapocalyptic cli-fi thriller that will have readers anxiously turning the pages and questioning their use of plastic.
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