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Publisher's Summary

Philip K. Dick Award Winner for Distinguished Science Fiction
When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead.
In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth's population - killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant - the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power - and the strong who possess it.
A few women like her survived, though they are scarce. Even fewer are safe from the clans of men, who, driven by fear, seek to control those remaining. To preserve her freedom, she dons men's clothing, goes by false names, and avoids as many people as possible. But as the world continues to grapple with its terrible circumstances, she'll discover a role greater than chasing a pale imitation of independence.
After all, if humanity is to be reborn, someone must be its guide.
©2016 Meg Elison. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Lulu on 12-26-16

"Equals" = "Annoying"

In spite of my headline, I really enjoyed this book. If not for the writer's tic of overusing "something = something", I would have given it a perfect 5 stars. The story was fascinating, and as another reviewer stated, one of the best things about the story is the author tells you how the characters the protagonist meets along the way, actually end up. Unfortunately most of them don't end up well. The other characteristic that really stood out was that the plot didn't depend on putting the main character in imminent danger over and over again, as a way to move the plot. So many books depend on continual pending disaster.

This is a post infectious disease world, where very few men and even fewer women and children survive. And the women that do survive the disease, don't seem to survive childbirth. The protagonist, a former OB/GYN nurse in a hospital encounters a wide variety of survivors and keeps a detailed diary of her life in the post-disease world.

Angela Dawe can be one of my favorite narrators. But her unique voice has to "fit" the book. She fits this book perfectly.


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34 of 36 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Brittney D. Meyers on 10-18-16

I liked it, I actually liked it.

I usually do not prefer the apocalyptic genre of book, and really, I took three risks, I didnt read any reviews, and bought the book before it was released, which is also something I do not do often. When I do it usually means I am desperate for a good book. I was not dissapinted. The author of this book pulls it off magnificently. All I can say is her characters were real to life, the situations where relatable, and what I would see as realistic under the cercumstances. There were multiple changes in views, which is a difficult art to learn, but this author mastered it, and the way she used them was refreshing. I have a select few books that I add to my paper collection. This will probably be one of them. I cannot say much more without ruining the book, but I encourage you to read it. Wonderful job, could not put the book down, and silently mourned it's finish.

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34 of 38 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By vicki on 11-13-16


Absolutely loved loved loved this listen. This was the best of its kind in such a long time. Wish I was just starting the story I stead of finished!!!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By hiude on 01-07-18

A good read or listen.

Not a gripping read or a thrilling one at that. no zombies, just reality as it may be...
It reads true to how I think things may roll, if this happened in real life. Hence it Kept me hooked for 2 days worth of listening.

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Customer Reviews

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3 out of 5 stars
By Robin on 01-30-17

Post-apocalyptic universe is terrifying

I found this story to be unrelentingly depressing. It tells of a world where a plague has wiped out most of the human race with only a few survivors, most of them men. The women have become property, hunted, kept and raped at will. The protagonist, the unnamed midwife, makes her way across the landscape surviving by pretending to be a man, helping others as much as she can. While it is quite well written, it's a bleak environment and not enjoyable. If you're a fan of this type of story, you might 'enjoy' it. Not mine.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 04-03-18

Unique perspective on the end of the world

I love reading dystopian fiction / zombie books but I am constantly disappointed that none of the male authors have considered what a female would need to do to protect herself.

The unnamed midwife has this covered in very clever ways. She is not a victim but a saviour. She is who I would want to be at the end of the world.

The story is interesting with situations outside of the ubiquitous end of the world situations (form a community, get raided, move on, repeat.

The performance of the reading was excellent

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