Monday, July 12, 2010

Z for Zachariah, by Robert C O'Brien

This is marketed as a children's/youth fiction, it was in the juvenile section of my library.  No doubt that is all correct and the proper place for this book.  None-the-less (or maybe b/c of this) I loved this book.  I finished it, in fact, over my lunch hour and really could have used a break after finishing.  The description of the post-nuclear garden of eden where our 16 year old protagonist lives, and how she survives, was mesmerizing.  The care with which she nurses the stranger back from his near fatal exposure to radiation, and then the slow, ominous turn the story takes.
The death of her long lost dog (why do the dogs always have to die?) really touched me, as the protagonist had to sacrifice the dog in order to save herself from death (or a life of slavery?).  The ending, which I understand was written by O'brien's wife posthumously was both dark & uplifting at the same time.  I'm not sure how this book would have impacted me as a teen, but I really wish I had read it back then.

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