Not long from now, in a recognisable yet changed London, Signy and Matthew lead a dull, difficult life. They’ve only really stayed together for the sake of their six year old son, Jed. But they’re surviving, just about. Until the day the technology that runs their world stops working. Unable to use their phones or pay for anything, Matthew assumes that this is just a momentary glitch in the computers that now run the world.But then the electricity and gas are cut off. Even the water stops running. And the pollination drones – vital to the world, ever since the bees all died – are behaving oddly. People are going missing. Soldiers are on the streets. London is no longer safe.A shocking incident sends Signy and Jed on the run, desperate to flee London and escape to the small village where Signy grew up. Determined to protect her son, Signy will do almost anything to survive as the world falls apart around them. But she has no idea what is waiting for them outside the city…
SUSUSANNAH WISE is an actor and writer who grew up in London and the Midlands. The death of her father in 2015 was the catalyst for THIS FRAGILE EARTH. His preoccupation with astronomy and the beauty of the night sky formed the jumping-off point for the story. Susannah studied at the Faber Academy, graduating in September 2018, during which time she wrote a second, more peculiar novel. Both books have been longlisted for the Mslexia prize. She lives in London with her partner and son.
My thoughts: this was a really interesting take on the end of the world fiction. Suddenly all the power has gone out and the robots we’ve outsourced so much to have started behaving weirdly. Society breaks down, because people, and Signy decides to flee London with her son. They have some encounters along the way, some frightening, some not, but the eerie feeling remains, what are the robots up to?
I felt for Signy, determined to be the best she could in a terrifying reality but I found Jed and his irritating know it all stance annoying – the way he talked to his mother like she was stupid sometimes grated. You’re alone with these two characters a lot of the time as a reader, and you do root for them to survive, the horror they’ve left behind and the way Signy’s fear gets her to cycle all the way to Northamptonshire is incredible. There is, like Pandora’s box, hope in the end thankfully. I’ve read a lot of apocalypse fiction recently (must be something in the air) and the lack of hope can be a struggle.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.