The Last Woman in the World by Inga Simpson

Published: 2021 1. First lines. 2. Cover Hachette 3. Ghostly smoke. [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia 4. Woman’s face [Public Domain] via pexels 5. Forest fire [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia

Rachel lives alone in a secluded house deep in the Australian bush. One night, she is disturbed by a visitor – a young woman with a sick baby asking for help. Rachel reluctantly decides to accompany them to get help, even though the woman tells Rachel of a deadly illness sweeping through the country.

“This isn’t happening.”

BOOK SNAPS: For me, this wasn’t a ”gripping apocalyptic thriller” (The Guardian), although there are parts that are quite nerve-racking. The strong parts of this book are the descriptions of the natural environment, as noted by Arts Hub: “Simpson is a renowned nature writer, and much of the novel’s power lies in its reverence for the natural environment. The sharp, sensory descriptions of the Monaro landscape are made sombre by the ever-present evidence of cataclysmic bushfires: blackened trees, a persistent haze.”

Quotes:


“Outside, the unsettling wind that had hung around for days had finally stilled. The floor-to-ceiling windows gave her a clear view up the slope to the bluff. Straggly ironbarks and mahogany gums clung on. She could see only trees and rocks, nothing man-made for miles. Lorikeets chirruped and squawked in the treetops, little rainbows every one of them, more beaut than anything she could make.”

”The place was a fortress. Whatever was happening out there couldn’t reach her. In the studio working the glass, Rachel wasn’t afraid.”

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