Title: Find Me
Author: Laura van den Berg
Date finished: 4/11/15
Genre: Not quite sure. Fiction. Apocalyptic. Psychological. This one’s hard to label.
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: February 17, 2015
Pages in book: 270
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Blurb from the cover:
After two acclaimed story collections, Laura van den Berg brings us Find Me, her highly anticipated debut novel–a gripping, imaginative, darkly funny tale of a young woman struggling to find her place in the world.
Joy has no one. She spends her days working the graveyard shift at a grocery store outside Boston and nursing an addiction to cough syrup, an attempt to suppress her troubled past. But when a sickness that begins with memory loss and ends with death sweeps the country, Joy, for the first time in her life, seems to have an advantage: she is immune. When Joy’s immunity gains her admittance to a hospital in rural Kansas, she sees a chance to escape her bleak existence. There she submits to peculiar treatments and follows seemingly arbitrary rules, forming cautious bonds with other patients–including her roommate, whom she turns to in the night for comfort, and twin boys who are digging a secret tunnel.
As winter descends, the hospital’s fragile order breaks down and Joy breaks free, embarking on a journey from Kansas to Florida, where she believes she can find her birth mother, the woman who abandoned her as a child. On the road in a devastated America, she encounters mysterious companions, cities turned strange, and one very eerie house. As Joy closes in on Florida, she must confront her own damaged memory and the secrets she has been keeping from herself.
My rating: 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5
This book will count for the challenge I am participating in for April, the #ReadingMyLibrary reading challenge. I saw this book at the Terryville Library
and I had seen it in one of the recent Book Page publications I think so I thought I would try it. This book was interesting from the start, with a description of an epidemic that has swept the nation, wiping out much of the population in its path. Silver blisters begin appearing on a person’s skin and then their memory starts to go, to the point where they forget what a job or a house or a hand is. Their mind gets eaten away until the person can no longer function and they end up dying. This disease is spread through any kind of human contact, but mysteriously certain people who come into contact with it don’t succumb to the sickness. Joy is one of these lucky few. She came into contact early on in the epidemic but never came down with any symptoms.
Its because of this that she ends up at the Hospital, where Dr. Bek is studying various individuals to try and discover a cure to the sickness. Due to a strange series of events, Joy ends up escaping from the hospital to try and find her mother who abandoned her when she was only a month old. Joy is only about 20 years old by the time she leaves the Hospital but she’s already seen a lot of tragedy and hardship in life.
A lot of weird $h!t happens in this book. The story line was so extremely interesting and the idea behind the book was really thought provoking. After the epidemic ends many survivors end up killing themselves, some out of anger that they survived when their families didn’t and some because they just can’t manage to live in the America that’s developed as a result of the epidemic. The after effects seem to come in waves, the tragedy creating a ripple effect throughout the nation. Other weird stuff happens too. I don’t want to give away too much of the book so I can’t describe all the weird stuff that happens. This book was really interesting, but I have to be honest its not my usual kind of book. It was dark and heavy and weird and thought-provoking and interesting and weird all rolled into one big ball of interesting weird.
The bottom line: Very very interesting, a little dark though. Not exactly my style but I would recommend it.
Link to author website
Link to Amazon