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Z for Zachariah - Robert C. O'Brien

Z for Zachariah is an interesting novel. It is a post-apocalyptic tale which focuses on two characters inhabiting this new world and leaves most discussion of what has caused it by the wayside. For the most part, this works well, as the reader is in the same position as primary character Ann Burden. Z for Zacharia tells the story of a man, Mr. Loomis, arriving when Ann believed she might be the very last person on Earth.

Ann is a sixteen-year-old who has survived the fallout by remaining in a small valley where her family's farm resides. The only problem with this is that her mother, father, and two brothers ventured from the valley and have never returned. This poses a problem from the readers' sense as the book is written from Ann's point of view, and it's a very detached one. In my mind, it does make some sense as she may have distanced herself from her emotions in order to survive in this world where she believes she is the only one left, with only the company of some farm animals, but it does leave the character feeling a bit stale.

Z for Zachariah reads at a steady pace, picking up speed toward the end as tensions begin to arise so does make for a quick read. Some might have issues with the very black and white nature of the story, but in this case, it makes for an interesting character study.

Worth a read for anybody interested in the human side of the post-apocalyptic novel and perhaps those looking to write their first book.