Then, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


A blasted world. A broken heart. A shattering betrayal. Heartlessness has become the law. In the wasted ruins of London, a woman pieces together fragments of her memory.

As her past emerges, her own apocalypse begins. Then is a novel of singular invention and bravery.

With it, Julie Myerson has created an echo chamber of the heartbreaking and the terrifying, and an enduring dystopian vision.


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London, and a curious apocalypse has befallen the city. One February day, the temperature soared. At first, Londoners basked in the unseasonal warmth, but as buildings began to erupt into flames, exuberance turned to panic. Then the temperature dropped again and snow began to fall, plunging Britain into a frozen permafrost. The tale is related by a narrator who struggles to remember what happened, or who she is. Holed up in an office building in the City with a small group of strangers, she experiences flashbacks and begins to catch small glimpses of her life as it was before. Eventually, the truth is unveiled and the collision of personal tragedy and collective disaster comes to light.I love a good disaster movie, and the meteorological catastrophe underpinning this story hit all the buttons for me. Myerson's descriptions of a familiar city in crisis were evocative and, at times, moving. The characters are excellent. Each earns their own place in the story, and Myerson has created a story with no more or no fewer characters than were required to carry out the plot. In particular, I thought the narrator's voice was very well-written, with stark confusion and misunderstanding pervasive throughout.My only gripe is that it takes a long time to get going. The first few chapters are entirely disjointed, which is vital to understanding the narrator's state of mind, but I felt this part of the book was longer than it needed to be. If you start to lose patience halfway through - don't! Persevere, and it gets much better towards the end. You'll be glad you did.

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