Kristin Walcott Figueroa's Reviews > The Dead and the Gone

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
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's review
Sep 04, 2012

it was amazing
Read from September 04 to 09, 2012

Wow! What at devastatingly haunting and sobering book. To read this now, in the year 2012, with all of the talk of the end of the world, is quite thought-provoking and frankly, horrifying. This account of how the end my come is chilling and agonizing and quite plausible. Perhaps not the part about the moon getting knocked off its access, but certainly the slow creeping hand of death.

The setting for the novel is New York City. An asteroid slams into the moon and changes its position relative to Earth. And thus, the story begins. It chronicles the first seven months following the shifting of the moon. The deterioration of the atmosphere, the city, and the personal living conditions of the Morales family are frightening.

The story is told in a very quiet, human way. It is not a book filled with explosions and heroic action figures. Instead, it is a slow, drawn-out progression from the mild annoyance of power outages to the horrible reality of starvation. By no means does this imply boring. In fact, I could not put it down. I had to find out what was going to happen to Alex and his sisters.

Ultimately, it is a story about family, strength, love, fortitude, faith, and hope. And yet, the way it unfolds punches you in the gut and makes your heart ache. You can imagine it. You can smell it, see it, and feel it. Many times I was moved to tears. Thankfully, you can close the book and leave it behind. And as a result, feel blessed for all that you have. It also emphasizes that hope is a tremendous motivator. When you lose hope, there is nothing more to live for.

I read this book because my fourteen-year-old son chose it from his school’s summer reading list. It had quite and impact on him. He often talked about the book while he was reading it and recommended that I read it. While I don’t know that I would have encouraged him to read something so dire and sad, his response to it showed me what a compassionate and remarkable individual he is becoming. I am glad he suggested I read it, and I applaud the author for such a realistic and sobering experience.

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