Published by Katherine Tegen Books on September 24th 2013
Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.
Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….
With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.
I have been in the worst book hangover for the past week and a half, after finishing ‘The Orphan Queen‘. I tried reading a few books, but nothing really grabbed me and dragged me back into reading, until I picked up this book from my TBR. I drank this book up in a day. ( No pun intended) It has been one of the best books I have read this year! ( And a fantastic book to read in the middle of a snow storm! )
The concept of this book, was amazing. The idea of needing to camp beside a pond, and protect it to survive, blew my mind. Reading this book, REALLY makes you thankful for running water. The world building was amazing, but it’s a world that would be extremely scary to live in. Sometimes the scariest things are not zombies, vampires, or monsters. Sometimes the scariest places are people who are struggling to live, just like you. Not knowing what will happen if you run out of water, the idea of moving away from a place that has been a safe spot for you for so long – That seems so scary to me. I loved it.
Lynn is one of those strong, female leads who has had to grow up faster then most women her age. Her mother has taught her to live in a world where she could die any day, from lack of food or fresh water. She focused on the important things Lynn needed to know, like how to cure meat, purify the water to the best of their ability, and how to protect herself from the dangers in the world such as men, animals, and the weather. Her mother chose to skip over teaching her sex, or what happens when most men in that world attacked a woman (Rape).
Lynn and her mother shoot anyone who comes near their pond, they know how important it is to keep others away from the water. They have one neighbor, Stebbs, who leaves them to their own devices. We see more of Stebbs later on in the book, and I love his character so much. He admits to making mistakes in his past, and works hard to make up for those. He’s a strong working man despite the struggle he has with his leg where he had gangrene.
I think Lucy came into the picture, at the perfect time in Lynns life. She brought something into her life, that was missing. To me, that would be enjoying life through the eyes of a child. She reminds Lynn that not everyone needs to be killed, that even some men are struggling with issues just like they are. She brings out a mothering side of Lynn that I feel suits her so well. Lucy is another favorite of mine from the book, and I can’t wait to read ‘In a Handful of Dust‘ which is based around Lucy as a teen.
The ending of the book, and some of the characters that came into play near the end, made this book perfect. It was not what I was expecting as an ending, I was honestly expecting something worse to happen. There is no part of this book I disliked or did not enjoy. It was wonderful. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fantastic book to read. My review of book two will be coming soon!