After tomorrow by

The first raid happened on an ordinary, boring evening.
–Gillian Cross - After tomorrow - c. 2013

In the near future the economy has collapsed. Money is pretty much useless. Matt and his family have been lucky, they can grow some food and have been sensible, trading and bartering for what they need. But now the raids have started. Those with nothing are coming after those with something, no matter how small that “something” is. The only option for Matt and his family is to flee the UK. But their destination, France, may not be welcoming English refugees for much longer.

After tomorrowI’ve listed this as economic fiction, not a great made-up-genre, but if science fiction is fiction partly based on scientific developments, and fantasy fiction has fantasy then it just makes sense to call a book about what happens when the economy implodes economic fiction. Because After Tomorrow isn’t set in the distant future just an alternate today, one where England is a place to flee from rather than too.

I’ve only read one other book by Cross, and judging by that and this one I’d have to say that she is an author I’d recommend. Cross takes a topical issue like immigration and refugees and gives it a little twist that probably makes it a lot easier for British children to relate to. It puts the question directly to them, what would happen to you in this situation, how would you react?

After tomorrow is a a good solid read, with plenty of action to keep your interest. Some of the story is a little easy to see coming, but that doesn’t detract at all. After all, why would Matt see those possibilities, he is just a child forced into trying to survive. Well worth a read.

Read a sample on The Guardian

Other reviews : Bookwitch ; The bookbag

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9 Responses

  1. Harlequin says:

    As apocalyptic scenarios go, economic collapse is a pretty interesting twist. Wouldn't mind giving this a go.

    I started reading the legendary On The Beach a few days ago. I'm a big Nevil Shute lover but when I tore my way through half his books in my teens, I avoided this one deliberately because nuclear war was one of my biggest fears as a kid and I didn't want to read about it. I read about three chapters the other night and had to put it away. Jesus. My throat was constricting. It's all so ORDINARY. The world is ending and the people in southern Australia are the last people alive but there isn't a future for them. It's absolutely awful. Brilliant though. Will have to force myself to keep reading!

  2. Kelly says:

    This one isn't available at our library; maybe it's not yet released in the U.S.? It IS an interesting twist to have an apocalyptic novel be about economic collapse instead of nuclear war and/or rampant mutant viruses, and if the author can make that into an interesting story, I'm impressed! I noticed you quoting from The Dollmaker in your Tumblr feed, another story of poverty and survival; you must be on a theme now. :) The Dollmaker is such a sad and powerful book. It affected me so much that I ended up buying it, but I haven't read it in years; maybe it's time for a reread.

    I've read two post-apocalyptic novels recently that were fantastic: A Gift Upon the Shore by M.K. Wren and The Passage by Justin Cronin. The former is a quiet story centering on a pair of women who are trying to survive while at the same time preserve as many books as they can for future generations, and the latter is a rollicking mutant virus saga similar to The Stand. I loved them both and am currently making my way through the second book of Cronin's trilogy: The Twelve. It's good, too. Happy Friday!
    Kelly´s last blog post ..So many passages

    • Fence says:

      Yeah, I'm rereading the Dollmaker for my book club. I suggested it so I thought I'd best refresh my memory on it :) Now I'm wondering if I went too depressing on them :) But it is certainly different that the Maeve Binchy one we started out with :)

      I read The Passage last year, enjoyed it but have yet to get to The Twelve. It came in at work when I was in the middle of moving, and its quite a big book so I told myself I'd get around to it later.

      Happy Saturday :)

  3. Harlequin says:

    I read him voraciously in my teens. He is a fantastic writer. Very simple, to-the-point prose but whether he's writing something fantastical or metaphysical or a grounded wartime thriller, he's wonderful. A Town Like Alice is one of my favourite books.

    • Fence says:

      And we have that one at work so I'll throw a request on it on Monday. When i actually get around to it though …

  4. Harlequin says:

    I got it for my sister for Christmas – it's a love letter to Australia and New Australians. :-)

  5. Kelly says:

    Just popping my head in to tell you NOT to bother with The Twelve after all. I just finished it. In deference to its predecessor, which I absolutely loved, I read it all the way through–otherwise I would have put it down after the first couple chapters. That's when it turned into an exhausting, confusing, neverending slog and I was so bored and irritated I couldn't wait for the thing to end. Am I surly after having wasted hours and high hopes on it? Oh yeah. Run away! Run away! I don't know how it could have been written by the same author. Weird.
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Shiny happy people