Book: All the Little Children
Author: Jo Furniss
Struggling with working-mother guilt, Marlene Greene hopes a camping trip in the forest will provide quality time with her three young children—until they see fires in the distance, columns of smoke distorting the sweeping view. Overnight, all communication with the outside world is lost.
Knowing something terrible has happened, Marlene suspects that the isolation of the remote campsite is all that’s protecting her family. But the arrival of a lost boy reveals they are not alone in the woods, and as the unfolding disaster ravages the land, more youngsters seek refuge under her wing. The lives of her own children aren’t the only ones at stake.
When their sanctuary is threatened, Marlene faces the mother of all dilemmas: Should she save her own kids or try to save them all?-Goodreads
Review: Marlene and her sister-in-law Joni take their children camping for the weekend (ages 3 through 15, plus a friend of her son). One of the boys climbs a tree and reports fires all over. Then, their cell phones aren't working. A trip home confirms Marlene's fears that something is wrong when she finds dead bodies everywhere covered in flies. She eventually learns a domestic terrorist unleashed a biological weapon resulting in the English plague. The island has been quarantined and no one appears to be coming for help. Marlene and Joni work together to keep everyone alive.
It's been awhile since I read a post-apocalyptic book and I really enjoyed the one. As a working mom, I could relate to Marlene's guilt about her career and how she disconnects when she travels. While I didn't agree with every decision she made, I thought she was a strong character who was doing her best in a bad situation. I also appreciated that she was a regular person, not someone who knew extreme survival skills. One thing that was kind of odd was that other than Marlene, Joni and Marlene's 3 year old Billy, I'm hard pressed to remember any other characters. Marlene had 3 children total, Joni 1 and they acquired several others on the way. Other than Billy, none of them made an impression.