Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The End is Now by Rob Stennett ~ Tracy's Take

Publisher’s Synopsis:

One week from tomorrow, at precisely 6:11 in the morning, the rapture or apocalypse or Armageddon or whatever else it is you’d prefer to call it, is going to occur. But only in Goodland, Kansas.

Stuck in the middle is the Henderson
family: Jeff, a struggling salesman who lives with a nagging fear that something will happen to his family; Will, who’s just trying to figure out life in the fifth grade; Emily, whose greatest concern is that she won’t be nominated homecoming queen; and his Amy, who is growing stir-crazy from being a housewife for eighteen years—and is convinced this was God’s plan B for her life.

The Henderson’s are longtime residents of Goodland, Kansas, a small Midwest town where nothing new or exciting ever happens … until now. Are the recent happenings and catastrophic weather mere coincidence, or more? The town spirals into chaos and confusion as its residents discover the end is no longer near—the end is now.

What I thought:

‘The End is Now’ is a quirky, humorous investigation into what happens when people think their town will be used as a test case for the rapture. Rob’s witty, satirical style is a brilliant match to the unconventional idea that God might need to test His plan.

The Henderson family appear to be an average, ordinary kind of family w
ho find themselves, suddenly, quite extra-ordinary. Rob weaves threads of the slightly bizarre with just enough believability give the story credibility. I found myself truly pondering what might happen if God did indeed decide to rapture just a select few, before going full steam ahead.

Despite the irreverent approach, Rob Stennett’s characters are very real. Throughout the book, each one faces their own unique struggles. Jeff and Amy are living out the consequences of youthful errors of judgement. Daughter, Emily, seeks popularity and must wage a war within to decide whether her desires or her family’s needs should take precedence. And then there’s Will who made the simple mistake of making that forbidden crossi
ng through the cornfields late one afternoon. Of all the characters, it was Will who captured my attention as he struggles to balance his desire to warn the residents of Goodland, but has not the maturity to shoulder this responsibility without causing panic.

Whilst an unresolved ending is not usually my preferred finale, Rob carries this one off with deftness and skill that left me quite content with my own musings. It is an author with an impressive mastery of his craft that is able to accomplish this fete without me feeling even a little dissatisfied.

Guest reviewer:~ my dear friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence

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