Told from the viewpoints of Dylan and his mother, we see how they live their lives. Each takes it in turns to write in the little blue book they found in someone’s home, offering their views on the experiences they have.
There was a certain charm to this, and the emphasis on the need for a sense of culture was clear, though little actually happens in terms of plot.
What we are told relatively early on is that there was some kind of nuclear attack some years earlier that appears to have wiped out most of the population. Referred to as The End, Dylan and his mother have had to turn to past knowledge and trial and error to survive. They grow their own food, have learned essential skills and have communication with nobody else since their next-door neighbours left.
The alternating viewpoints offers both a new pair of eyes to reflect on their present and a more adult voice to fill in the gaps and offer insight into what happened/how it impacted. It felt rather sanitised, and though some unpleasant things have evidently happened the level of detail offered is not quite as I expected.
I wonder how different this would have been to read in the original Welsh. It was interesting to have some focus on the Welsh language, but I’m not really sure what we’re meant to take from this.
Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this before publication (though I’m sorry not to have got to it sooner).