What to read after... Dread Wood 28/02/24
The Blue Book of Nebo
Publisher: Firefly Press
Set in a post-apocalyptic Wales, this quiet, eerie story is told through a little blue diary shared by twelve year old Dylan and his Mum as they survive day to day in the deserted town of Nebo.
The End came when Dylan was six, after a nuclear disaster in a nearby city – most of the population died or fled, but Dylan and his Mum stayed put, adapting to life outside of a society. They grow their own food, learn to survive without electricity or running water, and borrow the things they need left behind by the town – for Dylan, this means reading every book he can get his hands on.
But as Dylan begins to grow into a man, he senses that his mother is keeping secrets about his past hidden from him and their relationship – entirely cut off from the rest of the world – becomes tense. But can things ever truly go back to the way they were? And could Dylan and his mother survive if they did?
This slim book packs a huge emotional punch and is a thoughtful, grounded look at what life might be like for a child growing up in the wake of a terrible disaster. At the heart of the novel is Dylan's connection with his mother, Rowenna - most of his memories are of the life they've led in the wake of the destruction, whilst hers are of the people, relationships, and experiences from before.
Readers should be aware that there are discussions and descriptions of death, including the death of a child, as well as some implied sexual content.
Translated from Welsh