It all started when Abigail’s father lost his job. He went looking for a sign and he found Brother John. Her parents started sending Brother John donations until finally, they sold their house, packed up Abigail and her brother, and drove to San Francisco to be with Brother John when the world ended. Except it didn’t end. And now they’re stuck living in their van, Abigail’s brother Aaron keeps disappearing at night, and there’s no sign from their parents that they’re going home. Abigail’s trying to hold her family together but is she strong enough?
I ended up being pleasantly surprised at how much this book made me think while reading it. The world supposedly almost ended a few times since I’ve been born and the circumstances Abigail and her family find themselves in are very real. People believe and they do whatever it takes to keep themselves and their family safe in the way they believe is best. It’s on the news every time an ‘end date’ is coming but I never really stopped to think about what happens to those people when the end doesn’t come.
I liked Abigail and her bond with her brother. I felt for them both. Abigail was doing the best she could, balancing the line between wanting to trust her parents and knowing her brother’s distrust of them was earned. It was hard to read as Abigail realized just how deeply her parents, father especially, believed in Brother John and how far he would go in order to please him. Every time she got a little hope, it was cruelly taken away. Aaron was angry and sullen and I understood him just as much as I understood Abigail’s need to believe in her parents. Neither of them got a choice, no one ever asked them what they wanted or what they believed.
The whole plot was pretty simple with it being about Abigail dealing with the fact that the world didn’t end and her father believing they needed to trust Brother John, who of course had reasons to why it didn’t end. I liked that it stayed simple and didn’t try to bring in too many issues or twists. It made me focus on the questions the book was bringing up. Your parents are supposed to be people you can trust and depend on so what are you supposed to do when you realize their judgment is flawed?
Overall, it was a quick read, under 300 pages, but it raised some good questions that I’ll be thinking about, especially next time the world’s supposed to end.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.