"A gripping look at the way humanity handles crisis." --Newsweek
In the midst of a devastating epidemic, how far will a desperate mother go to keep her loved ones safe?
There is a deadly virus spreading around the world. At first it is a distant alarm bell in the background of Hannah's comfortable suburban life. Then suddenly, it has arrived on the doorstep.
The quarantine traps Hannah, her husband, and their young sons in their home and forces them to rely on their own resourcefulness as water and power supplies are cut, food reserves dwindle, and their formerly idyllic backyard and quiet street become battlefields. Hannah is convinced that if she keeps her wits about her, she can protect her family, even as one threat after another looms just on the other side of the door.
Compulsively readable and deeply personal, Before This Is Over
forces us to grapple with disaster through the eyes of an ordinary woman. How far will she go to keep her loved ones safe?
"When a global epidemic spreads
to Sydney, Australia, one mother fights to keep her family alive and together
in Hickie's debut thriller.... Quarantined together, Hannah's family faces challenges to their safety and questions about the limits of human empathy as they fight not only to survive, but to keep their own relationships intact. There is no shortage of suspense in Hickie's novel....
There's an effective sense of claustrophobia; once the family goes into quarantine, they have little contact with any other people or any other places, so the reader is trapped with them in their house-and in their roiling emotions. The most wrenching subplot involves a dead neighbor whose little girl is taken in, rather reluctantly, by Hannah's family. Poses the typical challenges to our safe, complacent lives, forcing readers to ask, "What would I do if...."
"A tense debut.... Under these circumstances, how does one cope with entertaining an active child or feeding a growing, whiny teenager, who eats as if supermarkets are still open and refuses to understand why he can't use the Internet? Neighbors turning on neighbors is expected, but society is beyond broken when a family turns on itself.
Hickie realistically depicts how isolation and the threat of disease affect one family, especially when electricity, water, and other services break down."
"Amanda Hickie's debut novel is a gripping look at the way humanity handles crisis."
"Before This is Over
follows the same suspenseful lines as the post-apocalyptic classic On the Beach, which follows the day-to-day experiences of a group of Australians awaiting the fallout from nuclear war - but Hickie finds more to fear in disasters that have already happened than in any abstract threat....chilling."
, Associated Press
"This slow-burn suspense carries a too-healthy dose of realism that will leave readers biting their nails."
"Don't think you'll be able to grab a snack once you start Before This Is Over
, Amanda Hickie's shatteringly suspenseful debut, because it's impossible not to be super-glued to the page. As the world succumbs to a deadly virus, Hannah, her husband and her two kids are barricaded in their home, on alert for dangerous looters, food thieves, and the contaminated sick. This is a novel that slowly, expertly nudges under your skin, and stays there, even as it raises provocative questions about what price you might pay to keep the ones you love safe. Gorgeously written and so chillingly alive that I was still unnerved hours after finishing the book-and how great is that?"
, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow
"Gripping and terrifyingly realistic, Before This Is Over
is the story of a mother trapped in the epicenter of a deadly global virus - and the agonizing choices she must make to keep her family alive."
, bestselling author of The Perfect Neighbors
"This tale's tight lines of logic and sharp interrogation of the limits of compassion...make for a fascinating read."
, The Australian
"What would you do in an epidemic?... Utterly fascinating, a little gruesome and impossible to put down.... This is a slow-burn thriller that would make an excellent choice for a book club."
, Books + Publishing
"A bravely told story of one woman's courage despite terrible odds."
, author of Rapeseed
"Before This is Over
is a gripping book that feels a hundred percent real. Hannah's point of view is so encompassing, I found myself worrying that I hadn't sanitized the hand rail of the treadmill I was reading on, and I didn't have enough food at home if we got trapped there. Moriarty might have a run for her money with debut novelist and fellow Australian Amanda Hickie, who has stretched the boundary for women's fiction even further."
, Chick Lit Central