Survivors by James Wesley, Rawles was an uncomfortable story to read. It tells a tale of several groups of people who managed to survive the collapse of the American economy and way of life. This is not a story of a double dip recession or even another great depression, but a complete and utter melt down. It is uncomfortable because all too often lately, I believe that is what is going on around me.
Could I survive the collapse of our economy, our power grid, our food distribution systems? Probably not. I’ve survived being unemployed the last 19 months. But I’ve had lots of help. I have collected unemployment insurance checks, we had savings to use, and we had the generous loans from my family to keep us above water.
I have some advantages that others may not. My husband was a boy scout, has made an in depth study of cooking over open flame, and has experience growing his own veggies and herbs. My brother is an avid hunter and fisherman with enough firearms to keep us safe for a while, and is a carpenter to boot. My parents are both still alive and remember how day to day living was accomplished before we came to rely so heavily on technology. By banding together, we might survive for a while.
But long term? I doubt I could come out the other side alive and well. I don’t really have that much to contribute in a live and die situation. I’m a city girl, roughing it is not my style. My arthritic joints are not up to a long day’s physical labor, and would be even less so without regular medication. My allergies and asthma would make the simple act of breathing a struggle. In a post-apocalyptic world, my physical frailties would quickly be my downfall. I’m smart enough to understand that in such a world, only the strong survive. And, only those that have value to the group can be allowed to remain within it. Only by jettisoning the weak and useless will the remainder survive and possible thrive. I have to admit I believe I fall into the weak and useless group. I could not jeopardize the survival of the rest of my family group by remaining a part of it. The question that arises is whether or not I’d have the strength of will to walk away knowing only death waited over the horizon.
So, yes, Survivors was an uncomfortable book to read for the reasons outlined above. It also left an awful lot of loose ends hanging out there. Enough that I can only assume the story will pick up again in a future book by the author. I’m just not sure I’ll have the strength to read it when it comes out.