BOOK STEW REVIEW: ‘Leave The World Behind’ by Rumaan Alam

Below is the latest Book Stew Review from Eileen MacDougall, host of the long-running Book Stew, a video and podcast devoted to writing in all forms, authors, playwrights, and even a cat who survived a tornado and wrote a book about it.

Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam

Dystopia meets environmental disaster meets Twilight Zone. This frightening novel starts out with a quietly nondescript Air BNB vacation in the Hamptons and ends in a bang and a whimper.

A quintessentially wealthy white Brooklyn family, with two professional parents and two mildly discontented children, are enjoying their stay when a knock at the door in the early morning reveals an older Black couple, the Washingtons, who are the owners of the home and are fleeing from a blackout in Manhattan, where they would have faced a climb to their 14th floor apartment.

Everyone’s disconcerted by the mashup of owners and rents, and then cell service disappears. What follows is a mysterious cavalcade of major and minor disasters, pointing vaguely at military actions, floods and deaths from thirst, all unbeknownst by the house’s inhabitants but hinted to the reader.

It’s strangely compelling and frightening as the entire outside world becomes unreliable and tendrils of terror creep into the isolated sanctuary.

QUOTE: “You can’t get through life dismissing the incomprehensible as divine.”

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