This is my kind of book! In the tradition of the post-Apocalyptic, survive-in-a-wasteland novel, we start with an almost barren farm and one man alone, learning about the land and barely surviving. Of course he doesn’t stay alone, and the farm doesn’t stay barren! I could read six thousand books in this series and never get sick of it- it has everything I love. I would happily read about Meco and his new companions and their home forever, gardening, building, cooking, discovering.
This book takes its time, following the seasons and the characters’ journeys learning about each other and building up their farm and house. It is wonderfully domestic, with plenty of attention given to the rhythms of daily life and new relationships. Of course, that’s not all it is; under everything is an ever-present threat of the outside world and the dangerous stranger. Meco’s family draws attention to themselves by their success in rehabilitating the ravaged land around them, and there’s plenty of people out there coveting their land and skills. The tension builds slowly, gradually, until it explodes and the action of the story kicks up twenty levels at once, racing towards the ending!