Empty by Suzanne Weyn
This book is set ten years from now and things are pretty bad. Oil has become a scarce resource and society is starting to fall apart because of it.
Stores shelves are bare because shipping has pretty much come to a halt. When gas is $50 a gallon very few people can afford to travel far. Food prices tripled, electricity bills have soared, and all of the things we take for granted, are getting harder and harder to come by.
Here is a great passage from the novel that pretty much sets the scene . . .
“Well, we all should have seen it coming,” Mrs. Curtin said, “We’ve been heading down this road for a while. I guess no one – including me – thought the oil would really run out. We had no idea that everything is made from oil – plastic, insecticides, cosmetics – everything. Shampoo and soap are made of hydrocarbons, linked and processed from oil. Bricks and concrete are made with oil. The shingles on our roof. Carpet. Fertilizer. The asphalt we use to pave our roads – that comes from the bottom of the tank after oil’s been refined. When there’s no oil, the bottom of the tank is empty.”
Gwen Jones takes things in stride. She doesn’t know what else to do. Her mom left a few years ago and since then, her older brother and her have managed to survive on their own. School still operates, even though the buses don’t. Things go on like everything is normal. Unfortunately, everything is not normal. A super-storm complicates matters as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. Part of me, though, realized that while this is a dsytopian thriller, it is a little close to home. Perhaps we need to think about moving away from our oil dependence before it is too late.
Or maybe this is just a story to enjoy.
My 2015 Reads – my (almost) complete reading log for the year.