Arthur and Wendy Steele have established themselves by pretty much living off their land. They feel that they are prepared for most anything that life can throw at them. All their skills will be put to the test when Wendy finds herself stranded on a cruise ship while Arthur is at home tending the farm as the world struggles with a flu pandemic.
The Watson’s first co-authored novel, Viral Misery: Book One, takes the reader from the very beginning of the flu and shows how quickly and quietly it is spread throughout the world. It then goes from the worldview to following Author’s and Wendy’s plight. It’s a slow read at first but picks up speed quickly about a third of the way through.
At first, I did not like the Steeles. Something about their personalities rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I was a little jealous of their lifestyle and a bit insulted by their crudeness. But, once the flu filtered into their lives I came to like them both very much.
The subject matter is rather grim and the scenarios presented are for the most part feasible. I did find some of the interactions too good to be true. The most telling being that a sizeable group of children was always well behaved and disciplined.
What I appreciated the most was levity interjected to break up the tension of the subject matter. I will forever have pictured in my mind a two-year-old running around in pink cowboy boots after she has stripped off all her clothes with others chasing after trying to redress her. And, I can still hear the others gagging as a stinky diaper was being changed in the close quarters of a closed vehicle. Too funny!
All in all, it is a good read. I look forward to book two.
4 out of 5 stars due to typos.