A BEGINNING AT THE END by Mike Chen

A BEGINNING AT THE END

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A grieving father, a British pop star, and a wedding planner cope with the aftermath of a flu pandemic in this post-apocalyptic novel by Chen (Here and Now and Then, 2019).

Six years after a virus wiped out 70% of the U.S. population, Rob Donelly, Krista Deal, and Moira Gorman are still unable to move forward with their lives. Rob, a news censor at San Francisco–based PodStar Technologies, hasn't told his 7-year-old daughter, Sunny, that her mother died during the pandemic, instead saying she's in "treatment"; Krista, a financially struggling wedding planner, faked her own death to escape her dysfunctional family. Moira, Rob's co-worker and Krista's client, is really Johanna Moira "MoJo" Hatfield, a former teenage pop star who ran away from her controlling father. Rob, Krista, and Moira uncover one another's secrets as they struggle with the consequences of their past decisions. A lot of backstory and confusing subplot told in document fragments detract from an imaginative premise, likable characters, and an uplifting ending.

A refreshingly nondystopian end-of-the-world story that falls short of Chen's smart debut.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-7783-0934-5
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2019