Before This Is Over by Amanda HickieBefore This Is Over by Amanda Hickie

Before This Is Over

byAmanda Hickie

Hardcover | March 28, 2017

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In the midst of a devastating epidemic, how far will a desperate mother go to keep her loved ones safe?

There is a deadly virus spreading around the world. At first it is a distant alarm bell in the background of Hannah's comfortable suburban life. Then suddenly, it has arrived on the doorstep.
The virus traps Hannah, her husband, and their young sons in their city, then their neighborhood, and finally their own home. As a formerly idyllic backyard and quiet street become battlefields, fear and compassion collide. But what happens when their water supply is cut, and then the power, and the food supply dwindles?

Chilling and suspenseful, at once deeply personal and terrifying in its implications, BEFORE THIS IS OVER invites us to imagine what a family must do to survive when pushed to the extreme.
Amanda Hickie has always been interested in ethical questions. She and her family lived in Canada during the SARS outbreak of 2003 and that experience provided the seed forBefore This Is Over. Hickie lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two sons.
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Title:Before This Is OverFormat:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.5 × 6.25 × 1.25 inPublished:March 28, 2017Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316355453

ISBN - 13:9780316355452

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from An interesting premise that isn't executed to its full potential The idea of being held up in your home limited to your immediate surroundings for prolonged survival is an interesting premise (taking the SARS epidemic a bit too far), but this story is much too slow in pace, drops characters without any clear understanding of what happened to them, and has adults behaving far too irrational to be believable. It could have been a lot better.
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Different Epidemic Story Before This is Over shockingly impressed me. It was an impressive story that took the subject of a horrifying epidemic and made it more real, more heartfelt. This novel is not about discovering a cure or vaccine for the virus that is focused on in the story: Manba. It is about a family's journey in saving themselves and keeping themselves sane as they are stuck in their own home, in quarantine, afraid of the outside world and their health being affected. But mostly, it is about a mother named Hannah, and the endless amount of struggles she faces as she tries to keep her loved ones safe. Amanda Hickie is a phenomenal writer. You can tell because of the way she has written this novel — it has a topic that is often written about in a dystopian fashion, with characters who are trying to stop the disease or hide, but she has taken a different toll on this all. Yes, her protagonist, Hannah, is trying to hide from the disease, but there's nothing hardcore about the story. However, I must admit that Amanda Hickie's writing is hardcore — it is simply brilliant, and I do not think I'll be able to get this story out of my head for a long time. I would even like to classify this under the "contemporary" genre because it just felt so real to me. I was just really satisfied with how everything played out. You see, you're going to need to spend a little bit of time with this one. It is a slow-moving story, but I never found myself getting bored. I guess it's because I was at the edge of my seat for the entire time I read this. After this, I'm asking myself, "how is it possible that an author has written a book that is so slow-paced yet thrilling at the same time?" I don't think I'll ever get to hear the answer to that question, proving that Hickie's writing is just one-of-a-kind. Normally, I would get bored with something like this, but because the characters and situation were so real, I found myself intrigued for the whole time. "She was crying, but not for the beaten face on the TV, or for the two boys whose parents had died. She was crying for things that might never take place. She was crying because every day, everywhere, small tragedies happened and she didn't know how to care about every single one, and so they aggregated and magnified and became incomprehensible" (85). What I loved the most about this family's story is that aside from the virus being spread around the Sydney area, each character had their own struggles as well. Hannah, the mother, is a cancer survivor and a mother of two boys, and you can see throughout the book how this cancer, this sickness, has played a toll on her. She is panicky, anxious, and unaware that there are other things to life than just thinking about the bad things. And by the end of the story, we see her character develop into a strong woman who is willing to care for others (who are not part of her family) and love stronger. I found Hannah to be extremely annoying for the first half of the book, which definitely played a role into the four star rating. I couldn't stand the anxiety in the air of the setting. We then have Sean, Hannah's husband. I guess we can call him a main character, but he was iffy. Mysterious. Ominous. Whatever word that is a synonym to those. I wish we got to hear his perspective, because I felt like he was more introverted and difficult to understand compared to Hannah. It seemed as if he had something to say. But at the same time, he was a loving father who took in other children who needed his family's help during the spread of Manba. I loved his character, to be quite honest. What is great about the setting is that we see characters of every age group. We have the adults, as mentioned, and the young boys, Zac and Oscar. Zac is a teenager, and he is a complainer and all, but he does have a soft side and cares for his family. Oscar is the adorable, innocent young boy. We can see how this situation has an effect on the whole family. It's rare to see something like that. Even though the story mainly focuses on Hannah (it is not written in her first-hand perspective, however), we learn a bit about everyone. I truly felt like this was brilliant. It has a brilliant topic and a brilliant set of characters who are extremely memorable. I felt like I was stuck in the house with the characters for the whole time, and I kept feeling a burst of emotions every instant. I hope Amanda Hickie continues writing books like this — I'm in for more! *A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*
Date published: 2017-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved This! Before This Is Over by Amanda Hickie was a book I was incredibly excited to read. I have always been a fan of apocalyptic and pandemic stories, so when I read the synopsis for this novel, I was more than thrilled. Upon further investigation, I found out that the premise for this novel was inspired by the events of the SARS outbreak in Toronto when the author was living in Canada with her family. I thought that was incredibly interesting, not only because I am Canadian, but also because I can remember this event and the hysteria during this time. Hickie does a brilliant job at capturing this feeling throughout the pages of her novel. The novel opens with Hannah, a cancer survivor and understandable germaphobe, trying to handle the news of a virus that has broken out overseas. Known as Manba, the virus begins as a cough and progresses until it becomes terminal. With no cure and no real sureties, Hannah draws her family close to her and begins to prepare. When the virus begins to spread rapidly and cases begin to show up in her hometown, Hannah is forced into hiding with her family and their fight for survival begins. The thing that stood out for me with this plot was the fact that it was so incredibly realistic. This is not a zombie book or a sci-fi novel; in fact, the entire time I was reading, I was filled with anxiety as my mind raced with the probability of this scenario. This book was so much than a novel of realistic horror; this novel is a character study in human survival, the nature of people in crisis and the lengths people go to in order to protect their own. If nothing else, this novel will leave you thinking. My only complaint was that I did find this novel to be a little bit long. At 400 pages, I felt like this novel still would have felt complete with 50 pages left. However, I did not struggle to read any of this book. I sat down to read it and completed it in a single sitting. I was utterly absorbed and deliciously devoured by Hickie’s prose. If you are a fan of a book that will leave you thinking and anxiously awaiting a resolution, you will love this book. I know I loved it. I rated it 5/5 stars.
Date published: 2017-03-28

Editorial Reviews

"Before This is Over is a gripping book that feels a hundred percent real. Hannah's point of view is so encompassing, I found myself worrying that I hadn't sanitized the hand rail of the treadmill I was reading on, and I didn't have enough food at home if we got trapped there. Moriarty might have a run for her money with debut novelist and fellow Australian Amanda Hickie, who has stretched the boundary for women's fiction even further." -Jami Deise, Chick Lit Central