Flawed narrators make me squirm. When I read a story from the point of view of a character who does not make the right decisions, I often don’t know whether to read on.
Fictional friends are important to me as a reader. I read to befriend the characters. What if the protagonist doesn’t seem like the kind of friend I would like to have?
I read After Tomorrow slowly for exactly that reason – it made me uncomfortable. However, the point is that the story is supposed to make me uncomfortable, for it’s dystopic, set in a time when the pound is worthless and no one has food. The only thing Matt and his family can do is to try, somehow, to move out of the UK and into France, which is, at least for the time-being, allowing a few refugees in.
But Matt resents everything that comes his way. He does not want to learn French; he thinks it is pointless. His stepfather Justin is nowhere near as capable as his father. He can’t wait for the crisis to get over so that he can just go back home.
After Tomorrow is a story in which innocent people are swindled and the boundaries of right and wrong are challenged. It’s a book that makes you uncomfortable because it makes you think. It does affirm that goodness and love are powerful values, but also it tests beliefs and prejudices at each step of the way.
|Rating (out of 5)||4|