Red Hill by Jamie McGuire – book review
Today I was thinking of telling you about one of my favourite books: Red Hill by Jamie McGuire.
First of all I have to tell you that I’m not a fan of novels or thriller films. But … I read science fiction books because I grew up with such novels and they represented my first love in reading.
Good … if we have clarified these aspects, let’s move on to more serious things.
Red Hill is not a book recommended to those with a bad heart, those who are looking for sympathetic love stories. It is a book about a possible reality, about a society like ours. This is a situation that can happen with great ease for some reason.
This book is written in the light of the experiences of a mother struggling to find her daughters, to survive, to give them a chance at a shelter away from attacking monsters, far from the madness that swept the entire world. In the meantime, Jamie McGuire also wrote a book,” Among the Monsters” from the children’s view, which could be even worse than the adult view.
Today we will discuss Red Hill, about the struggle for adult survival, the dangerous and trappable journey, to a safe place, an oasis of protection that they are going to, in their desperation of being captured and killed.
The book is written following the walks of several characters, somewhat accented on Scarlet, about which we spoke a little higher. During the reading that keeps you in suspense, we quickly discover the story of Scarlet’s divorce, the fact that the girls were at their father, in a nearby town, when the nightmare began. We discover the story of Nathan and his daughter Zoe, a child with autistic spectrum problems. The two are abandoned by the wife / mother on the fateful day.
They all head for a doctor’s house, who is sittuated in the field, away from the main road. That’s how we discover Miranda and Ashley, the doctors ‘daughters, and Bryce and Cooper, the girls’ lovers. In this difficult struggle, along with the above-mentioned, there are Nathan’s brother-in-law, Skeeter, and a former fighter, Joey. Everyone comes to the house because they find out from the doctor’s daughters about the unique position of property, in a relatively isolated area.
Scarlett, in her turn, used to go there to relax with her little girls. Jenna and Halle know about the house from their mother. There they went every time they wanted to get out of town. When Scarlet tries to find them, she searches them at her husband’s house, but the whole city was evacuated and she did not know where they were, so she wrote on the wall of the house (the one that appears on the cover of the book “Among Monsters” the story told from the girls’ perspective):
I’m waiting for you
Beyond the desperate struggle against monsters, these people have to learn to survive in a relatively small environment, to accommodate the new conditions of life, to call them, but especially to accommodate each other .
They learn to self-care, become friends despite differences. Obviously, it’s not that simple and in no way easy. They quarrel, fight, they are desperate. Scarlet is maddened to go out every day to kill the monsters in the desire to, in a way, free the way for her daughters who, she hopes, will manage to reach the sheltered home where everyone is.
If everything seems to you dramatically, hard, wild … do you want me to tell you that the author has added another tough element?!? A man and a little girl arrive at the house. After a while, adults realize that he was a pedophile and they manage to save Keiley.
After briefly presenting the main characters, I warn you that not all will survive. Let’s not forget that it is not such an isolated oasis of peace, that things are not simple and easy.
I have mentioned monsters … now is the time to tell you what it is about … the action is happening in the US, but it all started in Europe where a doctor created a virus that is rapidly spreading around the world. This virus enters the bodies of people who begin to behave like animals, bite and eat other people who in turn turn into monsters. The only way to kill them is by destroying their brains.
The action takes place over several months of struggle for survival … both in the fight against monsters and in their own internal struggles.
Over time, Zoy and Kelsey come to love Scarlett as a mother. She and Nathan fall in love with each other, but Scarlett refuses to admit she’s happy until her girls get to the house in the field.
The manner in which the author succeeds in rendering the characters’ soul states, their dramas, intense soul experiences, the desperation to survive, to find a solution somehow is brilliant. I do not have enough words to explain how captivating the book is, how it keeps you in suspense and how you expect to see if the two little girls arrive at home, if and who will survive among those already there …
What I’m sorry is that this book has a few minuses. For example, it is not very clear and pragmatic how they managed to have food. Okay, that doctor had incessible food stocks, but the situation lasted for years after the arrival of the little girls. It is impossible that such large stocks of non-perishable food to resist.
Also how did they hunt with weapons? Is not the ammunition finished? How did they do it? If that were the case, practical and pragmatic things would stop many things.The only relatively clear thing is how they intended to filter water for drinking.
When I think of this book, I realize that monsters can even exist if they have the human form. I am not referring strictly to the characters transformed into monsters, to the heart of those who play the theatre and do a lot of harm. Take the example of that pedophile.
It’s a human-like monster, as dangerous as monsters walking around the farm to eat people for survival. What’s worse? Beware of the monsters you see and from which you know what to expect? Or do you mind the monster soul that destroys the innocence and the lives of others?
If I managed to make you curious, then I invite you to watch the trailer of the book. It may cause you to read the book. 😀