4 out of 5 stars
Spare and brutal, yet unquestionably beautiful, this is the most realistic post-apocalyptic book I’ve ever read.
Imagine your mother was the only mother person you’d ever met. That’s life for Lynn. She’s never known a boy, never heard of God. Yet she could be you or me.
In Not a Drop to Drink, there’s no water. At least not reliably, and not without money. Cities are full to bursting, rationed, with water systems close to catastrophic failure. Lynn and her mom live in the country, where they ferociously guard a small pond in front of their house… by killing anyone who comes close.
That’s how Lynn has lived for years. When her situation changes abruptly, she has to learn to release her iron grip on life, to help and be helped, to navigate other people. How to let more than one thing keep her live.
Warmth and charity are not gone from this world, Lynn has just never encountered them before. Her stern narrow mind and intense survival skills are suddenly only as important as her heart. The characters here become to the best and worst of people, and that feels like an accurate prediction these days.
Not a Drop to Drink happens in our world. It’s tomorrow, or the day after that, when humanity runs into a problem technology can’t fix. And the problem is so basic, so universal, that McGinnis’s harsh tableau springs to life, as parched and desperate as the story that unfolds on it.