LitStack Review: Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Red Hillred hill
Jamie McGuire
Atria Books
ISBN-10: 1476763518

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

Red Hill grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.

Human nature can be a brilliant and dangerous thing. Perhaps it is our hope, our desire to overcome that has compelled the entertainment industries to delve into the concept of the hopeless. Last year, the world was aflutter with the concept of the end of days. How many calamities were expected last December? How many of us grew tired of hearing about the impending apocalypse? There were thrilling films, breath-taking books and purported experts who took to the media with their predictions on how we’d never make it to Christmas of 2012.

Thank God they were all wrong.

But the idea of a desolated world, a life transfixed on survival has kept the buying public rapt for years now. The Walking Dead became a breakaway hit for AMC and every Sunday night many of us still sit in front of our TVs watching in horror (and some of us trying not to puke) to see just how bad the zombie plague has gotten.

Jamie McGuire, with her Red Hill, embraces all those forlorn thoughts and twists them. In her novel, we are treated to the varying points of view of Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda and their reactionary escapades as the zombie outbreak occurs.

This isn’t a sweet, “can we survive” type of zombie story. There is a lot of loss. There are tears, there is an immense amount of heartbreak, but what McGuire attempts with her latest novel is to ponder about love amid the end of the world. It’s a daunting question to ask, but one that I think McGuire pulls off effortlessly.

What I’ve always enjoyed about her previous books, namely Beautiful Disaster, is the depth of character and the variations in each at the end of her story. McGuire’s characters are not stagnate. They are not woolen and vapid. They grow, discover, arch beautifully. This is true for all major and minor characters in Red Hill.

What the story inevitably reveals is that “endings lead to one thing–a beginning.”

Highly Recommended

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