Book Review: The Last Woman by Jacqueline Druga
Updated: Feb 27, 2019
A post-apocalyptic tale of loss, devastation and ultimate strength in the face of adversity.
Waking amidst a stadium of rotting corpses and buzzing flies, Faye has no memory of what caused the end of every living thing. Seeing no people, birds, animals, or other signs of life, she has one goal — to get home and to learn everything she can about the epidemic that besieged the earth along the way. Still suffering from the tragic death of her husband and two children months earlier, she welcomes the solitude until she discovers she is not alone in the barricaded city.
By writing this emotional tale in the first person, Druga provides insight into Faye’s internal dialogue and feelings, building an immediate affinity between reader and protagonist. While dropping in the backstory to explain the heroine’s rationale, we watch this strong woman’s progression through grief, acceptance and ultimately survival.
Because the plot was singularly focused on finding other survivors and enduring in a non-functioning world, I wondered if the author would be able to keep my attention throughout the novel, but I needn’t have worried. Faye’s personal development led to a fabulous tale of motherhood and endurance. However, learning more about why some people survived and what led to recovery or immunity would add more weight and realism to the story. I also felt the story was quite short and while it did have a sort-of end, it could extend further into the future. Given the length of The Last Woman and the sequel The Last Woman 2, I wonder if these two books would be better combined into one complete novel.