Alam’s novel Leave the World Behind was written before the COVID-19 crisis hit, this terrifying book seems so timely in its suspense and sense of panic of the unknown.
Amanda and Clay, along with their two teenage children, take a summer holiday to Long Island where they rent an expensive house, and pretend to be living a life of luxury. This illusion is shattered, when late at night, a knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H., an older couple, arrive in a panic, and claim that the house belongs to them. They report that a sudden blackout has swept New York City. But in this rural area--with no Internet service--it's hard to know what to believe.
A cataclysmic, yet mysterious event has obviously occurred, shutting down all communication networks. With a society so over reliant on technology, an overwhelming sense of dread and chaos is felt. I found this novel terrifying. Disturbing scenes of staring deer arriving in herds (of over a thousand), coupled with flamingos flying into their swimming pool; plus a sickening “noise” that felled the teenage boy, adds to the suspense.
Is there one crisis or there a series of them?
Considering how descriptive this book is, it is no surprise that it has been selected to be a Netflix movie, starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington. I can’t wait!
Reviewed by Nicole, Librarian.
Request a copy of Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam.