Wholly and Completely Brilliant.
Yes, I read a book about a Pandemic in a Pandemic.
Some would say that’s in poor taste, and yet, I couldn’t resist. I am not one to shy away from difficult topics and frankly, “The End of Men” is brilliantly written, brilliantly plotted, and gave me a lot to think about given the state of things. For me, this showcased how much has gone on in our world in this last year and how things were handled in comparison to the book (which was written before our pandemic hit – though this book won’t be released until later this month).
The year is 2025 during which time a virus breaks out at an A and E in Scotland.
The virus impacts only men.
When a man is admitted, he arrives with what appears to be symptoms of the flu. Three hours later, he is gone. Shortly thereafter, several more men lose their lives the same way. All of these men were in the A and E two days prior. Dr. Amanda McLean is a doctor in the A&E who immediately notices the trend and reports it to HPS to no avail.
She is deemed a stark raving lunatic by her peers at HPS and her messages are ignored.
And so it begins. An Outbreak of Epic Proportions.
Once it starts, entire families stay home. Women, men, children. Yet this virus does not discriminate. If you are of the male species, you are at risk, unless you are immune.
Amanda McLean will not rest until she is taken seriously and until she does everything she can to help.
There is Catherine, who after facing a devastating loss, compiles stories of families who have also suffered. There are Elizabeth in the UK and Lisa in Canada, both of whom are scientists and who work to find a vaccine. There is Toby, who is currently on a boat off the coast of Iceland with his identical twin Mark, hoping to stay alive.
These characters and their stories will stay with me. Heartbreaking, yet hopeful at the same time, these characters were a great reminder that we must take stock in each other and be there for each other during these incredibly tough times.
The analysis behind how scientists in this book discovered that the male plague impacted only men (with women being carriers) and why some men were immune was truly fascinating, as was how long it took for a vaccine to be discovered. That alone gave me pause considering where we are at in the world, with this pandemic.
It also made me extremely thankful. I just received the second dose of the vaccine and am so very grateful.
All in all, “The End of Men” gave me a lot to ponder. The storyline was extremely well done as was the character development. I truly enjoyed getting to know all of the characters (even though there were a lot to keep track of) and will not forget them anytime soon. Reading this now, made me appreciate life that much more and it gave me a lot of perspective.
I have to give kudos to the author for an incredible accomplishment. This is brilliant, character-driven fiction at its finest. This book will most certainly be on my Goodreads Best-of-List for 2021.
Thank you to Cassie at Putnam Books/GP Putnam’s Sons for the arc via NetGalley.
Posted on Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter.