This post-apocalyptic novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2007 (I am reading these books in order), and was the Oprah Book Club selection announced on March 28th, 2007 (I am reading these books in order, so long as they do not conflict with the Pulitzer Prize books, which is why I have not read an Oprah Book Club book since 2007). This book is depressing, but hopeful, and it was a very good read.
It is some ten or eleven years since some sort of cataclysmic event destroyed North America, if not the world. There are no animals, no birds, and no insects; all of the flora and fauna are dead, and grey ash blowing in the silent wind is the only constant.
Across this blasted world, a man and a boy are traveling on the road. The boy is the man’s son; the boy’s mother was pregnant with him when the nameless event happened, but at some point left the man and the boy because she had given up all hope. When the man coughs, he coughs up blood; the boy is the only thing that keeps him going. As they travel from North of the Smokies toward the Carolina coast, the constant danger they face is from other travelers, many of whom, in the absence of any other food, have resorted to cannibalism.
This book is by no means an easy read, but it is well worth reading, and I recommend it with no reservations.