Reviewed by Jessi Buchmann

2020, a post apocalyptic family set in Portland, Oregon where the cast of characters is rich, witty and tangible. Sophie Cohen and her husband Bertrand are dealing with the inevitable issues of disease, starvation and safety. Sophie and Bertrand’s relationship, although emotionally strained, has one focus and that is to keep their surviving family members safe. They live on the 11th floor of a high rise with their teenage daughter Sasha and Sophie’s mother Lulu-who seems to be unaffected by this new world.

Initially, you think Lulu is crazy yet you fall in love her with in an endearing I-won’t-accept-what’s-really-happening way. In order to keep their family secure and fed, Sophie uses her autistic brother Mitchell’s talents at drug making to trade for goods. Bertrand uses his medical background to heal those in need and provide security to his family. The plot thickens when women begin to turn up murdered and Sophie and Bertrand take it upon themselves to solve the mystery behind the serial killings.

Etiquette for an Apocalypse isn’t like other sci-fi apocalyptic novels. Instead, it deals more with the reality of violence, a lack of a fast food joints on every corner and a longing for security, but in a darkly comedic way. Sophie, our heroine, (albeit unlikely heroine) consistently thinks about food. It’s what I imagine all of us would go through if we were in this position.

Anne Mendel sheds a light so clearly and so naturally you get lost in this uber fast read. She has a way of writing appreciation for the things you have and to providing a thrilling ride into lives of people that could easily be your own friends and family.

At only 277 pages I was left wanting more. I wanted to find out where Sophie’s story goes and read on about what mess she inserts herself in next. If you are looking for an enjoyable, relatable read then you’ve found the right book.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Jessi Buchmann lives in Beaverton, Oregon and works as a Project Manager. When she is not reading she can be found: writing, painting or wreaking havoc on her house doing home repairs.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Brackets Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.