You know the phrase, stick to your day job? Well I am so glad that Rob Ewing didn’t follow that way of thinking.
Although a practising GP living in Edinburgh, Ewing also spends his time writing and while living on Barra in the Western Isles, he was inspired to write the stunning and interesting novel, The Last of Us.
The story is set on a remote Scottish island where a pandemic has wiped out the entire population – except for a group of children. It follows their struggle to survive in a physical sense but also how they deal with the loss of family members and the world as they knew it.
While they try to stick to some kind of routine, including going to school, and keeping some kind of home life, events unfold which will test them all in unimaginable ways.
Ewing uses outspoken eight-year-old Rona to tell the story which is one of the strongest aspects of the book. From here, we are able to understand the children’s confusion and distress but also marvel at their innocence and optimism that it will all work out in the end.
It is a beautiful, heartwarming story of survival and strength and is very poignant at times. It redefines what we think of as “family” but also childhood and growing up into an adult.
Although it has been likened to stories such as The Lord of the Flies, and while we have had many pandemic stories in recent years, this is an original piece of work, one which grips the reader to the very end.
Published by Borough Press