This is book 2 in the “Restoration” series, and was just as engaging as the first book (Last Light). The Branning family and the community around them are still struggling to adjust to a society where no electronic devices work. Electric, gas, and phone services are non-existent. The water system doesn’t work, since that depends on electricity. The only vehicles that function are ones made before 1970. Mail delivery begins again, but is not much faster than in the 1800’s. The banking system is frozen, since the banks can’t verify how much money each person has.
The Brannings take in four children who have been living alone in a filthy apartment. They search for the mother, which is difficult without having the resources of telephone or internet. I hadn’t thought about how much manual work would have to go into a missing person’s case in this situation.
The oldest Branning daughter, Deni, is still trying to get in touch with her fiance, who was in Washington DC when the power went out. She is torn between helping her family and the community rebuild, and going back east to marry him.
I love the ongoing feel of the book, that nothing is solved or fixed in a few hundred pages. There is no quick return to “normal”. People are slowly starting to accept that their world has permanently changed. They are learning to live from scratch, the way their ancestors did. Through hard work, trial and error, and trust in God, they discover how to make life livable again.