Dark and brooding, like its moorland setting, this post-apocalyptic story is unsettling throughout. I was keen to know more about Peck who is a realistically flawed human character, though I did feel I was left with more questions than answers at the end. Moments of calm normality jangle against violent, judgemental acts as you read about this small village, ruled by the power of words, struggling to survive.
Peck feels grotty with the watching of others; a body called into being by the vast wall and suspicious gazes. Their path out of the village had not taken them by the concrete structure, and Hale had not seemed to want to make a detour to check the sentences. Better not to know, perhaps .... The earth swells around gullies. The stinking mud heaves. He is sure he’s walked this way before, in the opposite direction when he’d first approached the village, but nothing is the same, and all the woods are angled forward, backs bent, hands cupped to ears.