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The book I have been reading was called "Z for Zachariah" by Robert C. O'Brien.

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Z for Zachariah

The book I have been reading was called “Z for Zachariah” by Robert C. O’Brien.  The two elements that contributed to my understanding and pleasure in this novel were the structure of the novel and the power struggle the main characters had to survive.

The novel was about a sixteen year old girl called Ann who kept a diary after a nuclear attack devastated the country in which she lived.  In the diary Ann spoke about being the only person to survivor.  This soon changed though as a man with a safe suit called Mr Loomis arrived in her valley, who was privileged enough to posses a “safe suit.”  Ann had always hoped that someone else had survived, to help to repopulate the world but her initial joy was then replaced with the fear that he could be a murderer or he could take full control of the valley and her life.  He soon fell ill, and Ann nursed him to health.

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Power struggles soon began Ann and Mr Loomis.  The fights were over several things including their equipment and food, but especially about their own personal power struggles.  The valley where Ann had spent all of her life became crucial in this novel.

The valley was a power symbol used by both Ann and Loomis. Without the valley Ann would be dead and Mr Loomis would still be searching for safe land.  As most of the valley was safe from radiation, except for a small section of the river. Crops could be grown and it was also the place where the abandoned shop and the house were located.  Ann’s knowledge of the area was vital. This knowledge would also let her know where the best places to grow the crops were, but Ann feared losing them along with the valley, home, dog, shop and the potential mate in Loomis.  She gained the chance to leave the valley with the safe suit and the chance of finding other survivors.

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Ultimately Ann had to give up the security of her home and the valley that had belonged to her family because she could not live with Mr Loomis.  They were possibly the only two people alive and it was sad that they couldn’t live together.  This could have been the last chance that mankind had to repopulate the world.

 The novel was very enjoyable mainly due to the fact it was written in diary form and the tension that was created by the power struggle.

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