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In a Handful of Dust by [McGinnis, Mindy]
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In a Handful of Dust Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Description


A very satisfying journey, by turns philosophical and riveting. (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

Tension’s maintained by constant, subtle foreshadowing (rather than transparent cliffhangers), and the characters rarely feel safe enough for readers to relax. Hard to put down. (Kirkus Reviews)

From the Back Cover

The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy's life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn. Yet it seems Lucy's future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what's killing them now. Rumors of a "normal" lifestyle in California set Lucy and Lynn on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1261 KB
  • Print Length: 389 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; Reprint edition (23 Sept. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #273,667 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
In a Handful of Dust is a powerful, character-driven follow up to Not a Drop to Drink. I do disagree that it is a companion novel, for me it read far more like a sequel, but it was definitely sequel-worthy.

Lucy has grown up since the events of Not a Drop to Drink, and Lynn has become more and more like her own mother. Although their personalities are very different, right from the beginning, the strength of their relationship is obvious, and is a combination of mother-daughter but also sisterly love. It’s a dynamic that I loved, and what will stand out most for me when I think back on In a Handful of Dust. Lynn has become more sarcastic and mistrusting, but she has also adopted the dedication to those that she loves that her own mother had.

It is also very different from Not a Drop to Drink plotwise – whereas NaDtD was more focused on building relationships in a difficult yet static environment, IaHoD is a journey – the relationship is already well established so the focus is more on intimacy, support, love and sacrifice.

What I had hoped for was that In a Handful of Dust would expand on the world-building of Not a Drop to Drink, but it is rather limited. However, I actually didn’t care – and for someone who is all about the world-building, it’s a real testament to the strength of this novel that although there are still some questions regarding what happened to the wider world, it didn’t disappoint me that it wasn’t there.

There’s a rather western feel to this book, but that shouldn’t put anyone off. I could draw comparisons to a certain famous post-apocalyptic journey book, but I don’t think that’s fair as In a Handful of Dust stands out on it’s own due to the strength and depth of the characters.
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Format: Hardcover
***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review***

I didn’t read the synopsis before I started this book with the assumption that it would simply follow on from the last book Not a Drop to Drink. That’s why I was so surprised when I realised the story wouldn’t be focused around Lynn, but Lucy her adoptive daughter. I’m not exactly sure how old Lynn must be because she adopted Lucy when she was only seventeen and a lot has changed since then.

Most prominently for me was Lynn’s personality. She’s still the same bad-ass as before, with her shoot-first think later attitude but with Lucy she takes up a very motherly figure and it added depth to her character. I didn’t however like how it made her grow up so fast; from the start of book one she was already independent and saw the world through the cold eyes of someone who’s seen too many hardships too young and this influenced her character but I wanted to see how it developed even more with the events in this book. You see it through Lucy but I would have preferred it in her eyes.

This is also because I simply didn’t connect to Lucy. She had a refreshing influence on her surroundings including the people, but even with Lynn’s protection against a harsh childhood such as her own, a less trusting attitude would have added another layer to her character. For those people who didn’t necessarily like Lynn’s outlook on life in Not a Drop to Drink, Lucy will be well-received providing a very different perspective. I simply wasn’t one of them.

There was very little romance and excitement in this book so it was a much slower read than I’m used to and appreciate. The messages about love and sacrifice, while all there were too subtle; particularly since I felt they were the only things that were supposed to be a strong focus point in the book.

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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm looking forward to reading more about Lynn, and finding out if she has ended up within a small community or is still preferring her own company. Is Lynn still looking after Lucy, whom she seemed to adopt in book one after Lucy's mother died.
I'm also interested to see what changes occur when the very life force, the water is questioned as to whether it could be the root of the disease that is killing the survivors. I loved book one so I have high expectations from book two!

I received an e-arc of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. The cover is an image that depicts a scene from within the book. This cover fits well with the cover of book one so I'd say they'd look great on a shelf together. Would I pick this book up from a book store shelf purely on the merits of the cover? I certainly would, it is really eye catching. Then when you read the blurb! Well how could you not read it.
All is not well with Lynn, Lucy, Carter, Stebbs, Vera and the other "survivors". The community is being attacked by a viral disease, that could be airborne, or water borne. Although Vera, Lucy's grandmother has had some medical training she is having problems isolating what or who is the carrier. Lynn as always is working hard, taking the dead bodies, burning and burying them trying to keep the virus from spreading. The sadness and desperation is affecting everyone and when little Maddie succumbs to the illness and dies Vera has some hard decisions to make. Through a process of elimination Vera comes to the conclusion that the possible "carrier" of the disease must leave their community. I will not say who the actual "carrier" is as that would be a spoiler.
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