The premise of the novel is something which captured my attention, the fear of the unseen and unknown.
The story begins with Malorie, who is leaving the house she and her two children have lived in alone for the past four years to undertake a hazardous twenty mile boat trip up river. The catch however is that Malorie lives in a world populated with creatures the very sight of which send people into insane, suicidal rage. Malorie therefore can only risk the outside world while blindfolded, and so must rely only on her hearing and that of her children to know what dangers lurk around her.
The main action of the book therefore shuttles between Malorie's journey up river and her flashbacks to the events that lead her to that point, particularly her time living in an enclosed house with several other survivors, their tense dull domestic lives and how things eventually fell apart. The first thing that will quickly become apparent, is that Malerman's ability to uniquely capture the experience of hearing and not seeing, and being surrounded by unidentifiable sounds in a hostile world is simply chilling.