It has been a year since I picked up a piece of post-apocalyptic fiction to read. It is not that I dislike the genre, but rather that most of what I was reading from the new crop of titles was a retelling of the same old story. There were stories of collapse and how the lead characters prevailed during times of duress and chaos. There were macho heroes and each book told a compelling story with lessons to be learned and strategies to think about along the way.
Still, in spite of all of that, I stopped reading because the lessons were old and added nothing new to my knowledge base. I was bored.
About a month ago I learned of a new title that was set to be released on Patriots Day in the United States. Upon reading the summary, I decided it was time to get back in the game. I liked the premise: a young, single mom, taking incremental steps to learn to defend herself and to prepare for life in a society full of entitlements and governments bought and sold by controlling politicians with corporations in their back pockets.
With that introduction, I would like to introduce you to The Divide from a new author, Shelby Gallagher.
The Divide (A Great State Book)
The Divide is the story of a thirty-something woman who suffered a brutal physical attack during her younger years. Afterward, she vowed never to be defenseless again. With encouragement from her father, she took a course in self-defense for women, learned to become proficient at firearms, and slower yet methodically set food and supplies aside for a rainy day. At the time, she had no concept of becoming a prepper but over time, she did just that.
The story is how she and her son quietly and covertly opened their eyes to the potential of a coming collapse (most likely when the government handouts stopped) and did everything they could to be ready. They did this with little money by using tactics such as extreme couponing and faithful budgeting.
I do not want to be a spoiler and instead will just say that this is a quick and engaging read with Julie, our lead character, learning the rules of preparedness just like we do, one baby step at a time.
An Interview with the Author
In my opinion, no book review is complete without having a short conversation with the author. I am absolutely thrilled that Karen Skoog, a long-term follower, and consummate prepper, has agreed to become my guest interviewer.
Here are the questions posed by Karen along with Shelby’s answers.
1. What is your impression of whether there has been an increase or decrease in preparedness over the past 2-3 years?
Definite decrease, sadly. My impression is that people who were frantically prepping because of the Obama administration are relaxing because Trump is in office. I would contend that simply bought us a slight reprieve. I don’t think we need to be frantically prepping out of fear. I do think we need to always be doing it no matter what. The moment we say we’re relaxing because of an elected official–we are immediately in the mindset of putting our safety and well being into the hands of someone else.
Gaye’s note: My sentiments exactly
2. What do you think are the 3 most important items for sheltering in place?
By no means am I an expert on this but here goes:
1) Securing your shelter from any threat—natural or man-made. That can only be answered by knowing why one is sheltering to begin with.
2) Supplies in your shelter. Food, fuel, medical supplies, etc. for at least a week.
3) Communications. Ability to communicate outside of your shelter; possibly in a compromised way. If phone lines and power lines are down, do you have a way to communicate with others? Dear millennials, this is my way of saying that Snapchat will be down and no whining.
3. And the 3 most important items for bugging out with the intent to avoid all authorities and government evacuation sites?
Communications. With today’s technology, as soon as you fire up a device, you’re detectable. Need to find a way to communicate other than devices. You need to be able to communicate with the prearranged community you have already made these arrangements with.
Heat source (fire makes you detectable), food, shelter, water supply and a predestined bug out location.
Unless you plan to stay in a “bugging out” state for a long period, having a bug out location predetermined is essential. This location does need to be clandestine and off the grid. To be completely undetectable means being completely off the grid. Off local power, water, fuel, etc.
Everyone in the community needs to understand the consequences of being detected. Sadly, it’s very difficult to do.
4. Could you please put the following five extreme disasters by order of likelihood based on your research?
1 .US Economic crash
2. Foreign attack on US soil including Islamic attack from within the US
4. Widespread natural disaster-too big to evacuate
5. Epidemic or pandemic
I believe all of these are very possible. Just because something is a 4 or 5 doesn’t mean I think it’s a fairy tale. I think it’s just slightly less likely.
Shelby and Prepper Press have set aside one copy of The Divide (A Great State Book) as a giveaway. Entering is a cinch and will only take a minute. The prize is a print copy of The Divide for US residents and a Kindle version for International members of the Strategic Living community. The giveaway will run for one week and the winner will be selected at random. The prize must be claimed in 48 hours or an alternate will be selected. Good luck!
Summing It All Up
There is a lot of chatter these days about irresponsible young people including those that are part of the millennial generation. Although I am personally an aging baby boomer, I know for a fact that not all millennials are live for the moment types who refuse to read, learn, and adapt to the world around them. In the divide, Julie proves that responsibility, or irresponsibility for that matter, knows no age boundary.
This is a book for young and old and is an especially good reminder that the little things we do to prepare for the unexpected really do matter.
If you are interested in purchasing the book, here is a link: The Divide (A Great State Book).