Demography Day - Peter Breally LOCAL AUTHOR SET IN QUEENSLAND

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Demography Day
by Peter Breally
"'That’s the problem I have, sis. I spent a whole day yesterday trying to find someone who could assure me that women were still conceiving.'"

Australian journalist Sonya James is visiting her prenatal clinic in the early phases of her pregnancy when she notices something a little too widespread to be a mere coincidence. Women around the world have mysteriously and suddenly stopped becoming pregnant. What begins as a curiosity and certainly good business for the paper she writes for quickly becomes a maelstrom that threatens to dismantle her life as countries around the world fall into a panic that humanity's time appears to mysteriously be up. Spies and government agencies are interested in Sonya, who only observed the phenomenon and has no understanding of her own. With no answers looming on the horizon and her way of life irreparably damaged, Sonya retreats into solitude with her new daughter, seeking peace as the rest of the world struggles to grapple with what seems to be the conclusion of human life on Earth.

What opens as a potential sci-fi mystery quickly escalates into a global political thriller, as powerful individuals try to wrestle control from a situation that will not yield it. The author does an inspiring job of telling the same story from multiple perspectives. At once, we see countries hovering over the threat of a war of extinction, the masses confused and panicking, the intrigue surrounding Sonya, and very real and intimate moments of individuals coming to terms with the fact that they will never be able to start a family. These points of view are balanced delicately and play off of each other brilliantly, illuminating the stakes for everyone involved. The story continually ramps up in intensity until the final third, which like the stages of grief, focuses more on acceptance and graceful presence in the face of adversity. Compelling and impossible to predict, this is a thrilling and thought-provoking read.


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