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All the Little Children by [Furniss, Jo]
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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From the Editor

I’m a sucker for survival stories. So imagine my delight when this, the ultimate survival tale, landed on my desk. The book came to me in an unusual way. I was talking to a literary agent about my love for disaster novels. Which led me to ashamedly admit that despite my fondness for the theme, I’ve done almost nothing to prepare for any sort of emergency. I have a first-aid kit, some bottled water, and a few cans of beans—but that’s about it. As a mother, I know I should do better for my family. But taking the time to lay in more supplies means I’d have to seriously consider the potential for real catastrophe in this unpredictable world. And I just don’t want to. The guilt nags at me, but I prefer to carry on, tra-la-la, pretending that nothing terrible could ever happen.

This confession led us to imagine a novel in which an ill-prepared mother has to fight for her children’s lives in the aftermath of a disaster. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see her fierce mama-bear instinct play out against taut suspense? That week the agent tweeted out the general idea with the hashtag #manuscriptwishlist. A day later she had Jo Furniss’s masterful manuscript in hand.

Jo had written All the Little Children in the months following the birth of her first child. She’d spent hours walking the woods around her remote home with her baby strapped to her chest. As she walked she let her imagination roam, wondering what it would feel like to be isolated, desperate to protect her child after disaster struck. How far would she go? What would she be willing to risk? From there sprang the idea for this adrenaline-fueled thriller. When I received the manuscript, I tore through the pages, completely absorbed, asking myself over and over, “What would I do in that situation? Could I be that brave?”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to stock up on a few more emergency provisions. This may not prevent disaster, but I do hope it will keep maternal guilt at bay. Thank you, Jo.

- Jodi Warshaw, Editor

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Furniss’s first novel, a slow-burning apocalyptic thriller, doesn’t pull any punches. Englishwoman Marlene Greene, who owns a factory in China, and her sister-in-law, Joni, have taken their kids on a weekend camping trip in Shropshire as a bonding experience, but also so Marlene’s husband can move out without upsetting the children. While on a quick jaunt into an unnamed village to pick up supplies, Marlene makes the startling discovery that something has killed the village’s residents. Despite a lack of a cell phone signal, she’s able to learn that whatever killed these people isn’t restricted to Shropshire, but may involve the whole of the UK. Furniss does a fine job of portraying the campers’ desperate situation as Marlene, Joni, and their kids try to reach safety. Tragedies only add to the escalating tension, which helps highlight the quiet moments sprinkled throughout. The flawed characters, both child and adult, demonstrate strength and resilience. An abrupt ending might frustrate some readers, but hopefully a sequel is forthcoming.


“Jo Furniss’s debut All the Little Children is unique, gorgeously written, and absolutely terrifying. With all the mystique of a dystopian novel, Furniss deftly explores the idea of ‘sacrificing one for the good of many,’ even when that one is your own child. Utterly compelling!” —Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year

“Jo Furniss weaves a terrifyingly realistic story of survival and resilience in her debut novel, All the Little Children. With a story that’s heart-pounding in pace and heart-wrenching in content, this up-and-coming author brings to life the universal plight of parenthood—how do I protect my children? Furniss answers this question and more with a chilling and beautifully woven tale that will keep you up turning the pages and wondering, ‘What if this happened to me?’” —Emily Bleeker, bestselling author of Wreckage and When I’m Gone

“What a truly fantastic book. One of my favorites of the year! It’s a feminist version of The Road. Jo Furniss has created a powerful female heroine: a successful career woman, wife, and mother who will do whatever it takes to protect her children. I devoured this novel in one day and [found] myself still thinking about it and Marlene long after I was finished. Jo Furniss’s characters are gripping, and the [plot] is fast-paced and relentless, each chapter leaving you breathless. I’m still reeling from the powerful story and the heart-stopping conclusion of this incredible debut novel.” —Hollie Overton, author of the international bestseller Baby Doll

“When the world changes overnight, all that is left is instinct—survival and maternal. This tense, emotional, and wholly absorbing book makes you wonder: What would I do?” —JJ Marsh, author of The Beatrice Stubbs Series

“Jo Furniss has written a hauntingly gripping tale layered in lyrical prose. A mother’s quest to save her children after a terrorist attack tests the limits of her endurance and leaves her with an agonizing choice. All the Little Children is a compelling page-turner from start to finish!” —Kylie Brant, author of Pretty Girls Dancing

All the Little Children is a moving, realistic, and suspenseful portrayal of the realities of motherhood. Marlene’s constant struggles with the balancing act of being a working mum take on an urgent meaning in this surreal, postapocalyptic context. This is literally a novel about surviving motherhood.” —Balli Kaur Jaswal, author of Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

“A thoroughly original mash-up of mom lit and apocalyptic fiction, All the Little Children is a thrilling ride. Jo Furniss expertly blends heart-racing suspense with moments of genuine emotion—and even dark humor. At last, mothers have an action hero to call their own.” —Elizabeth Blackwell, bestselling author of In the Shadow of Lakecrest

“Marlene Greene is a very modern mother and all the more realistic for it. Jo Furniss has the ability to tap into emotions without sentimentality, leaving you thinking long after the story finishes.” —Alice Clark-Platts, bestselling author of Bitter Fruits and The Taken

All the Little Children is one of those books that grips you from the start and never lets go. I was thinking about it long after I’d finished reading. It’s punchy, relevant, and horribly plausible, with a brilliant, flawed, brave narrator. The skillful interweaving of the frustrations of motherhood and the apocalypse makes this different from anything I’ve ever read before. And when I finished it I was crying on a train, and I didn’t care who saw me.” —Emily Barr, award–winning author of The One Memory of Flora Banks, Backpack and The Sleeper

Product details

  • File Size: 1511 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 1, 2017)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MR8641A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,076 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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