All Fall Down by Sally Nicholls
A deadly contagion races through England…
Isabel and her family have nowhere to run from a disease that has killed half of Europe. When the world she knows and loves ends for ever, her only weapon is courage.
The Black Death of 1349 was the deadliest plague in human history. All Fall Down is a powerful and inspiring story of survival in the face of real-life horror.
I haven’t read much historical fiction around the Black Death, so I decided to give this a go. And I’ve read another of Sally’s books before, so at least I kinda knew what to expect.
It was a very interesting book as you’re introduced to Isabel, and her world. And how it is so “natural” to just be part of it, you can see which parts they question and which ones they don’t. As a way to plunge into the world and setitng, this book does a good job at that but without feeling like you’re just reading a history book with just facts. Isabel and her family make the history become alive.
There’s not much that can’t be spoiled since we know Black Death killed a lot of people. And as the small village Isabel lives in slowly gets affected by it, and then it hits her family, tough choices have to be made, but also some questions arise about roles, responsibiltiies and status quo.
When everyone is dying around you, do the rules that kept you in that place still stand?
I didn’t love the book but it was a quick read, easy to consume without bogging down in facts, the plot was a bit broken into odd parts which is why it isn’t getting more stars, but it still got to somewhere and gave a good “ending” (or as good as you can have given the topic and circumstances).