Brockmeier tells two stories, one of a researcher (Laura) cut off in Antarctica and therefore safe from the pandemic killing off all the people and another narrative, of a sort of pre-heaven. People die, and then they go to this parallel world where they remain until everyone who remembers them has died. Then they move on... The problem is, everyone is dying, so the pre-heaven world starts to shrink to all the people that have at one time, touched this one woman's life.
The characters are so richly drawn, and the drama of Laura's struggles for life so compelling, it was hard to put down even to check an oozing dressing or watch Russell inject himself with heparin (how exciting our lives have become). I can recommend this little book wholeheartedly, even if it does predict the end of the natural world and mankind.
Meanwhile, I can't write because my brain is busy trying to organise Christmas, manage foods (not easy with two special diets to consider) parent children and look after an invalid. The hospital sent him home less than 24 hours after a 4 hour surgery, so he was very fragile at first. One of my cats is expiring on the chair in the kitchen... life has been a bit tricky. I'm looking forward to getting my brain back.