The Last One At The Party – Bethany Clift

‘A riotous, black-humoured tonic’ Independent
‘A masterpiece of modern fiction’ Sophie Cousens

December 2023. The human race has fought a deadly virus and lost. The only things left from the world before are burning cities and rotting corpses.

But in London, one woman is still alive.

Although she may be completely unprepared for her new existence, as someone who has spent her life trying to fit in, being alone is surprisingly liberating.

Determined to discover if she really is the last survivor on earth, she sets off on an extraordinary adventure, with only an abandoned golden retriever named Lucky for company.

Maybe she’ll find a better life or maybe she’ll die along the way. But whatever happens, the end of everything will be her new beginning.

Book Information: Print Length: 398 pages. Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton. Publication Date: 4th Feb 2021

Bethany Clift is a graduate of the Northern Film School, the producer of low-budget British horror film Heretic, and the Director of her own production company, Saber Productions. Last One At The Party is her debut novel.

Bethany suffers from itchy feet. She travelled extensively when she was younger and once drove round America for a year, camping and living in her car because she couldn’t afford motels. Her itchy feet mean that, since leaving her childhood home, she has moved house a lot. She once moved house four times in a year. Bethany has now settled in Milton Keynes with her husband and two children and, luckily, she is a big fan of roundabouts.

Bethany has enjoyed many different careers including hairdresser, florist, karaoke bar singer, pork pie maker, barman, jeweller, fruit and veg seller, librarian and a season as an Elf. Bethany has spent the last eleven years working for the NHS and is a huge advocate for the organisation and the world-renowned service it provides.

Bethany is the producer of the low-budget horror movie, Heretic. Bethany produced the entire movie for less than £18k and secured it a UK cinema and DVD release earning the movie the number 3 spot in the DVD charts on the weekend of its release. Bethany was also the Production Manager for the 16-day film shoot for the movie and she did this six-weeks after giving birth to her first child and whilst still breast-feeding and surviving on about three hours sleep a night. She credits watching the Great British Bake Off as the reason for keeping her sanity, and her marriage, during those sixteen days.

Bethany loves reading and watching sci-fi; listening to American country and blues music; dancing to Northern Soul or old-school Hip-Hop and eating, well, pretty much anything. The movie WALL-E makes her cry, and her family and friends make her happy.

My Review:

This is a book highly recommended by my fellow #Hotbook blogger Joanne Robertson and one that has sat on my kindle for over a year so when I was in Portugal last week I decided to read it as a change from my usual crime/thriller books and boy am I glad I did.

Firstly, I don’t really do dystopian novels and I have an issue reading about COVID and other pandemics, but I decided to put my big-girl knickers on, cast my preconceptions aside and start Bethany Clift’s debut novel Last One At The Party.

Set in the not-too-distant future the world has just recoved from Covid-19 when a new deadly virus arrives, but there is NO cure and once contracted you will die within 6 days. It’s only a matter of time before you catch 6DM and no-one is immune. Except one woman and this is her story of survival against all the odds.

So far it’s doesn’t exactly sound particularly enjoyable but let me stop you right now. This book is absolutely brilliant, it’s hysterical and hopeful, funny and emotional, scary and moving, thought-provoking and mind-blowing and I literally did not put it down. I can’t even begin to put into words how much I adored this story, the writing, the characters, the original plotline, the humour… in fact the only thing I didn’t like about this book was the ending… not because of the ending, but because I didn’t want it to end… I wanted to keep reading.

I don’t normally gush about many writers skills, but Bethany Clift’s writing is superb. I was captured and captivated by the opening chapter and urge everyone to read this book.

5 huge stars and this goes into my Top Ten books of the year

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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