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The Pesthouse by Jim Crace
The Pesthouse finds America generations into the future after some apocalypse, its machines broken, its history forgotten, and its people migrating east across the continent and sailing across the Atlantic to some promised land. Margaret lives in Ferrytown and contacts a plague called the flux. Her head is shaved and she's quarantined in a secluded hillside hut called the Pesthouse. When a calamity wipes out the rest of the town, she's left on her own. She encounters a man named Franklin, who nurses her back to health. They head eastward together, encountering slave traders and a religious cult called the Finger Baptists who believe all metal is evil. In a land devoid of civilization, technology, and law, they're separated and reunited, finding love where nothing else can function in the American dystopia. Jim Crace's novel has received mostly positive reviews with the New Statesman saying, "It is entirely compelling. The story is a gripping, harrowing adventure tale and Crace's language is extraordinary."