Read the review in The Australian
"What would you do in an epidemic? Stock up your pantry, gather your family and wait it out? But what if one of your kids was away on a school excursion? An Ordinary Epidemic explores these decisions and considers how broader society might cope with unexpected change ... It’s utterly fascinating, a little gruesome and impossible to put down ... the story is both familiar and completely strange ... Amanda Hickie’s second novel really captures the claustrophobia of quarantine ... This is a slow-burn thriller that would make an excellent choice for a book club ..."
Read the review by Jessica Broadbent in Books+Publishing.
"There are many books about what happens once the world falls apart—but there are far fewer that focus on the questions of morality and ethics that are raised when it all goes down. Inspired by the 2003 SARS epidemic, Amanda Hickie’s debut novel is a gripping look at the way humanity handles crisis."
Newsweek Best New Book Releases
"Hickie packs mundane moments with a building sense of dread: Will Hannah's miscalculation about the amount of toilet paper one person uses be a fatal mistake, or just another inconvenience in their little domestic adventure?
[...]Hannah's insistence that her children are more important than anyone else's family raises haunting questions not only about how far you'd go to protect yourself in a crisis, but also about whether anyone will make better decisions the next time public health is threatened on a hemispheric scale."
"The thing that stood out for me with this plot was the fact that it was so incredibly realistic. This is not a zombie book or a sci-fi novel; in fact, the entire time I was reading, I was filled with anxiety as my mind raced with the probability of this scenario. This book was so much than a novel of realistic horror; this novel is a character study in human survival, the nature of people in crisis and the lengths people go to in order to protect their own. If nothing else, this novel will leave you thinking."
Clues and Reviews
"A powerful, taunt and intimate modern day human survival story ..."
"Amanda Hickie has proved herself to be a masterful storyteller, weaving a tense narrative of fear and family survival."
"I could not put this book down. And now that it is finished, I want to know what happens next."
Reader reviews - Goodreads
"Timely and terrifying, Amanda Hickie's dystopian debut novel An Ordinary Epidemic follows young mother and cancer survivor, Hannah Halloran as she tries to protect her family from the encroaching Manba virus invading the world and now her home town of Sydney, Australia. Responding to relentless news media, Hannah's fears amplify in advance of the viral infection she fears – while her work, her marriage and her children suffer. Soon though, the tables turn. People closer to home are infected and the Hallorans must quarantine themselves. Hannah's early preparations prove essential to the family's survival – essential, yet frighteningly inadequate. Power failures, lack of clean water and petrol, and continuing disagreements among the family counter-balance a story that also shows the resourcefulness of one brave woman making hard decisions and the surprising, lovely moments that draw a family together during the most difficult times. An Ordinary Epidemic is a bravely told story of one woman's courage despite terrible odds."
Nancy Freund, author of Rapeseed
"It’s a breath of freshly diseased air, and a mighty fine one at that. ...An Ordinary Epidemic is a real gem, one that shouldn’t be missed by fans of experimental fiction or followers of Australian writing. Even those just searching for characters to relate to might feel more (trapped) at home than they’d care to admit with Hannah and Sean."
The Promethean Den