Prize-winner in three categories of the 2019 Wales Book of the Year Award, The Blue Book of Nebo paints a spellbinding and eerie picture of society’s collapse, and the relationships that persist after everything as we know it disappears. After nuclear disaster, Rowenna and her young son are among the rare survivors in rural north-west Wales. Left alone in their isolated hillside cottage, after others have died or abandoned the towns and villages, they must learn new skills in order to remain alive. With no electricity or modern technology they must return to the old ways of living off the land, developing new personal resources.
While they become more skilled and stronger, the relationship between mother and son changes in subtle ways, as Dylan must take on adult responsibilities, especially once his baby sister Mona arrives. Despite their close understanding, mother and son have their own secrets, which emerge as in turn they jot down their thoughts and memories in a found notebook. As each reflects on their old life and the events since the disaster which has brought normal, twenty-first century life to an end, The Blue Book of Nebo becomes a collective confidante, representing the future of their people and a new history to live by.
In this prize-winning and best-selling new novel, Manon Steffan Ros not only explores the human capacity to find new strengths when faced with the need to survive, but also the structures and norms of the contemporary world.
Winner of the 2018 National Eisteddfod Prose Medal
Winner of the 2019 Llyfr y Flwyddyn (Wales book of the year)
Winner of three categories at the 2019 Wales Book of the Year Awards: the Aberystwyth University Fiction Award, the Golwg360 Barn y Bobl (People’s Choice Award), and the Welsh-language Overall Winner
"Reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Manon Steffan Ros’s The Blue Book of Nebo is an elegant, elegiac novel that tempers the enormity of nuclear Armageddon with personal, intimate relationships." —Starred Review, Foreword Reviews
"[A] spare and intimate story of a family surviving a near-future global apocalypse...In a time rife with and ripe for stories of the end, this one stands out." —Publishers Weekly
“This novel gripped me from the very first sentence.” —Manon Rhys
“Gentle and tender, stark reality and loss and suffering.. I didn’t want it to end.” —Sonia Edwards