Book Review: “If Darkness Takes Us” by Brenda Marie Smith

Imagine you’re an old lady, settled in your ways, just you and the old man.

And then the power goes off: a solar pulse has disrupted the entire energy grid.

But it’s not just electricity that’s been lost. There’s no water, no cell phone, no computer. Anything with any kind of electronics no longer functions, and that includes most every car on the road.

But, you know, we grannies are crafty, and Bea Crenshaw is no exception. Not that she ever expected this, but, well, stuff happens and Bea likes to be prepared. An unexpected inheritance has provided some extra money and Bea has shared that information with absolutely no one. She bought a house on an adjacent block in her Austin, Texas neighborhood, built an underground shelter and filled it with all the necessities anyone might need if Armageddon strikes.

Bea’s home alone with the grandkids while the hubs and her adult children have gone off to a football game. There’s no way a to contact them or even know if they are still alive. The only way they could get home is to walk the two hundred miles between Dallas and Austin.

Remember no cell phones, no running automobiles? No buses, no trains, no Ubers.


And from that point on things only get worse. There’s looting and theft and backbiting and in-fighting for food and supplies like you might expect. Bea carefully guards her secret stash but when the community begins to suffer from a lack of food and water, how can she not share? But of course there are other crises both global and personal that make Bea wonder how much more she can take. It’s going to take a crusty old lady to get herself and her grandkids through this and Bea Crenshaw is nothing if not crusty.

Given the cantankerous nature of 2020, all of this might make you feel like the author is downright psychic. Of course it’s a pandemic and a crazy election instead of a solar pulse that’s thrown our world off course, but still…

If Darkness Takes Us is a great cautionary tale, and maybe a little too close to home. But it’s a creative and awesome read. I give it five stars

4 thoughts on “Book Review: “If Darkness Takes Us” by Brenda Marie Smith

  1. Timely, indeed. I remember about 10 years ago the whole electro-magnetic pulse from the sun idea was a popular doomsday theory. So, I suspect that was her inspiration, but it sounds like she cultivated it along with some other popular end-of-the-world scenarios and published it just in time for a captive audience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The book was actually published last fall, well before the pandemic, but I get your drift. Brenda is a sixties child and lived on a commune at one time so she is probably no stranger to self-sufficiency.


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