Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey
Upright Women Wanted is a hopeful story about finding people like us in unexpected but wonderful places. The best parts of a western in the gaps of the post-apocalypse set against the specter of a vague forever-war. A scrappy novella with a big heart.
I know I love most things I read, but I needed something happy right now and this was just the ticket. It's about people in the gaps, the spaces between what's supposed to happen and the edge of the next set of rules, the next scrutinizing town. It takes the wildness and danger of a Western and gives it a modern framing with a post-apocalyptic flair. Some of the backstories are either implicitly or explicitly filled with some terrible events, but it strikes a balance between showing and telling that leaves the really bad stuff to the imagination. It has a fair amount of blood and death for such an ultimately hopeful book, but the ending was so cathartic and lovely, just what I needed right now.
CW for murder, blood, death.