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Virginia Bergin learned to roller-skate with the children of eminent physicists. She grew up in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and went on to study psychology, but ruined her own career when, dabbling in fine art at Central Saint Martins, she rediscovered creative writing. Since then she has written poetry, short stories, film and TV scripts. Most recently she has been working in online education, creating interactive courses for The Open University. Virginia lives in Bristol.
June 2017 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: rollicking, thought-provoking dystopian adventure | As the TV series of The Handmaid’s Tale sets everyone thinking, publication of Who Runs the World? seems very timely. It imagines a very different dystopian future to Attwood’s, one in which women are in charge. A generation after a deadly virus wiped out all the men, lead character River has grown up in an all-female world, looked after by a community of ‘mummas’ and ‘granmummas’. The general peace and harmony of their lives is shockingly disturbed when River finds a teenage boy, sick but alive. The book examines not just our attitudes to gender but poses wider questions about politics, power and the way we operate as a society. Bergin keeps the tension high throughout, the action unfolding at almost breathless speed, but still manages to intersperse humour and moments of tenderness. Read it and think! ~ Andrea Reece
Virgina Bergin’s debut The Rain has already won her a large following among fans of YA. It’s the story of dippy Ruby, who manages, almost in spite of herself, to survive a devastating apocalypse brought about by a killer contagion in the rain. What a terrifying prospect that is to all of us living in the UK. The Storm takes up the action three months on. Ruby is still getting by, though the resolute cheer that’s kept her going so far is cracking. When by chance she ends up in the army camp that she had to flee in book one, she learns some disturbing truths about her fellow survivors. It’s compelling reading, and Ruby is a really appealing character, her sense of humour a constant counterpoint to the horror of the situation; basically, as she’d say, you really root for her to save the world. ~ Andrea Reece
One of our Books of the Year 2014 - July 2014 Debut of the Month A dystopian story told with the refreshing addition of a dollop of good humour. Ruby thinks nothing of it when it begins to rain. Why should she? But, what she doesn’t know is that just one drop is all it takes for your blood to be infected. It’s hard to believe - especially for Ruby as the first she finds out about it is when she’s trying to snog the dreamy Caspar in an outside hot tub. With everyone in turmoil after the party when the rain starts falling, Ruby sets off to find her dad who, she hopes, will be safe in London. Ruby’s journey is a highly entertaining roller-coaster despite the convincing threat from the rain.
Welcome to the Matriarchy. Sixty years after a virus has wiped out almost all the men on the planet, things are pretty much just as you would imagine a world run by women might be: war has ended; greed is not tolerated; the ecological needs of the planet are always put first. In two generations, the female population has grieved, pulled together and moved on, and life really is pretty good - if you're a girl. It's not so great if you're a boy, but fourteen-year-old River wouldn't know that. Until she met Mason, she thought they were extinct.
I'll tell you a weird thing about apocalypses - a thing I didn't even know until I was in one: they seem pretty bad, don't they? Well, take it from me: they can always get worse. Three months after the killer rain first fell, Ruby is beginning to realize her father might be dead . . . and that she cannot survive alone. When a chance encounter lands her back in the army camp, Ruby thinks she is safe - at a price. Being forced to live with Darius Spratt is bad enough, but if Ruby wants to stay she must keep her eyes - and her mouth - shut. It's not going to happen. When she realizes what is going on - the army is trying to find a cure by experimenting on human subjects - Ruby flips out . . . and makes an even more shocking discovery: she's not useless at all. The Storm begins . . .
An apocalyptic thriller, The Rain by Virginia Bergin is a coming of age story of survival in a scary, weather-beaten world. One minute sixteen-year-old Ruby Morris is having her first proper snog with Caspar McCloud in a hot tub, and the next she's being bundled inside the house, dripping wet, cold and in her underwear. Not cool. As she and Caspar shiver in the kitchen, it starts to rain. They turn on the radio to hear panicked voices - `It's in the rain . . . it's in the rain . . . ' That was two weeks ago, and now Ruby is totally alone. People weren't prepared for the rain, got caught out in it, didn't realize that you couldn't drink water from the taps either. Even a drop of rain would infect your blood, and eat you from the inside out. Ruby knows she has to get to London to find her dad, but she just doesn't know where to start . . . After rescuing all the neighbourhood dogs, Ruby sets off on a journey that will take her the length of the country - surviving in the only way she knows how.
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