Meg Daltry works every shift she can her hands on at the Squealing Pig bar in Provincetown. She lives a simple life, putting away every cent she can manage to realize her dream of owning her own bar in Boston. The last thing on her mind is romance, and the second last thing on her mind is Lane Boyd, the woman she had a casual relationship with during her year in London.
Lane Boyd has never wanted for anything in life thanks to her rich parents, except maybe the chance to pursue a career as an artist (the one thing her parents won’t let her have). When she realizes she made a huge mistake in letting Meg go, she decides it’s time to prove she can take care of herself, so she takes a flight from London to Provincetown.
Of course, she didn’t bank on a zombie invasion taking over the town before she had a chance to work things out with Meg. The two of them join forces with local historian, Wendy, ex-military butch, Tiny, and local kid, Lois, to save Provincetown from the zombies, or die trying.
Caitlin: I expected to hate Lane because she sounds like a spoiled, trust-fund baby, but she is surprisingly capable and really figures out who she is when the zombies start terrorizing the town. That being said, when it came to the flashbacks, I had a lot of trouble seeing why Meg would want to date this woman. It seemed like every other flashback was Lane not doing what she had promised to do. This was generally simple stuff like tidying the apartment or cooking dinner, doing groceries, etc. While I totally understand that no one is perfect, the indication from Meg was that this was a pattern and it didn’t strike me as very attractive, particularly when Meg likes things to be tidy.
Meg isn’t actually the girl next door, but she very much has that energy about her. She’s very sweet, and kind to those around her. The first few chapters paint Meg as this good Samaritan who will agree to go see the Viking display she has no interest in to keep the local historian happy, she’ll share a meal with the local homeless man without letting him know she’s paying for it from her own wages, she goes to check on her sick colleague.
At the end of the day, the two of them have really great chemistry, but I’m not 100% convinced they’ll last as a couple. There is a realism to that kind of ending that works for me though, particularly in this setting where just coming away with their lives is a pretty big accomplishment.
Sheena: LOL, I totally agree with Caitlin, I do not see Meg and Lane lasting as a couple. I felt like they just really want different things from life. And while Darry did try to illustrate ways in which Lane was changing for the better, it wasn’t really the main thrust of the story and so we only got glimpses of it.
Having said that, I did enjoy the motley cast of characters and their interactions. I loved the witty banter interspersed with spicy chemistry and downright brilliant moments of zombie killing excellence.
The Writing Style
Caitlin: I loved the mix of zombies and romance. I know some of you are probably sick to death of the zombies craze because it was everywhere for a few years, but I’m still enjoying it. There is a bit of that tongue in cheek British humor that shines through in zombie movies like Shaun of the Dead, though there are also some very tense moments that I thought were blended very well with the funnier moments.
Given the current world situation, I was a little apprehensive about diving into a zombie book, but the blurb hooked me so I thought I’d give it a shot anyway. I’m glad I did because Darry has a lovely writing style that drew me into this story and had me wanting more when it was over.
Sheena: Darry has a fantastic knack for spinning tales. The world building, character motivations and clear writing style kept me excited to read this book.
My Favourite Parts
Caitlin: Throughout the novel, there are little news updates at the start of some of the chapters that give a sense of how the world is responding to the crisis. What’s being said on social media and such. These are short, but also insanely hilarious.
Sheena: Totally agree. Those were absolutely brilliant and I LOVED them.
Caitlin: There is a little gore in this one (it’s a zombie book, that can’t be a surprise). If you prefer your romances zombie free, this one isn’t going to be for you.
Caitlin: If you’re still hunkering for more zombies, especially zombies with a women loving women romance, then pick this one up. It’s got a bit of everything: romance, sex, laughs, gore, even Vikings.
Sheena: I love that the zombie trope got a unique lesbians spin: the story happens in province town; with two lesbian leads; and a sprinkling of lesbian side characters. Cue the happy sigh.
With no dull moments, a lot of witty dialogue, a great story hook and a sizzling romance what more could a girl want?
Excerpt from Z-Town by Eden Darry
Meg knocked on Joanne’s front door. After a minute, she heard footsteps coming down the hall, and the door opened.
For a second, Meg couldn’t breathe. She blinked. Blinked again. She tried to get her throat to work.
For her part, Lane looked equally stunned. “Meg.”
“What are you doing here?” The last place Meg expected to find Lane Boyd was at Joanne’s house. Her being in Provincetown was weird enough, but at Joanne’s?
“I found her daughter wandering around outside. I brought her home. I…Wow, this is not how I wanted you to find out I was here.”
What did that mean? Land came to Provincetown to see her? Or she was here and knew Meg was and didn’t want her to find out from someone else? What the hell was going on?
“I’m sorry, you’ve got me at a disadvantage,” Meg said.
“I know. I know I have. Look, can we talk? Not here. But later. Joanne is really ill. I think she needs a doctor, but she won’t let me call one.
Meg pushed past Lane and tried to ignore how her belly tightened as she brushed against her. Lane was still hot.
“Let me see her.”
Meg almost gagged at the smell in Joanne’s bedroom. It was sweet and rotten—like fruit gone off. “Joanne?”
Joanne lay beneath the covers unmoving. “Joanne? It’s Meg.” Meg took a few steps further inside the room and tried not to throw up. The only explanation Meg could think of for that smell was a festering wound or something equally gross. “Joanne, honey, I’m going to call an ambulance. I think that cut you got is infected.”
Joanne rolled over and blinked up at Meg. “I told that other woman I’m okay. Just sick. I have a really bad cold.”
“I think it’s more than that. I wish you’d let us call you a doctor,” Lane said. She moved up right behind Meg, and Meg could feel her warmth. “You smell awful.”
“Lane!” Meg said.
“What? It smells like something went off in here. I’m sorry, Joanne, but it does. And Lois was wandering by herself outside. I really think you need a doctor. Probably a hospital.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781635557435
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
- Eden Darry Online
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Note: I received a free review copy of Z-Town by Eden Darry. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site