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A Gift Upon the Shore

Written By:M. K. Wren - 1990

  • A Gift Upon the Shore  - M. K. Wren cover


In the Pacific Northwest of the near future, the golden age has ended in apocalypse. Nuclear war has unleashed firestorms and the killing cold of nuclear winter. Earthquakes and tidal waves have ravaged the West Coast of America. Desperate violent looters comb the devasted land. And a horrifying pandemic lays waste to the remaining human population.

But one of the few survivors, Mary Hope, is determined to see that some spark of culture survives. Together with her beloved friend Rachel, she sets out to preserve the precious knowledge of the past by saving every book she can in what may very well be the last library—the only record of a world that has perished.

But Mary and Rachel are not alone. They are forced to share their small subsistence farm. Amarna, with the Flock, a small band of survivors with fanatical beliefs. And one of those beliefs is that books are blasphemous and should be destroyed...


"Powerful, compelling... A lyrical, haunting story of two women surviving in a darker era of the near future."

"Wren transcends the post-apocalyptic genre in the graceful, compelling, and wonderfully sane novel." San Francisco Chronicle

"Wren strings words like perfectly matched pearls... A GIFT UPON THE SHORE is both deep and moving." Chicago Tribune

"This cautionary novel is scarier that anything by Stephen King or Clive Barker. Certainly the stuff of any book lover's worst nightmares." Los Angeles Times Book Review

"The story is beautifully written and reinforces Clive Barker's contention that real literature transcends genre." Rocky Mountain News

"A fine story in a brisk, page-turning style... Wren deserves the attention she will most certainly receive for A GIFT UPON THE SHORE." The Sunday Oregonian

"You won't have any trouble finding A GIFT UPON THE SHORE in the book stores, and it's getting enthusiastic reviews; it has a fair shot at becoming a best seller, because it IS a good book." The Denver Post

"Wren's post-nuclear world rings true, as do her compelling depictions of the subsistence-level daily life—the triumphs, the losses and the desperations." Publishers Weekly