I've been racking my head trying to find the name of this book.

It's about this girl surviving in a rural valley in after nuclear war of some sort. She's the only one that is left alive... and then she starts seeing this campfire smoke on the horizon, moving closer each day...

It's set in a fairly 'contemporary' time, late 80's or 90's maybe. In what I would suppose was meant to be rural America. The girls family are partially alive at the start I believe, some died really early due to being caught up directly in the radiation, others die as they ventured out for help/supplies.

Here's a bit more about how the story ends... but it's a bit spoilery of course...

so the campfire is a guy, a single guy, coming this way because he's seen the birds over this valley. He's survived, as he has a radiation proof suit, just the one of course. His plan is simple maths, one man, one woman... She, being rather young, has other ideas. When he first arrives he had dived into a stream thinking it must be safe, not realising that this stream comes form outside the valley and is thus not safe, she knew this and didn't stop him. She works on nursing him back to health, but know what his plans are, she runs away one night, choosing the risk of being alone than with him.

marked as duplicate by Otis, Jason Baker, CBredlow, Rand al'Thor Oct 5 '16 at 18:16

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  • You can add the spoilers in spoiler tags. Sometimes the spoilers are what jog someone's memory ;) – kjw Aug 19 '15 at 16:59
  • @sehe none of those ring any bells. I think I might have over state the 'nuclear holocaust' part of it. It's clearly the case, but it's not some Fallout dystopian far future. – thecoshman Aug 19 '15 at 16:59
  • @kjw what's the proper tags for that? – thecoshman Aug 19 '15 at 17:00
  • @thecoshman There's a full list here: scifi.stackexchange.com/editing-help but the spoiler tag is >! – kjw Aug 19 '15 at 17:01

This is likely Z for Zachariah, by Robert C. O'Brien. See the Wikipedia article.

  • sorry, this isn't it :\ let me try to add more details. – thecoshman Aug 19 '15 at 16:54
  • 2
    Your details confirm that this is definitely Z for Zachariah. – Daniel Roseman Aug 19 '15 at 17:09
  • oh you're right, this must be the book. It's possible I studied it under another name... or my memory is that bad. Or it's one hell of a coincidence/copy right infringement :P – thecoshman Aug 19 '15 at 17:12
  • @DanielRoseman Maybe some publisher decided the title "Z for Zachariah" was unlikely to appeal to the female teenage sci-fi fan demographic, which at the time of publishing was probably small enough already, thanks. – Doug Warren Aug 19 '15 at 17:13

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