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On February 22, 2011, journalist Jane Bowron had been living in her hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand, when the city was struck by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake, only five months after a 7.1 earthquake. While the first quake had caused damage but no fatalities, the second became the ultimate horror story: entire suburbs were decimated, houses collapsed, hillsides fell away, and people were killed or trapped in rubble and raging fires. As the historic city lay in ruins, Bowron managed to find a phone, call her newspaper, and deliver a moving human account of the scene around her. For the next three months, she continued to send regular dispatches of everyday life being lived in the most extraordinary of circumstances as citizens struggled to cope with grief, loss, and the new reality. Brilliantly written and suffused with unexpected humor, this account provides a rare look into life after devastation.

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