Although her descriptions of rampant toxicity and environmental degradation raise alarms, she is not primarily concerned with drawing attention to threat ... The essays themselves...refuse neat containment ... Several of Shapland’s personal narratives are explicitly framed as metaphor ... Thrumming at the heart of each essay is Shapland’s desire to develop a life for herself as a writer, to build an identity and a mode of existence that will allow her to follow her creative pursuits ... Her collection offers us insightful reflection on the weaponization of vulnerability and the fantasy of isolation at the heart of many apocalyptic visions. But it also offers us a portrait of an author coming to an awareness of writing itself as 'a mode of perception, a sensitivity to the world.'
Intimate and well-researched ... t times her personal reflections feel overly constrained by a set of left-of-liberal, white anxieties, which Shapland attempts to interrogate yet cannot seem to move beyond ... Shapland is most convincing when she grasps hold of some tentative yet essential hope.