I'll start by saying that this is an extremely personal view, based on my life experiences and not on any literary criteria. I would never ususally read this genre as it doesn't interest me, but I am taking part in a reading challenge. I know nothing about the author and have never seen the film .It would be fair to say that the book has never impinged upon my consciousness in any way.
As I began to read the book ,my first thought was, woah , what is this, and to almost give up. I read some reviews on here and was broadly speaking, in the negative camp, but I decided for the sake of the challenge to push on.
As I did so, I began to feel a creeping sadness and acute sense of recognition in regard to the father character. I don't know if the author has any children, or in particular, has ever had sole responsibility for a child , but as I continued to read there were so many little things that 'spoke' to me.' I have , through what another writer might dub 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' become the sole parent of an eight year old. I am currently out of work and just about holding on by my fingertips while simultaneously telling her everything will be ok and acting like I believe it (when sadly I'm not at all sure right now.) We live week to week and I meal plan and 'ration 'food and supplies like the military ,because I never know what will happen, and if I get ill , it's all over.
I'm not equating first world europe with a post apocalyptic society (!) but I did know exactly what the father meant when towards the close of the novel he tells the child 'I get scared'... because I do too..
I cried towards the finish but ultimately wish that the ending had been a bit less 'tied up in a bow'. I felt an ambiguous ending would have been more in keeping with the style of the piece.
So I did like this book , but more for its personal resonances than its writing, which I don't feel qualified to judge..