Twins Anna and Adam live with the commune's leader Koan in an abandoned coal mine that is situated at a coastline, where they prepare for the world-ending event which they call the 'Storm'. Adam watches the commune during the day while Anna keeps watch at night, the two meet at dusk and dawn to complete their daily rituals.
Redder Days is depicted using multiple narratives and timeframes which include the twins in the present time, Koan's old documents, former members of the commune Mathew and his wife Tabatha, and the twins' mother Eula. Told in three different parts, readers learn about 'the Red' which is some sort of plague that causes the world to go into chaos. The readers never really find out exactly what the redness is, but know that it can change both humans and animals in a way never seen before and in some instances, it can cause death. Rainsford gives the readers just enough clues to create a sense of fear and dread when the plague is mentioned.
The novel explores many unsettling and uncomfortable topics and events including how the twins deal with the abandonment of their mother, patriarchy and the consequences of a group of people being ruled and brainwashed in a cult-like fashion. Womanhood is explored in a deep sense and the colour red is a symbol for many things including fear, love, lust, pain and abandonment.
This is a mesmerising, beautiful novel, its vivid portrait of post-apocalyptic, twisted world making for an uncomfortable yet addictive read - I needed to know what was on the next page.
The novel is extremely difficult to summarize, as the dystopian world itself raises many questions: where is it based? When is it set? What is The Storm? Rainsford decides to leave out many details, leaving it to the imagination of the reader so many loose ends remain, meaning much is left to the readers' own interpretation of events.
Personally, after I finished the novel, I was ultimately disappointed in the sheer number of questions I was left with. I felt disconnected, as I was focused on creating a sense of what I was reading rather than building a relationship with the characters.