In the late 1980s, two teenage girls found refuge from a world of cosy conformity, sexism and the nuclear arms race in protest and punk. Then, drawn in by a promise of meaning and purpose, they cast off their punk outfits and became born-again Christians. Unsure which fate would come first – nuclear annihilation or the Second Coming of Jesus – they sought answers from end-times evangelists, scrutinising friends and family for signs of demon possession and identifying EFTPOS and barcodes as signs of a looming apocalypse.
Fast forward to 2021, and Rebecca and Maz – now a science historian and an engineer – are on a road trip to the West Coast. Their journey, though full of laughter and conversation and hot pies, is haunted by the threats of climate change, conspiracy theories, and a massive overdue earthquake.
End Times interweaves the stories of these two periods in Rebecca’s life, both of which have at heart a sleepless fear of the end of the world. Along the way she asks: Why do people hold on to some ideas but reject others? How do you engage with someone whose beliefs are wildly different from your own? And where can we find hope when it sometimes feels as if we all live on a fault line that could rupture at any moment?