Title: The End We Start From (2017)
Author: Megan Hunter
Publisher: Picador (UK)/Grove Atlantic (US)
Read: 28th June 2017
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From presents a drowned version of a post-apocalyptic London where its inhabitants are forced on a mass exodus from the capital as living conditions become more treacherous and flood waters rise. As a post-apocalyptic novel, it’s more concerned about one mother’s love for her new born child, and raising him during this exodus, rather than the actual dystopian world they find themselves in – unfortunately, as a childless twentysomething, I can’t say this novel particularly spoke to me in quite the same way as it seems to have done so for many other readers.
“As London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, she and her baby are forced to leave their home in search of safety. They head north through a newly dangerous country seeking refuge from place to place, shelter to shelter, to a desolate island and back again. The story traces fear and wonder, as the baby’s small fists grasp at the first colors he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds. Written with poise and poeticism, The End We Start From is an indelible and elemental first book—a lyrical vision of the strangeness and beauty of new motherhood, and a portentous tale of endurance in the face of ungovernable change.” (Synopsis from the publisher)