In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z’s small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds.
This is a story of new motherhood in a terrifying setting: a familiar world made dangerous and unstable, its people forced to become refugees. Startlingly beautiful, Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From is a gripping novel that paints an imagined future as realistic as it is frightening. And yet, though the country is falling apart around them, this family’s world – of new life and new hope – sings with love.
I loved everything about this book. From the eye catching cover to the beautiful prose, this book took my breath away and I devoured it in one sitting. The story is set in a dystopian world that has been ravaged by floods and follows a young mother as she seeks to survive in this new world. It’s a very short book, only one hundred and sixty pages, but in that short space of time a lot happens to the young protagonist.
The thing I really loved about this book was Megan Hunter’s writing style. It’s very lyrical and absolutely beautiful to read. It was part of the reason why I kept turning page after page and before I knew it I’d finished it. The book is a somewhat cautionary tale on the negative effects that pollution have on the environment, and I think it’s a really superbly written story. It’s full of heart and emotion, and I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it.
This book is really haunting, and it stayed with me long after I finished reading it. In fact several days afterwards I was still thinking about what a stunning book it was. The young mother’s plight as she gives birth, searches for food and is housed in a refugee camp is both harrowing and also realistic, as it’s infinitely possible with today’s destruction of our environment.
If you’re looking for a small book that packs a big punch, The End We Start From is definitely going to be one of the big books of 2017.