Title: The End We Start From
Author: Megan Hunter
Genre: Fiction, Dystopia
Source: Free ARC from Grove Press
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Grove Press via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Synopsis: Imagine being pregnant at a time when the world seems to be coming to an end. Rising sea levels have caused catastrophic flooding throughout England. The woman, her husband, and her in-law’s must find abandon their home and find shelter…somewhere…only days after she’s given birth to their first and only child. As society starts to slowly disintegrate, she holds onto the intangibles, the wonder of her new child, how he looks when he’s nursing, his natural draw to the ocean, the way he breathes when she sleeps. Her son is her touchstone as they plod through, finding their way in an ever-changing world.
Review: I’m struggling to find the words to say what I want to say the right way here. This is not a book for everyone. Not because there is anything offensive in it, nothing gruesome or scary, no profanity or sex, and it isn’t a difficult read. It’s just…unusual. The kind of unusual not everyone can appreciate fully, I suspect. While dystopian in nature, it doesn’t come with all the violence, desperation, drama, and franticness commonly found in the genre. That’s because this book is really about motherhood and connectedness, and the world crumbling around them is mostly background noise. It’s an intriguing lens through which to view the early years of motherhood.
The writing style is rather unique. I keep arguing with myself, again lacking the right word, trying to decide between simple and stark. Neither seems right. Maybe the best way to describe it is this: Megan Hunter knows how to use a few words in a way that is both extremely accessible and deeply affecting.
This is a quick read, but a bit unusual. Most likely, I’d recommend it to my literature loving friends.