The End We Start From
Set in the not so distant future when the oceans have risen dramatically and drowned much of England, the main character has just given birth to her son when she has ...more
Sometime in the future, London is submerged beneath floodwaters, and people fear the end of the world is drawing near. As the floods approach a woman gives birth to a baby boy, Z. Within a few days, she and her husband R must flee their home and search for a safer place.
Each day they worry about whether the floods will find them. When they take refuge with R's parents, they discover that the fear is never far away from them. And while the woman is worried about what is happ ...more
The story is told in sho ...more
Some catastrophic event is occurring. Though we never are told specifically, the devast ...more
”What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
”I am hours from giving birth, from the event I thought would never happen to me, and R has gone up a mountain.”
She is thirty-two weeks pregnant when the announcement is made that the water is rising even faster than they thought. She is thirty-nine weeks pregnant when they return to tell them they don’t have to move, it was ...more
In this book a woman gives birth to her firstborn just as a flood envelopes London. She and her husband escape to a mountain to live with his parents. But they are forced to keep moving and half the time the reasons are not filled in. People come, people go. It's like as the world ends, s ...more
The story is set in the UK of the near future. An unprecedented environmental catastrophe occurs and much of London lies underwater. Chaos reigns - nobody was prepared for a disaster of this magnitude. The narrator is forced to flee her apartment wi ...more
In the beginning...or is it the end...an expectant mother's water breaks and a child called Z is born. (No names here...only single capital letters for characters.) In a desolate new...or is it old...world, water is flooding the country, and struggle for survival is apparent. A search...more
This post-apocalyptic fiction sees a very-near-future version of Great Britain in a state of veritable panic due to the increasing sea water levels. A mother-to-be is living in terror of her uncertain future. A father-to-be is haunted by claustrophobia in a sinking world. A baby is about to be born, and knows nothing of the predicament he is arriving ...more
Into the environment comes a family, a new mother and her husband. The novella is not really so much directed towards disaster as it is a treatise on being a parent. The husband is missing in this story, where all people go by an ...more
I received an advance review copy of The End We Start From from the publisher through NetGalley.
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This was such a surprise! I recently read Hunter’s second novel, The Harpy, and while I appreciated the writing, I didn’t vibe with the story. This one was very different but still had some really great writing. It’s atmospheric and poetic and a bit disjointed. But it captures feelings so well and that’s really what moved me. It wasn’t quite 5 stars for something I can’t put my finger on, but I still really loved this. It’s definitely a book I’d recommend sinking into in one sitting ...more
This novella doesn't use names and doesn't fixate on details - instead it's about humanity, the connections we make, the ways we adapt to change. Although Megan Hunter does an impressive job at delving into these themes in so short a ...more
Agh. I really thought I would love this. I'm a huge fan of dystopian novels, and I love reading poetic, elegant writing. I wasn't sure how they would work together, but after reading this book - I'm not too sure it works.
There were definitely places where the writing style was beautiful, but overall I think it worked against the story. Because it was so soft and airy, the story lost a lot of its intensity and speed - things that are typically very important to a dystopian unive ...more
What a contrast – the beauty of the birth of a child and his discoveries of the fascinating world around him against the harsh reality of a planet that ...more
This is a novella which can easily be read in one sitting; sparse would be a good way of describing it. The little paragraphs are rarely more than one or two sentences and they are well spaced out. The novel is dystopian and relates to an environmental disaster in the very near future involving water, lots of it. It illustrates how quickly our comfortable lifestyles and communities can disintegrate. It is narrated by an unnamed and heavily pregnant woman. All the other charac ...more
Z opens his eyes a little more every day. I am constantly aware of the complex process of breath: how the heart has to keep beating, to bring oxygen to the lungs in and out. Or something. It seems that at any moment it could stop. Sometimes he sleeps so quietly it seems that he has gone. We mostly lie in R’s old childhood bedroom, now with double bed and Moses basket creaking with Z’s every move. The news rushes past downstairs like a flow of traffic. Even our flat there underwater doesn’t ma...more
Sad and terrible things happen repeatedly as the narrator and her partner R keep movi ...more
I've read some weird books in my time. Good weird, bad weird, you name it; deadly sounds, man eating gators, severed bee penises, bones and blood sprouting from the ground, a werebeetle, and some unfortunate life decisions involving mayonnaise. To name a few.
So as a self-named expert on weird, that's what I'm going to choose to call The End We Start From. This shit is WEIRD.
This is a not very dystopian dystopia, but hey, the concept ...more
At one level, this beguiling debut novel(la) by Megan Hunter can be enjoyed as a work of science fiction, or even as a Mieville-like piece of "new weird". Its setting is a contemporary London made strange by an inexplicable environmental phenomenon - the waters are rising, swallowing cities and towns and bringing about social mayhem. Right at the onset of the deluge, the narrator gives birth to a son - Z. Days later, mother and child have to head to the North to avoid the advancing waters. W ...more
I am not sure what I just read. For the record, I am not a fan of poetry or short stories (they just aren’t my thing. I am more old school, beginning-middle-end kind of girl who prefers definitive endings) and it is extremely evident that Megan Hunter is a poet, and not a writer.
“The End We Start From” sounds promising. A young family is stranded after (what we can assume) a flo ...more
My reviews and (maybe) some other random thoughts can also be seen at
If you like metaphoric, poetic prose then you will enjoy The End We Start From by Megan Hunter.
The prose in this book was very metaphoric, and unfortunately sometimes the meaning was lost on me. The writing was also very sparse in this book. At 134 pages this novella is very short and can be read in one sitting, fairl ...more