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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
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
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 all ...more
When we have read 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale , it is reasonable to believe that it would be rather difficult to be touched by any other dystopian novel. Yet, we may be mistaken. At least, I was. Frightfully. I frankly don’t know where to begin with The End We Start From. It shocked me, frightened me, moved me and disturbed me. And as far as I am conce ...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
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
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
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
The story is set in a dystopian world after a catastrophic flood and follows the events that happen to a new mother and her infant son as they move from place to place searching for food, for safety... For a semblance of life as we know it.
The characters are only known by letters of the alphabet... R, Z, O for example. We never hear them utter a moment of d ...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
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
I received an advance review copy of The End We Start From from the publisher through NetGalley.
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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
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
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
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
and boy oh boy was I excited for this, blurb amazing. COVER FABULOUS. But I am at a serious loss for words of how to review this book, I really wanted to like it you know. I did!
Read my whole review here -
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, fairly q ...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
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 will admit it is quite well written. The book is about a young women giving birth for the first time while London is being ...more
This story is more about motherhood than the event. It was so fascinating to read about this woman whose whole world has changed not just because of the event, but because of the Z, a child she thought she would never have. She’s older and has waited a long time to be a mother. Even still, motherhood changes a woman. Her story of discovery of her child, along with the miracle and struggles of newborns, was so familiar.
The prose in this ...more
This tiny little book is written in gorgeous prose; it almost feels like a long-form poem. It begins with a disaster of water levels rising and causing England to mostly go under water. A woman gives birth to her only son, Z, and she and her husband, R, do what they need to do to survive. They pick up and move upward and onward in order to stay out of harm’s way.
The story seems sparse because i ...more