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The Rending and the Nest

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  593 ratings  ·  153 reviews
When ninety-five percent of the world’s population disappears for no apparent reason, Mira does what she can to create some semblance of a life: She cobbles together a haphazard community named Zion, scavenges the Piles for supplies they might need, and avoids loving anyone she can’t afford to lose. Four years after the Rending, Mira has everything under control. Almost.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by Bloomsbury USA
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Kerry I think it's not explained. It's just some fruit that dissolves in the mouth. There were other fruit type things also that just showed up when the ren…moreI think it's not explained. It's just some fruit that dissolves in the mouth. There were other fruit type things also that just showed up when the rending occurred.(less)

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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  593 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-publisher

This is another one of those books best going in blind; the less you know the better and you should probably come back to this review after you've read the book yourself. If you're wanting more detail minus overt spoilers, continue at your own risk. 

How do you write a review of one of the most complex books you've read to date? Technically this one isn't out until the end of February, but I wanted to include it in my Nebulous November challenge (where it fit the bill nicely I might add)
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia, arc
I love vague, quiet, introspective dystopian stories; the premise of this intrigued me to no end and I was hoping for something incredible. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed this; just not as much as I thought I would.

I loved the vagueness of the world building. All the reader knows is that six years prior to the events of this book, most people and most things vanished without a trace. What is left of the things is mostly in random piles, while those who are left of the people have to tr
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review,

This was one of the most bizarre books I've read.

Mia is living in a post apocalyptic world. Six years ago, people started to vanish leaving nothing behind. After the Rending, Mia tries to lead a normal life - scavenging and surviving in a makeshift community. But that all changes when the women who remain start giving birth to strange things, and Mia must fight for her normal life, and that of her unborn child, against the mysterio
Jun 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I am a sucker for post-apocalyptic novels and THE RENDING AND THE NEST is a good one. One welcome surprise is that it is free of all of those pesky tropes that this genre seems to peddle fairly often! It is also so much more than just a chilling dystopian story, it looks at deeper topics such as motherhood and faith, and asks the questions - How well do we know the people we love? What sustains us in the midst of suffering? How do we forgive the brokenness we find within others--and within ourse ...more
Nov 17, 2017 added it
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this new title by Kaethe Schwehn. The author has a unique premise in place for her world-building, which very much intrigued me... One day, 95% of the world's population simply vanishes. Random objects disappear off store shelves and from houses, also with no explanation offered. Clouds obscure the sky and there is no longer sun. No one can explain why. The survivors band together and live in scrabbled together shelters, sc ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
3.5 Stars.

I've read this book a week ago and I am still thinking about it. What a read! Throughout, I kept wondering: do I like this? Is this too weird? Is this brilliant? Or not?

I still haven't found an answer to most of these questions. What I can say is, I did enjoy the read and I read it in one sitting. The pacing is great (if you enjoy character driven stories), the world engrossing, and the characters are well developed.

I really connected with the main character, and Mira is the main reaso
Mel (Epic Reading)
DNF 38%

Well the description of The Rending and the Nest makes it obvious it's a weird dystopian world. And yet it isn't the inanimate objects being 'born' instead of live babies that's the weirdest.

Weird, weird, weird
Instead the most bizarre and frustrating thing is that the world has changed in a way that makes absolutely no sense. I don't need a scientific approach, just a moderately believable one. It can have future technology in it to account for capabilities we don't have; but, it still ne
This is an unusual post-apocalyptic novel, not quite a dystopia – in fact, some might consider its premise utopian. It depicts society a few years after an unexplained event known as the Rending, which caused most of the world's population (and a good chunk of its animals, food and technology) to vanish in an instant. The narrator, Mira, is in a shopping mall when the Rending happens, and it's with a group of other shoppers and workers she stays, not very far away from the mall itself, in a make ...more
Anjali Sachdeva
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have read a mountain of dystopian future books. This one stands completely apart from all of them. It's beautifully written, thoughtful, sometimes funny and sometimes a punch in the gut. The book probes both the best and worst aspects of human nature, asking how we all would change if the people we love most suddenly disappeared-- a question I ended up asking myself many times as I read. The world-building is also impressive. Schwehn manages to make a bizarre future filled with perpetually ove ...more
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
The Rending and the Nest has a very intriguing premise. A post-apocalyptic world with a mystery sprinkled with themes of motherhood, survival, and community. Unfortunately, the pacing, writing, and characters were dull.

The Rending and the Nest is a very slow paced book. Schwehn take hers time building the world and main character, Mira. I loved getting intimate details about the world post Rending and Mira as a character, but it took Schwehn almost half the book to accomplish. The synopsis abov
Janelle Janson
Thank you so much to Bloomsbury Publishing for providing my free copy of THE RENDING AND THE NEST by Kaethe Schwehn - all opinions are my own.

This is one of the most bizarre and intelligent books I’ve ever read. It’s introspective, philosophical, evocative, and poetic. Without any explanation, 95 percent of the world’s population has disappeared in an event called the Rending. The remaining population have no idea why the Rending occurred but decide to trudge on and try to add to their existence
Ova - Excuse My Reading
I requested this book in NetGalley after reading it's for likes of Emily St john Mandel's Station Eleven. First of all, I must say the only similarity between this book and Station Eleven is 95% of world's population disappearing. Nothing else. The writing, the structure, the style is completely different. There is no explanation or hint of why people vanished. We just accept then and move on with the story.

The first thing I disliked in this book is that there is almost no introduction. It star
Christine Roberts
In an interesting but odd twist on the dystopian genre, Kaethe Schwehn narrates the end of the world from the point of view of a young woman. After the Rending, in which not just people but animals, things, and sunshine have disappeared, Mira and her friends found a community known as Zion. After a surprising turn regarding pregnancy and birth, Zion is visited by Michael, a creepy cult type leader of a place called the Zoo. As the novel reaches it's apex, and the confrontation between Mira and t ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Dystopian fiction is generally hugely appealing to me. And this was one conceptually fascinating, a world rendered incomplete and strange through rapture like event, now with most of the population gone, weather changed and most of the material possessions ranged into giant Piles. In this world a small group of survivors banded together into a make shift community supported by scavenging and various other means. If life in this new bleak environment wasn’t difficult enough, there’s also the fact ...more
Wit & Wonder Books
***ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review***

Kaethe Schwehn’s The Rending and the Nest was a riveting and unique take on the dystopian genre. I am not sure I can compare it to any other book of this style, as it takes an unusual twist on the After.

Mira is left behind when 95% of the population disappears without a trace for no apparent reason. Suddenly life is split between Before and After the Rending. In an attempt to create some normalcy, she teams up with the few others w
The Captain
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .

This is truly wonderfully delightfully oddly bizarre. It is a post-apocalyptic book wherein 95% of the population disappears with no explanation. This becomes known as the Rending. Along with people, portions of buildings and other items simply disappear as well. Thousands of random objects are mixed together in towering Piles that dot the landscape.

In this new wor
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
How bizarre.

This book is very strange and not just because women in a post-apocalyptic world are suddenly giving birth to inanimate objects. I found the story to be very strange in the way it is written. I found it to be very vague without much of a plot and little character development. It's interesting enough that I kept reading and reading, waiting for something to happen, but about halfway through I realized there's just not much going on here and why are the characters doing what they're d
Syd (deertales)
the rending and the nest is solidly the most bizarre book i have ever read. my feelings are so conflicted because while i personally didn't like the story, i can't really specify any good reasons why that aren't simply my personal preferences.

the setting was so interesting, but was purposefully vague. as a reader, you never get to learn the circumstances that brought about the disappearance of 95% of the population in a single second. we never learn why only a select few women get pregnant. we
Gail Jothen
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very creative, this book is in the genre of speculative fiction which often can be
wary about the future. This book is on the edge of tragic yet ends with hope and
kindness. It focuses on a community in Minnesota which starts life rather lacking in
bonding among its members and ends with the beginnings of new life and the hope of
a true, caring community. The author doesn't explain everything that happens so
one could wish for a sequel. Yet what the book does give to me, the reader, is a sense
of con
Nicole Jarvis
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bloomsbury, 5-star
I couldn't put this book down! The dystopian world was fascinating, but it was the characters that kept me hooked. As someone with no maternal instincts, I was amazed by how much this book made me ache for the various mothers featured. The themes of humanity, miscarriage, friendship, love, and fate were all fantastically realized in this landscape of this mysterious dystopia. Highly recommended!

Disclaimer: I work for the publisher, but this review is my own opinion.
Jenny Dunning
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite kind of book--each sentence unfolds like a poem, while the characters and story draw me ineluctably forward. Schwehn's post-apocalyptic world is weirdly wonderful; unexpected details present themselves at every turn.

The novel also satisfies at the theme level. Something entirely incomprehensible has occurred, what the characters call the Rending, in which 95% of the world's population and much of their "stuff" has disappeared suddenly. Gradually, the reader realizes that for all the
I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I requested this book because I am a sucker for post-apocalypse fiction and the self-comparisons to Station Eleven, which I absolutely loved. But this book did not really work for me. An apocalypse happens and none of the survivors know why. It’s a great premise, and it sets the table nicely for one of the book’s main themes: no one ever knows the whole story, so the only thing you get to decide is the story you’re going to tell y ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Rending and the Nest is nothing like any dystopia I read before and completely surprised me. Initially though, I was put off by the writing since it is very lyrical and therefore (not being a native English speaker) it took me longer to process the sentences. But after the first chapter, I started to enjoy the slower paced reading and really appreciated Schwehn's beautiful, clever and metaphorical style.

The other thing I loved about this book is how open for interpretation it is. You're not
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-net-galley
3.5 Stars

This was an interesting, well-written book with an unusual post-apocalyptic, dystopian plot. Following a mysterious apocalyptic event termed The Rending, in a world with a vastly reduced population, Mira, the central character, lives in a community called Zion. Her days are spent sorting through the Piles, quite literally piles of debris left by The Rending, finding objects that might be put to use. Her friend Lana sometimes accompanies her but is primarily working as a prostitute in th
Samantha Zee
This book was really weird and even if I had reread the blurb before picking this one up (I tend to add books to my TBR and get to them months later, forgetting what they were supposed to be about), I don't think it would've helped. We follow a group of people who try to build a community after the "Rending" happens, where the majority of the world's people just disappear. Piles of junk appear and people scavenge for parts for survival while trying to rebuild society and deal with the fact that ...more
Therin Knite
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: literary
While the premise of this book was extremely interesting, I found the execution a bit too esoteric for my tastes. I was hoping for something more like Station Eleven, but this went far beyond that in terms of literary focus.

There were many parts of this story I liked, however, including the descriptions of the setting, like the large stacks of random objects, and the concept that a large portion of objects disappeared, leaving sparse supplies. Some of the characters were quite interesting as we
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
3.5 stars. About 1/3 of the way through I wanted to stop reading it - I got what the world was but not much was happening - but then I got really caught up in this very strange dystopia. One day most of the people and a lot of the stuff in the world disappears. The remaining stuff is deposited in giant piles. The survivors in this story started out in the Mall of America. The weather is a constant gray 60-ish and the ground periodically saturates with water, sustaining root crops but not much el ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is NOT just another work of post-apocalyptic fiction. Often, such novels focus on the question, "Why did this happen?" There is some of that here, too, as characters struggle to make peace with loss and recognize the truths in their new reality; the beauty of this novel, however, unfolds as its characters move past their pain into acceptance.

Schwehn's writing deftly balances profundity with absurdity. Little moments of this book will stay with me for a long time, and I've learned things I
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting post-apocalyptic novel that possibly doesn't go deep enough. It has a lot of good ideas for a society so suddenly broken, but it doesn't expand on many of them, and takes some of its more outré concepts entirely for granted. Not exactly fun, but some arresting images and a good climax help The Rending and the Nest along without ever really placing it in the post-apocalyptic pantheon. ...more
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting set up of the rending of the world and how the survivors deal with being the ones left. I didn’t mind the ambiguity of how and and why the world was shaken up, I just couldn’t get past the women giving birth to inanimate objects. No explanations were given except the obvious metaphor that each women had a connection to her object before the rending. More disappointing was that I found The characters to be bland. They did not draw you into their lives and struggles and make you care f ...more
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Kaethe Schwehn holds a B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College and an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her memoir, Tailings, won the Minnesota Book Award for creative nonfiction in 2015 and her debut novel, The Rending and the Nest, will be published by Bloomsbury in February of 2018. She has been the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board grant and a Loft Mentor Series award. Her fiction, p ...more

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