The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

The End We Start From

As London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, she and her baby are forced to leave their home in search of safety. They head north through a newly dangerous country seeking refuge from place to place, shelter to shelter, to a desolate island and back again. The story traces fear and wonder, as the baby’s small fists grasp at the first colors he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and con...

Details The End We Start From

TitleThe End We Start From
Release DateNov 14th, 2017
PublisherGrove Atlantic
GenreFiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Reviews The End We Start From

  • Hannah
    Beautifully and frustratingly sparse. This book is written in absolutely stunning prose that in places feels like poetry. It is stylistically wonderful - its sparseness works great in conveying the way the world has shrunk around the protagonist; minimizing her field of vision around the essentials: her new-born son and her husband.Set in the not so distant future when the oceans have risen dramatically and drowned much of England, the main chara...
  • Amalia Gavea
    ‘’In the darkness demons flew. Their shapes made a fearful noise until a voice called out, and they were still, and the silence was complete.’’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, frigh...
  • Diane S ☔
    A very interesting and timely premise. The water levels are rising, London already under water, and it is spreading to cover different cities and towns. A young woman is about to give birth, and soon has baby Z. Fascinating juxtsposition, a pending breakdown of society, with the wonder of a new birth. They are forced to move, again and again from camp to camp, as the water rises, and as food supplies dwindle. Baby Z grows, and a mother's love for...
  • Cheri
    ”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 the...
  • Claudia
    Zuwenig ist ZuvielIch möchte nicht verheimlichen, dass ich etwas angesäuert bin. :)Aus dieser Geschichte hätte was werden können, wenn die Autorin es nicht vorgezogen hätte, ihre Leser permanent mit ausgestrecktem Arm auf Abstand zu halten.Ich hab jetzt zwei Endzeit-Thriller hintereinander gelesen. Während man bei McCammon förmlich ins Buch gesogen wird, darf man ihm hier nicht zu nahe kommen.M. Hunter sorgt mit ihrem sprachexperimentellen...
  • Carol
    After digesting for a couple days, am still not quite sure how I feel about this short dystopian read. Initially confused...I wanted more. The story is vague with much left unsaid, but fear of the unknown is there.In the beginning...or is it the 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, water is flooding the country...
  • Liz
    What a strange book. The writing is very sparse. At time, the book reads more like someone’s notes about a book than an actual story. And it's funny how the use of initials instead of names threw me for a loop. 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. Pe...
  • Dannii Elle
    I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Megan Hunter, and the publisher, Picador, for this opportunity.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, a...
  • Emer
    This is a short novella that I don't quite know how to review! I am still not exactly sure what it is I read but I was certainly intrigued. 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 f...
  • Peter Boyle
    This slender novel was the subject of a bidding frenzy at the London Book Fair and my Twitter feed has been singing its praises for the past few months. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy so I decided to see what all the commotion is about.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 magnitud...
  • Dennis
    Megan Hunter's The End We Start From is a truly beautiful poetic framework of an eerily possible future that we all should consider. The story starts off with a woman in the hospital about to give labor, nervous about what the news keeps reporting as an impending disaster brewing. Several days later, she has to evacuate with her husband and son to safer grounds. The story vividly portrays the couple seeking refuge, while trying to remain safe a...
  • Marialyce
    This was a short novel, a cautionary tale on the condition of earth should the water rise and take over the land. Not only would we lose the land, we would also lose ourselves to drift in a world where we moved from place to place looking for a place where we can be dry.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 i...
  • Marjorie
    A mother gives birth to a baby. However, the parents’ happiness is marred by the floodwaters that are rising all around them. They’re forced to evacuate with the newborn infant. They need to keep moving to find land above the flood levels. The news that is coming to them is not encouraging. Panic has spread and the world is no longer a safe place.What a contrast – the beauty of the birth of a child and his discoveries of the fascinating wor...
  • Jessi
    This is a strange book. It’s about a women, her baby and her husband who wants to survive in a world that ends. It’s written in a poetical way, so it’s like you’re reading a really long beautiful text or poem.
  • Rachel
    The End We Start From is Station Eleven meets Exit West - a literary soft apocalypse refugee story set in a near-future Great Britain. Except, it's a pared down, sort of anemic version of both of those novels. It was well written, but for the most part left me cold.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 impressi...
  • Mridu aka Storypals
    I received a copy from Netgalley!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 -
  • Ellen Gail
    I...I don't really know what to say? Super weird and confusing.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 ...
  • Aentee
    This is short fiction yet I struggled to finish it. Never has an apocalypse seem more mundane. Perhaps I am missing the point of the novel, but if this is what literary writing is like, I want no part in it. Erratic, scattered, detached writing. Characters identifiable only via the letters of the alphabet. There are sections where the writing is admittedly beautiful, but not enough to save me from the sense that I just read a whole lot of nothing...
  • Jill
    This short book – around 150 pages – prompted a bidding war following the London Book Fair but I can’t help but think that there is no “there” there.Is it well-written? Absolutely. The prose is lyrical and fresh. Is it based on a strong premise? Yes again. Megan Hunter marries two increasingly popular themes: climate change apocalypse (in this case, London is flooding) and new parenthood (the first-person narrator’s water breaks at th...
  • Jane Shambler
    I am at a serious loss how to review this book. The blurb on the back of this book told me it was an interesting read. Then I read a review that gave the opposite of what I expected. So me being me I just had to read it. I wouldn't say I was disappointed, I wouldn't say it was what I expected. The book left me feeling empty and with a what the hell have I just read feeling.I will admit it is quite well written. The book is about a young women giv...
  • Blair
    Ostensibly a dystopian novel, but actually almost entirely about motherhood. Written in a spare style that has poetic qualities, thus very short; a quick read. I can't imagine a less interesting approach to dystopia, and the story left me cold, but that is a very personal judgement. Just not for me.I received an advance review copy of The End We Start From from the publisher through NetGalley.TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
  • Marchpane
    "These are the remains of a life, it seems. The unsavoured, the savoured. Days are thin now, stretched so much that time pours through them."Haunting, elusive and totally beguiling. Don't go into this expecting a novel. The experience of reading it is more akin to poetry. It only takes an hour or two to read, but its afterimage remains for much longer. "What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The en...
  • Larry H
    I rate this 3.5 stars.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....
  • Adrian White
    Slight, but too slight. Spare prose, but too spare.This could have been a female version of The Road but it's not ambitious enough.
  • Leah Bayer
    This is a difficult book to rate. It's the kind of novel (literary apocalypse) that I love, and in a way I think it did exactly what it set out to do. I just didn't enjoy it very much.The End We Start From follows a nameless woman who gives birth at the start of an apocalypse. The world is flooding: how much of the world or how this even happens is never covered, because our narrator only gives us snippets of the radio or news programs. The how a...
  • Cheyenne Blue
    I expected to love this. A dystopian female version of Colm McCarthy's "The Road" written in short, carefully crafted beautiful sentences. The short answer is I didn't take to this at all.The plot in a nutshell: a woman gives birth in some near future, just as London disappears under floodwaters. Everyone evacuates to refugee camps, ekes out a survival, families scatter, life goes on.I've been trying to figure out exactly what made this book such...
  • Anne
    This is one of the most skilful, haunting and moving stories that I've read in a very long time. The writing is stark, almost staccato, straight to the point but wonderfully descriptive. Not quite a poem, but also not a novel, this is a work of great beauty that cannot fail to move the reader.The story begins as the unnamed narrator's waters break, just as the waters have also taken over the whole of the country, a beautiful compare and contrast,...
  • Chitra
    I’m not sure what I feel about this book. I didn’t enjoy it, for sure, but I didn’t really hate it. It is the writing style I think, that killed the vibe for me. The story follows a woman who has just given birth at the onset of a war of sorts. It is set in a dystopian world that is post war but we have no clue what is wrong or what is happening. The writing is vague and sort of non descriptive. There is no picture there is no characterisat...
  • L.P. Logan
    I am grateful this book is a short one, otherwise, I might have become angry at having devoted so much time to figuring out what exactly was going on. I still haven't figured it out, just so you know. Because that is what this book is. A jumble of thoughts that are supposed to somehow coagulate and form a storyline. What happens is bits and pieces of sentient thought, followed by a whole lot of random letters that never let the reader know exactl...