The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

The End We Start From

In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z's small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds.This is a story of new mo...

Details The End We Start From

TitleThe End We Start From
Release DateMay 18th, 2017
GenreFiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Literary Fiction

Reviews The End We Start From

  • 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....
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Angela M
    When I finished this short, thought provoking novel, which I read in almost one sitting, my reaction on the one hand was that this could be seen as a bold debut or on the other as an overly ambitious one. There is no dialogue, the characters are nameless except for an initial, and the structure of the book is different than most novels. I lean toward the bold even with a reservation about nameless characters. Some catastrophic event is occurring....
  • 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...
  • Cheri
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !! ”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 the...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 (A Little Haze)
    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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Catherine ♡
    Actual Rating: 1.5Agh. 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...
  • Paul
    3.5 stars rounded upThis 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 unname...
  • Judy
    Congratulations to Megan Hunter for a well-written first novel. A young woman gives birth to a son as London is submerged by floodwaters and everyone flees. She, her partner, and her son flee north into a dangerous territory to save themselves. The story is centered on the woman bonding with her son under extraordinary conditions. Set in the future, the book ultimately demonstrates renewal and rebirth. The story has much tragedy, yet it didn't ev...
  • 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 ...
  • Lata
    The unnamed narrator describes rising waters due to climate-related upheavals (?) in beautiful, poetic prose in this novella. The narrator’s tone is somewhat remote, with not a lot of clear information conveyed about what is causing the disaster, or where she and her partner are located. This distancing extends to character names; the narrator refers to each person simply by the first letter of their first name.Sad and terrible things happen re...
  • 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...
  • Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk
    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.
  • Alice Lippart
    Liked the setting and the concept, but feels a little too vague for me.
  • Erin Clemence
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 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 youn...
  • 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 -
  • ABookwormWithWine
    / 5My reviews and (maybe) some other random thoughts can also be seen at https://readingbetweenwinessite.wordp...____________________________________________________________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 ...
  • Joseph
    4.5*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 ...
  • 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...
  • Karen
    See my full review and much more on my blog KissinBlueKaren 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 stru...