“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 motherhood in a terrifying setting: a familiar world made dangerous and unstable, its people forced to become refugees”
In a word this book is… frustrating.
I understood beforehand that this was going to be a more literary take on the dystopian genre, with comparing the first year of motherhood with the end of the society.
This short book reads like a poet just jotting down random notes and observations. There is very minimal world-building and I know for many this would be highly disappointing. I’m okay with the lack of details about the flood and what was going on in the world outside, but there was some events I wish Hunter would have expounded on.
Due to the lack of details I didn’t feel connected to the characters. I could relate to our unnamed protagonist’s observations about her child’s first year, but not much past that. I could appreciate the beautiful prose but I just craved more depth.
Our unnamed narrator and her newborn son, Z, just go from place to place and people just come and go. Towards the end the narrator finally gains a goal above survival, which is nice, but mostly the reader is just floating along.
The End We Start From is definitely for a niche audience, one that doesn’t usually gravitate to pop culture’s obsession with the end of the world. If this has sparked any interest in you than I would suggest giving the book a try, I mean it’s only 130 pages.
(Which is also why this review is on the lean side.)
**Thank you to NetGalley for providing the ARC for an honest review.