The End We Start From // Megan Hunter
The End We Start From is set in a dystopian universe in which London has experienced an environmental disaster that has forced its’ inhabitants out of their homes and into the North where refugee camps have become one of the only ways one can survive. Our unnamed main character has just given birth to her first child, Z, at the start of this novel – at the brink of London’s mysterious disaster. You follow her as she travels with her newborn child from shelter to shelter, discovering motherhood, even through life’s unexpected toils. As they move from place to place, Z learns to grasp life, seemingly content against all odds. This is a story of a mother: a woman desperately clinging to the hope of new life in a terrifying world
Thoughts // Review
I am finally dipping my toes into some more experimental literature, and I’m happy that I decided to read this one in particular. Being only 150 or so pages, and written in a very broken prose format, it was a quick read, and perfect for a rookie of experimental fiction.
On top of that, it truly was gorgeously written. It was beautifully sparse (and also frustratingly so). The stylization of the writing was brilliant, and in parts almost felt like poetry. The sparseness of the prose reflected well on our protagonist, as her world shrinks around her, minimizing her ability to see past her essentials: her child and their need to stay alive.
The characters in this novel are all called by only their first initial, making a novel that could be very personal, seem more universal, which I thought was very poignant and thoughtful on the author’s part.
The plot is really irrelevant, as you follow this mother from place to place, finding people, losing them, and meeting new survivors. This is not a novel to read if you are looking for an action packed dystopian, with loads of adventure. This book is truly a meditation on motherhood, loss, and finding new beginnings amongst disaster and chaos.