Review: The End We Start From

by Megan Hunter (Grove Atlantic, 2017)

Reading for a rainy day! I recommend this remarkable debut novel to readers who like literary fiction with strong motherhood themes and a tender, understated love story. Hunter writes with a poetic, first-person style that resonates like a personal journal. The narrator never names herself; in this sense she's an archetypal everywoman or, more specifically, an archetypal new mother. She refers to other characters by initials. Her beloved is R and their infant son will be named Z. Water imagery flows throughout, connecting amniotic dream-states of pregnancy, birth, and nursing with a cataclysmic flood that displaces millions of people from London and the surrounding area.

Under the surface, this is a flow-of-consciousness story about the terrors of new motherhood, recounting the emotional, physical, and spiritual adjustments one makes. The exterior plot is a natural disaster survival struggle, where a young family seeks refuge in a series of more or less risky situations. These two strands of narrative are braided with fragments of myth. Read the full review on BookBrowse.

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Karen Lewis