The End We Start From – Megan Hunter

Sparse, lyrical and questioning. The End We Start From is a dystopian novel in an all too easily imaginable future. An environmental crisis, London is underwater and our protagonist gives birth to her first child. While still in hospital their home is flooded and they need to find safety. As the crisis worsens their small family needs to keep moving in order to keep safe. The reader follows their journey as baby Z slowly grows in an uncertain world.

This restrained dystopian will leave you wanting more. Uniquely written this novel comes together as clusters of thoughts, which are at times cryptic and are never fully-formed. The reader trails along trying to understand, following our protagonists journey through motherhood and a precariously changing world. Interspersed with scripture-like passages pertaining to the great flood a sense of urgency and despair is felt alongside the characters.

At barely more than a hundred pages, with short paragraphs this book is over all too quickly, but in a good way (I read it in a single sitting at the hairdresser). The prose is magical – poetic and lyrical in it’s meagre words, the lines dance across your brain. Hunter has a true gift to say so much with so few words. The End We Start From is anonymous and detached, with our protagonist referring to other characters as only letters, and yet still powerful and moving for the reader. The ultimate tale of surivial in a precarious world. This is a read I would not hesitate to recommend, but make sure your expectation are realistic, do not go into this is you like a complete understanding of the story you are reading with a satisfying ending wrapped up with a bow. This is reticent writing at it’s best.

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