The End We Start From: Book summary and reviews of The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

The End We Start From

by Megan Hunter

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter X
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2017
    160 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A searing original, a modern-day parable of rebirth and renewal, of maternal bonds, and the instinct to survive and thrive in the absence of all that's familiar.

As London is submerged below floodwaters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, she and her baby are forced to leave their home in search of safety. They head north through a newly dangerous country seeking refuge from place to place. The story traces fear and wonder as the baby grows, thriving and content against all the odds.

The End We Start From is an indelible and elemental first book - a lyrical vision of the strangeness and beauty of new motherhood, and a tale of endurance in the face of ungovernable change.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The story may seem familiar - the dystopian nightmare, the mass migration, food shortages, an uncertain future - but debut novelist Hunter's spare prose and luminous writing give it a fresh immediacy." - Library Journal

"A uniquely intimate tale of motherhood amid catastrophe." - Booklist

"The postapocalyptic literary novel is currently in vogue almost to the point of redundancy, but Hunter's slim yet sharp debut offers a level of precision and interiority rarely seen in the genre...Told in a voice that is by turns meditative, desperate, and hopeful, this novel showcases Hunter's considerable talents and range." - Publishers Weekly

"Prescient in its depiction of climate change-induced catastrophe and timeless in its cleareyed understanding of love, Hunter's tale gains impact from its plausibility." - Kirkus

"Extraordinary...a spare, futuristic fable about a brand-new mother navigating a flooded world." - Vogue.com "What To Read this Fall"

"Poetic and succinct, Megan Hunter's The End We Start From is an etiological exercise for a climate-changed world - a post-apocalyptic novel in which current human mistakes are followed forward to dismaying ends... Hunter's is an uncommon disaster tale - lovely, intimate, and foreboding." - Forward Reviews

"The End We Start From is reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, in that it shares the same narrative detachment, and the same precise poetry­...Megan Hunter's remarkable debut novel feels like the other half of the story." - Financial Times (UK)

"A short, haunting story about the end of days, sparse, beautiful and heroic." - The Observer (UK)

"Startlingly poetic...Hunter writes with delicacy and precision; her imagery is pearlescent in places. It's a sliver of a novel, but it shimmers." - The Guardian Best Debut Fiction (UK)

"Ambitious, original and disturbing."- The Daily Mail Best Debuts (UK)

"The End We Start From by Megan Hunter is a short, concentrated book – a shot of distilled story, like the pulp of a tale boiled to a thick spiced paste…With passages from mythology interspersed with its imagined future, the book is engrossing, compelling and finally hopeful." - Naomi Alderman's Book of the Year (Summer books 2017) in the Financial Times (UK)

"[A] strange and haunting novella-cum-prose poem... oddly familiar, both to the narrator and to the reader, all the dystopian fiction that's come before filling in the ellipses in Hunter's narrative... Virginia Woolf does cli-fi... I found myself picturing scenes from Alfonso Cuaron's film Children of Men while I read, Hunter's narrative evoking a similar balance between the commonplace and the alien; of everyday life in a world that's recognizably our own, but as seen through a glass darkly....the beating heart of this tender and tremendous story is without doubt Hunter's portrait of early motherhood, an all-encompassing world of its own." - The Independent (UK)

"A new take on the [dystopian] genre, this startling debut combines utter despair with the reality of family life...Megan Hunter's prose is beautiful and insightful. Everyone who reads this will come away feeling renewed." - Elle (UK)

"Editor's Choice. A very exciting debut from a hugely talented young writer ... [Hunter's] beautiful prose is spare, yet able to conjure every emotion in the reader from terror to wonder. A stunning achievement." - The Bookseller (UK)

"Book of the Month. You can tell that Megan Hunter is a poet: her slender, startling debut shimmers with light, even as the novel heads into dark territory...Tender and profound." - Psychologies (UK)

"Motherhood is an immersive experience and Hunter is brilliant on the urgency of it... Hunter traces - with expert precision and such lyricism - who we are when life is minimized...it is a highly interior story, in the hands of a narrator of great skill." - Irish Times

"Extraordinary. Megan Hunter's prose is exquisite, her depiction of a world descending into chaos is frighteningly real, and yet, it is her portrayal of motherhood - that tender-terrifying experience of bringing a child into a world - that has remained with me. The End We Start From is an incredible, original exploration of all that beauty, boredom and bewilderment. I read it in one sitting, and was deeply moved." - Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites

"A beautifully spare, haunting meditation on the persistence of life after catastrophe. I loved it. - Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

"An exceptional, alarming and beautiful book, which still echoes months after I finished reading it. Megan Hunter is a writer of unnerving power." - Evie Wyld, author of All the Birds, Singing

"The End We Start From is strange and powerful, and very apt for these uncertain times. I was moved, terrified, uplifted - sometimes all three at once. It takes skill to manage that, and Hunter has a poet's understanding of how to make each word count." - Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With a Pearl Earring

"The End We Start From is relentlessly, achingly personal. Hunter reminds us that disasters are rarely experienced in panorama. Instead, we live bone-deep inside our narrator. This book is fierce, sorrowful, and spiked with moments of bright joy." - Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You

"I can't remember ever having read a novel quite as sparing or as daring as Megan Hunter's The End We Start From, or one that delivers so mighty an impact from such delicate materials. It is a moving, wistful and compelling debut." - Jim Crace, author of Harvest

"A beautiful, timely book about survival (both domestic and global) shot through with hope and humanity." - Lisa Owens, author of Not Working

"Beautiful ... Water isn't the thing here, love is. And how we survive as the level of love rises." - Cynan Jones, author of The Dig

"I'll be recommending this book for years to come. Utterly brilliant, hugely important. Here's the thing: it's perfect." - Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall

"I held my breath reading this beautiful and timely novel. With precise yet lyrical language Megan Hunter gets to the centre of who we are, where we are, and why it matters. The End We Start From is a work of art." - Christie Watson, author of Tiny Sunbirds Far Away

The information about The End We Start From shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Megan Hunter was born in Manchester in 1984, and now lives in Cambridge with her young family. She has a BA in English Literature from Sussex University, and an MPhil in English Literature: Criticism and Culture from Jesus College, Cambridge. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and she was a finalist for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award with her short story "Selfing." The End We Start From is her first book.

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