Review: The End We Start From

The End We Start From The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a fun and short novel about a woman dealing with an apocalypse while also dealing with a growing infant, but, of course, it's about so much more. The novels' style is minimalistic, broken into small sections that can be one sentence to about a full page's worth. Hunter manages to provide the fullest of stories in the smallest of words and using a good amount of synecdoche, giving the readers glimpses of her bigger whole experience. Hunters desire to straddle this line between detail and reduction of words, that all the characters are merely denoted by a single letter, rather than a full name. It makes the reading experience move quickly and evokes the realization of how names themselves, though necessary, are far more complex than needed for a good story. The story starts with the birth of the protagonist's baby and the husband working to get them moving as a disaster is approaching (a flood by the sound of it). As the woman moves along, we get glimpses and hints about her past and how she has moved through the world around her. More interestingly, Hunter shows us that apocalyptic conditions are challenging and chaotic but that life still goes on and we get a bird's eye view of the woman's daily thoughts and struggles with her growing baby in the backdrop of a natural disaster. There is, of course, a very British element to this tale in that the woman's stiff-upper-lip and the way in which there appears way more order and mutual support than is often depicted in such tales.

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