The End We Start From Review

Genre =  fiction, contemporary, dystopia

Author = Megan Hunter

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This story follows a woman and her new born baby in a world where the water has risen and there is very little food or land that isn’t under water. It is about her journey to safety and how she wants to raise her child. Also they are separated from her partner and they must find their way back to each other as a family.


My Thoughts:

It is a fascinating concept that has so many areas to discuss with the way in which how it happened to how the population is coping and who has survived. Is that the only ones to the survive are the richest because of their money or they not as proficient in surviving on little as the poorer parts of the population. Instead the novel is going for the minimalist approach by solely focusing on the mother and child relationship and their inner thoughts which could have been a beautiful piece of writing. However, when incorporated into a style where there are two to four mini paragraphs on each page. For some people they may enjoy this but for me it is just irritating as it is consistently interrupting my flow reading plus just looking at it annoys me as it is just wasting paper. It meant that I didn’t connect with the characters at all.


In terms of the actually plot it was a slow look at where their journey would take them and whether they would ever reunite with the partner. The slowness of the plot felt very draining to read as it was so much of one character’s inner thoughts. She certainly had some interesting points about human connection and how that relationship between a new born and a mother develops. There was also a lack of a point to the story for me other than pointing out that the world is going towards a catastrophic end. Plus as the novel goes on her life and her relationship with her baby really isn’t enough to keep me interested with a lack of describing how her surroundings are changing and other people’s opinions. The only part I enjoyed was when she met this other women in a refugee camp as it was interesting to see their interactions.


R I find as a character is just there to fill in a gap in the story and to be a limp support for the main character. I am slightly annoyed that they both don’t have names but they are thinking of naming the baby as if it supposed to be a sign of hope for the future but it is not working in this novel its just confusing. I felt R could have played a much bigger role in the novel plus it would have been more interesting to read both their points of view not just hers. Her character was just continuously annoying and bland. It felt like she really had nothing to say on her current situation apart from musing on her baby which is cute up to a point. I would have liked to hear more about her worries for Z’s future and whether they would have one and contemplating all the things like education, friends and a house of their own. Her character was very engrossed in her own situation to a point where she is quite selfish and not interested in the wider community.


There are some other characters that flit in and out of this book but you never fully actually engage or get to know them throughout the book. That is so frustrating as a lack of interaction with other people in a novel just drops the rating down at least two spots for me.

Overall, I thought this novel felt pretentious and trying to hard to be something edgy and experimental but instead it was lacking in any foundation. I think if you like experimental fiction that leaves half the book to your imagination then this is the book for you. But for me it did nothing and I felt very frustrated by the end of the book.

1 star


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© 2020 Emily Claire Cannings

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