"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
"Extraordinary ... reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy's The Road" Financial Times
The mainland is on fire, they say in so many words. After the flood, the fire. I am losing the story. I am forgetting.
In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z's small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds.
This is a story of new motherhood in a terrifying setting: a familiar world made dangerous and unstable, its people forced to become refugees. Startlingly beautiful, Megan Hunter's The End We Start From is a gripping novel that paints an imagined future as realistic as it is frightening. And yet, though the country is falling apart around them, this family's world - of new life and new hope - sings with love.
MORE PRAISE FOR THE END WE START FROM
"The End We Start From is a stunning tale of motherhood. Megan Hunter has crafted a striking and frighteningly real story of a family fighting for survival that will make everyone stop and think about what kind of planet we are leaving behind for our children." Benedict Cumberbatch
"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
"Spellbinding . . . a slender novel, but more profoundly moving than novels six times as long. It is perfectly balanced between fear and wonder. The world around them may be falling apart in the most extraordinary way, but ordinary life goes on and, as Hunter makes us understand, what a beautiful life it is." The Bookseller
"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 beautifully spare, haunting meditation on the persistence of life after catastrophe. I loved it." Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
"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 ... 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 and The Good People
"Exceptional, stunning. I devoured it" Megan Bradbury, author of Everyone is Watching
"A dystopia that feels utterly convincing as our narrator gives birth to her son in a London under threat of advancing flood waters. She lives in the gulp zone so must head off into a familiar territory that has become terrifying in search of shelter and safety. This slender take on new motherhood has stayed with me - not least in making me think about the UK as a place to flee from rather than to, and to imagine Londoners turned refugees" Stylist
"I was moved, terrified, uplifted - sometimes all three at once" Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With a Pearl Earring