Saturday, November 11, 2017

The End We Start From - by Megan Hunter: Book Review

Title: The End We Start From
Author: Megan Hunter
No. Pages: 160
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
Release Date: 7.11.2017
Format: Kindle

I like dystopian novels, but this one didn't make a big impression on me. I liked the little details of the novel that gave it personality: the unnamed woman; the people whose names are only a letter (and of course this made me wonder what would have happened if there were two or three people with the same letter name); the span of the novel from the birth of the child, Z, to the moment he takes his first steps; the lack of emotion throughout the novel - facts are presented, no details; to quote an excerpt in the novel, they left behind sadness and happiness.

It didn't read like a substantial novel - the plot was minimal, really. It read like an anonymous person's journal entries, as if the reader didn't need to know all the details. And I do want to know the details, actually - how did R's parents disappear? Where did he go when he went away? What was life like, really, in the shelters? All these gaps in the plot would make for a great discussion point, I am sure, but it's difficult for the reader to understand the characters better.

The novel has a poetical tone, but at some point it started to drag on. However, it's a short novel and it's a fast read. It's not a bad novel, it has it beautiful parts, but I wanted more from it plot-wise.

I received a free e-book copy of the novel from the publisher via Net Galley. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

List of characters:
unnamed woman - mother of Z, a baby boy
R - the woman's husband, Z's father 
S and J - R's friends
N - R's father
G - R's mother
O - another woman, the woman's friend
C - O's baby girl
D and L - two young men who help the woman and O
H - O's friend from college
F - H's wife
B and W - H and F's children
V - the woman's old boss

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