The End We Start From - Megan Hunter | ARC Review

Pages: 160
Publication: Hamish Hamilton
How I got the copy: Penguin Random House Canada
Rating: 3/5

The End We Start From is written in short sparse sections, which I found made it difficult to connect with the characters and to create a clear picture of what was happening but it’s definitely an interesting read.

This is a very short dystopian novel in the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, set in London, about motherhood and survival. The main character gives birth to her first child, Z, and is trying to navigate how to survive with her family. And to some, a family created by strangers to survive while everyone is grieving an old life they all once had and the loved ones they've lost too.

An odd thing about the book is there are no actual character names; they’re referred to as only a letter, which I assume is the first letter of their name but I don’t know what that’s supposed to represent except that after the crisis everyone is unknown. Especially coming from a time where one of the first questions we ask each other when meeting for the first time is, "What do you do for work?". With a mysterious environmental crisis and the life we all know in shambles, could it possibly be a metaphor that everyone is the same and just trying to survive?

On page 67 I loved how the author wrote, “I was in advertising… we are used to these terms, to the young using language of the retired”. I think it was a smart way for the character to express how little differences have been making way into the new world. As well as representing that there is no guarantee or security in life, anything can happen, which is why living life to the fullest is so important. Everyone we come across in the book is remembering the past and realizing how good his or her life was when in the past we were waiting for something better.

What I loved about The End We Start From is that it's a truly terrifying story of survival. To me, this was about reading between the lines rather than taking the story completely for what it is. Megan Hunter is a poet and I could definitely connect this novel with a poetic form from the writing style.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review*

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