The End We Start from (Hardcover)
Ecological apocalypse as a metaphor for new motherhood? Yes! This slim novel is one of my favorite discoveries from last year. The plot is simple: England is flooding, and London is evacuated. The narrator, an unnamed woman whose gives birth in the midst of this chaos, describes the unfolding events with brief, compact paragraphs composed of lyrical observations. As society collapses, she focuses ever inward on her newborn and their survival. It’s a dystopian novel filled with hope, and now that it’s in paperback, I can’t wait to give this beautiful novel as a stocking stuffer!— Justin
November 2017 Indie Next List
“As the floodwaters rise on London, a first-time mother takes her newborn son and flees for higher ground, seeking a safe haven from the environmental collapse and the chaos that will follow it. Luminous and sparse, heartbreaking yet hopeful, The End We Start From is a lyrical rumination on environment, normalcy in the midst of crisis, new motherhood, unavoidable endings, and tentative beginnings. A slim and stunning debut whose echoes will be thunderous.”
— Rebecca Speas, One More Page, Arlington, VA
Winter 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List
“This book had me spellbound and left me chilled to the bone. The writing is beautiful, lyrical, and sparse—a sharp contrast to the chaotic world in which the book takes place, where an environmental disaster has upended society just as the main character gives birth. This is a story that feels both dystopian and topical, both biblical and new. And it will, implausibly, leave you feeling full of hope.”
— Molly Parent, Point Reyes Books, Point Reyes Station, CA
Finalist for the Barnes and Noble Discover Prize
Winner of the Editor's Choice Prize for Fiction
Longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize, the #1 Indie Next Selection for November 2017, a Summer/Fall 2017 Indies Introduce Selection, a Fall 2017 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, an Amazon Best of the Month in Literature & Fiction
The End We Start From is strange and powerful, and very apt for these uncertain times. I was moved, terrified, uplifted--sometimes all three at once. It takes skill to manage that, and Hunter has a poet's understanding of how to make each word count.--Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With a Pearl Earring Preempted by publishers around the world within days of the 2016 London Book Fair, The End We Start From heralds the arrival of Megan Hunter, a dazzling and unique literary talent. Hunter's debut is a searing original, a modern-day parable of rebirth and renewal, of maternal bonds, and the instinct to survive and thrive in the absence of all that's familiar. As London is submerged below floodwaters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, she and her baby are forced to leave their home in search of safety. They head north through a newly dangerous country seeking refuge from place to place. The story traces fear and wonder as the baby grows, thriving and content against all the odds. The End We Start From is an indelible and elemental first book--a lyrical vision of the strangeness and beauty of new motherhood, and a tale of endurance in the face of ungovernable change.
"In elegiac lines, Hunter tells a love story through the eyes of a new mother, who witnesses the death of an old life and the start of a new one...a perfect portrait of rebirth the final testament that time, and life, do go on, despite our best efforts."--Cotton Codinha, Elle Magazine
About the Author
Megan Hunter was born in Manchester in 1984, and now lives in Cambridge with her young family. She has a BA in English Literature from Sussex University, and an MPhil in English Literature: Criticism and Culture from Jesus College, Cambridge. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and she was a finalist for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award with her short story Selfing. The End We Start From is her first book.