RELEASED: May 3, 2018
FORMAT: ARC courtesy of Waterstones Brussels
GENRE: Science fiction / cli-fi
GOODREADS RATING: 3.48
TRIGGERS: Miscarriage, problems/health issues with babies
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.
I don’t read a lot of science fiction, at all, but sometimes there are these books that spark your curiosity anyway. So you end up giving them a shot and.. before you know it, you find yourself writing a review so you can share the experience with other bookworms. This is pretty much an elaborate way of saying “welcome to this review!”
The first thing that pops into mind when wanting to review this novel, is the writing style being entirely different compared to “ordinary” novels. Formatted in short paragraphs and sentences, it’s very straightforward but in a way that makes the story sound vague. Which is not entirely a bad thing. On the contrary – it adds to the atmosphere the author wants to create. One of the main things it accomplishes, is the reader feeling like the main character – the not knowing what’s going on.
Talking about characters. They don’t have names. They’re all described with the first letter of their names. G, N, R, O… and then there’s baby Z.
The story is told by Z’s mom and starts when she’s about to give birth to him. That, of course, made a huge impact on me since I gave birth myself five short months ago. [Admittedly, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long though.. Time flies!] Because of this, I got pulled into the story hard and fast, sometimes putting the book aside. Why? Because some things sounded so familiar and it was emotionally hard on me to get through. Safe to say I definitely recommend being in the right headspace when reading this if you’re a mom / new mom / mom-to-be or are sensitive to events regarding babies. There are some things mentioned I hope none of us ever have to go through, but also things that make it more light, felt familiar and had me smiling as well.
It is bad, the news. Bad news as it always was, forever, but worse. More relevant. This is what you don’t want, we realize. What no one ever wanted: for the news to be relevant.
Although the baby-related things affected me in multiple ways, that was it. The story didn’t really do anything for me otherwise. I didn’t really connect with everything flood-related for some reason. I’m not sure whether it’s due to the vague and weird thoughts / comparisons made by the main character or simply the way it’s written but.. yeah..
Overall, The End We Start From was worth the read because of the emotional hits I took – whether those were happy ones or not so happy – but it wasn’t really my cup of tea. I do recommend reading it if you want something that’s more focused on a baby, because there aren’t really a lot of fiction novels like that – at least, none that I’ve come across recently.
Would this be something you’d read or are you scared of the impact it might have?Are you familiar with cli-fi books? What are some you’ve read [and loved]?