The End We Start From

The End We Start From

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, 2017.
Edition: First American hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9780802126894
Characteristics: 136 pages ; 20 cm


Featured Blogs and Events

018: What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power?

Bookish News: Awesome article on LitHub about inclusion in publishing. Dhonielle Clayton, COO of We Need Diverse Books (and former librarian!), said “I hate the term sensitivity reader. I prefer the term targeted beta reader because it’s more accurate. . . . I’m not being sensitive. I’m just an editor and it’s another level of editing.”  Click the link to read on! Two Book Minimum: Health at ... (more)

From Library Staff

LPL_KateG Jan 02, 2018

Woo, this is a great and quick read. Its sparse style makes the emotional impact of the story all the more profound. Fans of "cli-fi" (climate fiction) will enjoy this one, as well as anyone who likes an emotionally charged post-apoc story.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 19, 2018

This is a poetic, magical-realism-ish, beautifully written take on the classic end-of-the-world story. I love the sparseness and "separated" aspect- how everyone's names are just their first initials (R, Z, O, etc.)- and the big details about what is actually happening to the world are not at the forefront. All we really know is that the world has flooded and people are being displaced. I loved this new take on such an old genre and I anticipate future writings from Megan Hunter.

Apr 05, 2018

The conceit of the story was lost on me.

Mar 03, 2018

A wonderful quick read. The author was restrained, yet very deliberate with her chosen words to evoke a beautiful story. A true artist- a wonderful poem!

LPL_KateG Jan 02, 2018

Woo, this is a great and quick read. Its sparse style makes the emotional impact of the story all the more profound. Fans of "cli-fi" (climate fiction) will enjoy this one, as well as anyone who likes an emotionally charged post-apoc story.

Nicr Oct 01, 2017

Climate change has led to water levels rising faster than anticipated. London is suddenly uninhabitable. Into this, a woman has given birth to a son. A brief, poetic, disturbingly plausible experience.

JCLJessG Sep 27, 2017

The world (as far as we are made aware) has flooded, and our protagonist gives birth to a baby we only know as Z. As people and resources disappear, her main goals are to keep her baby alive and still find moments of joy and connection in her new life. Climate fiction with a poetic lens.

Ultimately, I wanted to like this book more. A story of a refugee mother and what she endures to survive has the power to be compelling and beautiful. However, despite some lovely writing, it fell flat for me while reading it. The characters were hidden behind letters as names, and it was difficult to be drawn into their world. I'm sure this was intentional, to emphasize the impermanence of the day to day and that their survival was dependent on an ability to adapt. Sadly, it didn't resonate as much as I had hoped.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LPL

To Top