After the Flood: A fantasy set in a post-apocalyptic world of water
A woman and her young daughter try to survive the weather and the raiders as they search for her other daughter in a dangerous world.
After the Flood, Kassandra Montag
Published 2019, 417 pages
"Children think we make them, but we don't. They exist somewhere else, before us, before time. They come into the world and make us. They make us by breaking us first."
What a killer first paragraph to this book!
I requested this from my library and was lucky to get it so quickly! My first thought after about 50 pages was that this reminded me of the movie Waterworld. Although this story has a different focus, I found my mental images referencing back to that movie.
"[children] with their vulnerable faces and skin not yet tough from the sun, they were a reminder of life before, when we all could be a bit more tender. Children had been the future, but did we even want the future anymore? The question itself was an uncomfortable betrayal of our bodies and of history....Who were we without people who would come after us?
I really liked the fast paced writing style and very readable (and believable) dialog; I liked the development of the various characters; the small love story was predictable but not a factor to the story. At its heart I think the story is about a mother's love and the lengths to which she will go to save a child. Told in the first person, Myra shows her indomitable spirit while she's beset by uncertainties.
She is the best kind of female protagonist: a complex person....strong, terrified, manipulative, terrified, protective of her daughter, drowning in doubts, an unwilling leader. And did I say terrified? She doesn't always know the right thing to do but doesn't lose sight of her goal - finding her daughter.
Does this make her a likable character? Not always.....she can seem selfish or demanding or whiny. But, isn't that being human?
"I knew it was sometimes easier to love ghosts than the people who were around you. Ghosts could be perfect, frozen beyond time, beyond reality, the crystal form they'd never been before, the person you needed them to be."
"Her hope broke over me like a wave, threatening to drown me. Doubt spiraled inside me, like tiny fractures running through my every bone, cracks and fissures widening with each breath."
The ending was satisfying, if not very surprising, and definitely left an opening for a sequel. Adventure, some good world building, a strong main character (love her or hate her), all combine to make a very readable, enjoyable debut novel.
photos by Terrie Purkey, Golden Gardens, Seattle, WA