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.
There are many challenges that come with having a new baby. Lack of sleep, feeding issues, and an erratic schedule to name a few. Add in an apocalyptic flood and a missing partner and you have the premise for The End We Start From by Megan Hunter.
The nameless narrator has just given birth to her first child, “Z”, when she and the other millions of London residents are forced to evacuate the city due to rapidly rising sea levels. The family escapes to higher ground, but only temporarily as food and supplies become more and more scarce. They make their way to a refugee camp, but get separated soon after when Z’s father leaves to seek out a better camp for the family. Z and his mother are now forced to rely on the kindness of strangers, who are all fighting for the same dwindling precious resources. Unaware of the dystopian world that he was born into, Z does what babies do–he sleeps, eats, and grows. Despite the dire circumstances, we are reminded that where there is life, there is hope.