Children of Women: Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From

Where Canticle for Leibowitz gradually unveiled its catastrophe through a series of unreliable narrators, and The Road meditates on every grim reality of life after a societal collapse, in Megan Hunter’s new novel, The End We Start From, the apocalypse unfolds in the background of the story, refracted through the first few months of a baby’s life.

The unnamed narrator gives birth bare days before floodwaters begin to overtake London. Soon she and her husband are both brand-new parents and refugees seeking higher ground. This gives the story both an urgency, and a haunting, far away feeling, as the narrator can’t think too far beyond the needs of her baby, but she is also terrified at all times that he won’t survive.

It’s a fascinating way to tell this kind of a story, because we get all the details needed to see what’s happening to England, ...