By Martine McDonagh
Published by Myriad Editions
With her début novel, Martine McDonagh delves into the hotly debated topic of climate change. And what a dark world she envisages: submerged lands and isolated territories where death and hunger are common realities.
Rachel, the post-apocalyptic heroine of this book, avoids human contact as much as possible and finds comfort in a solitary life, far away from the communities that have sprung up to help people cope with the new and disastrous state of affairs. What pushes her then to make a first step towards another person? Whatever it is, it unwillingly develops into an obsessive search for the elusive Jez White, who is in turns the hunter and the hunted.
In this ominous future, the landscape is not just a background rather a heavy presence, one of the main characters. It shapes the way that people think and behave; it decides where they can go and what they can do. McDonagh’s skilfully chosen words almost have a palpable structure, wet and cold to the touch.
The pages burst with psychological tension and the secrets they carry are slowly revealed as the readers are drawn into a bone-chilling dystopia. With echoes of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, this is a masterfully written warning.