After the Flood is set in a world where catastrophic flooding has left behind only mountain peaks as livable land. Sometime during this flooding, a pregnant woman named Myra is forcibly separated from her daughter Row. Seven years later, we follow the story of her and her second daughter Pearl as they chase down the only lead they have to Row’s whereabouts.
First- let me say that this book was not at all what I expected. I thought it would lean more towards the literary rather than science fiction. I wasn’t expecting a lot of action. I wasn’t expecting such a fantastic story.
But I think within a single chapter I was proved wrong. The story dug it’s hooks in me and didn’t let go. Myra is a kick ass woman – the kind of strong female protagonist I always say I want more of. She’s not perfect though. In reading some other reviews after finishing, I saw her described as unlikeable. A risk taker. Someone who didn’t always have Pearl’s safety in mind.
Those reviewers aren’t wrong. Myra doesn’t always make the best decisions for Pearl. Her relationship with her remaining daughter is sometimes difficult to witness. Pearl needs more attention then she is often given. But at the same time, I often felt like I understood Myra. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a daughter out there in unknown or dangerous circumstances and just giving up on her. Pearl’s circumstances were known. Myra’s imagination wasn’t running wild with a thousand horrible things Pearl might be enduring.
Anyway- mother/daughter relationships aside, the book was pretty exciting. From naval battles to terrifying sea storms and shark attacks, my fingers just kept turning pages and I had a very hard time putting it down. Some of the scenes might have been a little over-the-top in terms of believability, but I didn’t mind because I was having so much fun with it otherwise.
That being said- I did feel the middle of the book was a little more slow going than the some of the other parts. Part of advancing the plot was Myra scheming to win people to her side, and she struggles a lot with the ethics and morality of what she does. I think it was all important to her character building, but some of those parts did move a little slower than the rest of the book.
After the Flood is really dark. It isn’t a feel good, heart warming story that’s going to make you feel all fuzzy inside. Plan for it to do the opposite of that. Still- I thoroughly enjoyed this, and I’ll be on the lookout for more from this author in the future.