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Book Review

Book Cover

After the Flood (Hardback)


Author: Kassandra Montag
Publisher: Borough Press
417 pages
RRP: £12.99
ISBN: 978 0 00 831955 7
Publication Date: 19 September 2019

The water rose around the world drowning everything in its path. For Myra the water took her home, her husband and worst of all her daughter, Row...

After the Flood (2019. 417 pages) is the debut novel of poet and novelist, Kassandra Montag.

Ending the world in a deluge of water is not a new idea, dating back further than Noah, but we live in times when rising sea levels make this a more immediate threat than just a hypothetical one.

The book follows Myra as our POV character. Time has moved forward several years since her husband ran off with Row, leaving her to bring up her youngest, Pearl. Luckily, her grandfather built a boat and teaches them how to steer it before passing away in his sleep. A coincidental meeting gives Myra information which seems to suggest that Row is not only alive, but in peril of being sold to a breeder ship.

The journey is too far for Myra’s boat, but when they join the much larger vessel, commanded by Daniel, Myra does everything she can to manipulate the crew to head north, even though they may be heading into danger.

For a post-apocalyptic novel it is not without its problems. The first thing I failed to understand is why has everybody been reduced to playing Pirates of the Caribbean? The rising water took one hundred years to plunge most of the world beneath the waves. That’s a fairly slow process.

I agreed with her contention that this would lead to migration and wars over resources, but Montag gives the impression that everyone stayed in their homes and old ways of life until the waters reached them. So, what happened to technology? One hundred years is enough to construct great floating cities. The time scale used and the lack of preparation do not feel natural companions.

Myra, as a character, is likely to be divisive as Montag has not gone out of her way to paint her as a sympathetic character. She is self-absorbed and willing to place at risk the lives of the people who have taken her and her daughter in. This may not be a personal character trait as we know little about her prior to the flood. The world which she inhabits is cold and brutal, so maybe the meek did not inherit the Earth.

It’s a good first novel with a couple of faults, but worth a look. Montag is a good writer and there are nuggets of gold if you’re happy to do a little prospecting.


Charles Packer

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