21 February 2011

The Year of the Flood

by Margaret Atwood

Bloomsbury. Science Fiction, Fantasy. Hardcover RRP $41.95

The Year of the Flood is the story of two women who survive a man-made disaster, obliterating the majority of the human race.

Ren and Toby both are members of a cult called God’s Gardeners at one time or another. Toby is rescued by Adam One and his followers from the hands of a maniac who has used Toby for his enjoyment and is now ready to discard her to the place of no return. Ren is dragged into the Gardeners complex by her mother when she is a child, escaping the boring life of being married to a man who doesn’t really acknowledge Ren and her mother’s existence.

Toby gradually works her way up through the ranks of the Gardeners until her closest friend and supporter dies and Toby steps into her shoes and takes up the position as Eve Six and becomes the keeper of bees and administerer of potions.

Ren spends her childhood with the Gardeners learning that their way of life is a good way of life, where animals and humans co-exist and each is treated with respect. When her mother decides to leave the Gardeners and return to her husband and his chemical company, Ren is torn.

When the waterless flood hits the world both Ren and Toby have been locked away from others and find they have been spared from the disease. But what is the new world going to be like? Who else has survived? And what of the new species of animals and humans?

With man continually tinkering with DNA and chemicals, the animals, diseases, drugs and machinery, The Year of the Flood could possibly be a story waiting to happen.

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