A sect living on a rooftop garden. Violence and decadence on the streets. Gene spliced animals and plants. This is the grim future in Margaret Atwood’s “The Year of the Flood”.
The book jumps backwards and forwards in time, some chapters cover the years leading up to ‘The Dry Flood’ while others follow the few survivors in the months after.
I find that I have a love/hate relationship with this book, which is why it has taken me so long to write the review. The writing is excellent, the worlds well thought through, the characters believable, and still I couldn’t really enjoy it until the end. I have an aversion to sects of any kind, even ‘nice’ groups like the one portrayed in this story. At first I found it confusing because a chapter describes Year 1 which I assumed to be Year 1 after The Flood. It took me several chapters to work out that it was actually Year 1 of the Sect and that the Flood didn’t happen until Year 25. Over the course of the 25 years not much seemed to happen, we had descriptions of everyday life and of how the main protagonists came to be there (and then left again) but not much else. The pace was too slow to hold my interest so I kept putting it down and reading something else. It wasn’t until the last few chapters that the pace picked up again and I became immersed in the story.
Although well thought through, the story was just too slow for my taste. However, the premise is interesting enough to make me want to read the previous book in the trilogy ‘Oryx and Crake’. This may make me want revise my opinion of ‘The Year of the Flood’.