A beautiful and captivating new novel about the threat of a worldwide water shortage as seen through the eyes of a father and daughter, by Maja Lunde, author of the #1 international bestseller The History of Bees.
The End of the Ocean is set in two different periods of time: one is 2017, and the other 2041.
The book opens in 2017, seventy-year-old Signe has returned to the village she grew up in. Time away gives her a clear view of the changes that have occurred to her home, in particular a local glacier. A company now extracts the glacial ice to send to consumers to decorate expensive drinks in the Middle East. Signe, like many women her age, is rather radical and compelled to make a difference. She sets out on a hazardous voyage to cross an entire ocean in only a sailboat. She is haunted by the loss of the love of her life, and is driven by a singular and all-consuming mission to make it back to him.
In 2041, David and his young daughter, Lou are climate refugees who have been separated from the rest of their family. They came from a city where David worked at a desalinization plant, but war-torn Southern Europe is plagued by a five year drought, and the city residents have left. Their story opens with them finding their way into a camp, where David hopes that the Red Cross can help reunite them with his wife and son. They are on a desperate search to find them again, and get to the northern European countries where there is more water, when they find Signe’s abandoned sailboat in a parched French garden, miles away from the nearest shore.
As David and Lou discover personal effects from Signe’s travels, their journey of survival and hope weaves together with Signe’s, forming a heartbreaking, inspiring story about the power of nature and the human spirit.
Maja Lund is a literary superstar in her homeland of Norway, and The End of the Ocean is the second book in what’s to be a Climate Quartet. I loved The History of Bees. This is even better.
This is more than a climate themed novel, although it is that too. The End of the Ocean is a stunning book about survival, humanity and love. It is about the importance of water. Beautifully written, with polished prose and seamlessly delivered timelines, it is deeply disturbing. It’s not so much a warning for humanity, but more a glimpse into where we are headed whether we like it or not now. It’s brutally real, and uncomfortable to read at times.
The End of the Ocean will linger with you long after the final page.
About the author:
Maja Lunde is a Norwegian author and screenwriter. Lunde has written ten books for children and young adults. She has also written scripts for Norwegian television, including for the children’sseries Barnas supershow (“The Children’s Super Show”), the drama series Hjem (“Home”) and the comedy series Side om Side (“Side by Side”). She lives with her husband and three children in Oslo.