Eric Shay Howard

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The End We Start From Book Review

Remember when I was moving?

So after I got done moving, got my internet fixed, got caught up on some literary responsibilities, and got some job interview practice in, I started reading The End We Start From, by Megan Hunter. The publisher agreed to let me read it early here in the US, for some reason. Hey, you don’t have to give me permission to do something twice. I probably should’ve posted this sooner, but the book didn’t come out here in the states until last Tuesday, and I got confused since this was my first time reading a book in a market early. I’m probably in trouble. Though, I certainly hope to be able to do this again soon. This is my The End We Start From review.

I started this book not sure what to expect.

The End We Start From is Megan Hunter’s debut novel. I chose it for my first set of books to read in the new apartment because I guess I wanted something that reminded me of the type of thing I had to read as an English major before I graduated a few weeks ago. I’m questioning what I want to do with my life after graduating. The job hunt has still not been very productive. This reading thing is about all I’ve got for now. I want to make the most of it. I want to feel like my degree was a significant step for where I’m at now. Take me back, Megan Hunter.

As I read the book, I wasn’t taken back to my traditional English classes. I was taken back to one of my creative writing classes. One class in particular.


A particular creative writing class looking at Ernest Hemingway.

I looked back at Hemingway’s short story collection In Our Time and noticed a possible inspiration for the minimalist form. Hunter’s style is definitely unique. It still takes me back to Hemingway; I can’t help it. And maybe it was because I like short things, but while reading I found myself wanting to write again. I love Hunter’s fearlessness. She’s not afraid to overturn any rocks, such as the narrator’s descriptions of baby poo, though she is careful not to overturn them for the hell of it. The details about the baby, Z, are carefully crafted around the horrible events that the adults have to face. It’s not until the novel leaves R, the father, and forces the reader to focus on the narrator and her baby, that Hunter proves her mastery over what’s important in a story.

It’s short, but it’s enough to be a lot.

Note: the following image and link are affiliate links. I earn commission from Amazon if you click the link and make a purchase. – Buy The End We Start From on Amazon.

Megan Hunter writes for us a story within the discourse of of motherhood during a world-ending scenario as the water levels rise. Global warming, anyone? The tension of the the disaster competes with the tensions of having and caring for a baby and being a mother. Hunter writes her prose very freely. It’s minimalistic in style, yet pinches at you with complexity. Almost without realizing it, the prose slowly evolves into poetry: the condensed, significant images of what matters in the situation, or any situation. The form is a subtle nod toward the idea of form mirroring content, the minimal becoming overwhelming, the emptiness becoming everything. Every detail is carefully chosen. There is no wasted space. While I’ve exhausted my privilege to take literature classes, I HOPE that my former professors recognize the value of this short work and treat it accordingly. This book needs to survive. This book is important. This book is good.

The novel comes out in the US in November 2017 from Grove Press. It was released in the UK in May 2017 by Picador. At least, I think. This was my first time reading a book early, and research is hard.

If you have the chance to read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and like my page on Facebook.




leave me a comment below so that I’m not talking to the void. It would also be nice if the content reached past my ridiculously long sidebar 😉

Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA Summer Residency, 2022. Photo by Ben Keeling.

I’m Eric Shay Howard and I’m a bad blogger. I’m also an author. I live in Louisville, Kentucky and work at a law firm.

I’m currently a graduate student in a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. Lately, I’ve been blogging about that. I also have a Master of Business Administration and have completed a few certificate programs in Human Resource related studies. Occasionally I blog about business and other MBA-related things. Blogging about my day, bad dates, or package delivery issues are also not out of the question.

I wrote a fiction collection called Crushes and self-published it because sometimes I just like to push buttons and see what happens. I think this book is pretty alright, I suppose. Buying a copy helps me out. Feel free to leave a review on Amazon as well.

crushes by eric shay howard fiction collection book cover

I’m an Amazon Affiliate and occasionally post affiliate links to products in my blog posts and throughout my website. I always disclose these links, just so there’s no confusion. There’s more information about this on my page about my privacy policies and disclosures.

If there’s ever any confusion about this feel free to drop me a comment below the post in question, or you can email me or reach out to me through my social media. Other contact methods are here.

Eric’s bookshelf: currently-reading

The Silkworm
tagged: currently-reading
Words of Radiance
tagged: currently-reading
The Cloven Viscount
tagged: currently-reading
Dark Rise
tagged: currently-reading
The Gunslinger
tagged: currently-reading
tagged: currently-reading
Mistborn: The Final Empire
tagged: currently-reading

Blogs and People I Like

Here are some other blogs and people that I like to read or keep up with. The order is arbitrary because I started out going for alphabetical order but then got busy with classes or something so now sometimes I just rearrange them for no reason.

Equipment Test! Podcast Artwork

I made a really bad podcast over the summer called Equipment Test! because I bought a microphone. But if you like really bad podcasts, you can listen to it here, or find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other places.

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