Thursday, February 15, 2018

Review: The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn

Blurb from Goodreads:
A chilling yet redemptive post-apocalyptic debut that examines community, motherhood, faith, and the importance of telling one's own story.

When 95 percent of the earth's population disappears for no apparent reason, Mira does what she can to create some semblance of a life: She cobbles together a haphazard community named Zion, scavenges the Piles for supplies they might need, and avoids loving anyone she can't afford to lose. She has everything under control. Almost. 

Four years after the Rending, Mira's best friend, Lana, announces her pregnancy, the first since everything changed and a new source of hope for Mira. But when Lana gives birth to an inanimate object--and other women of Zion follow suit--the thin veil of normalcy Mira has thrown over her new life begins to fray. As the Zionites wrestle with the presence of these Babies, a confident outsider named Michael appears, proselytizing about the world beyond Zion. He lures Lana away and when she doesn't return, Mira must decide how much she's willing to let go in order to save her friend, her home, and her own fraught pregnancy.

Like California by Edan Lepucki and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Rending and the Nest uses a fantastical, post-apocalyptic landscape to ask decidedly human questions: How well do we know the people we love? What sustains us in the midst of suffering? How do we forgive the brokenness we find within others--and within ourselves?
My Review:
This wasn't bad but it also didn't feel particularly unique.  I haven't even read that many dystopians and this felt like it borrowed from them all in one way or another.  That being said, it was definitely atmospheric and well written.  I didn't fall in love with the characters but I also don't think that was the goal of the author.  The book represented something more, which I appreciated.  I don't know that I can say that I enjoyed reading this but, again, I'm not sure if I should have enjoyed it.  I ultimately felt that this wasn't unique enough to captivate me but also that there were a lot of questions unanswered. 

The Rending and the Nest comes out next week on February 20, 2018, and you can purchase HERE.  This book definitely wasn't as good as either Gold Fame Citrus or Station Eleven but it has echoes of both as well as The Book of the Unnamed Midwife.
Chester leaned back and reached into the small pocket above the regular front pocket on his jeans. I'd always wondered what that tiny pocket was for and now I had the answer: that little pocket was for holding fortunes after the apocalypse.

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