The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood

This book is the second book in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian ‘MaddAddam’ trilogy, which I started last summer. I really liked the first book (Oryx and Crake), so was looking forward to finding out what would happen next (although, like the plot line of the first, I didn’t find out until well into this book!).

As in Oryx and Crake, the plot starts after the apocalyptic events and, from the character’s memories, looks back at what has happened in their lives to bring them up to the ‘present day’ of the story. Different from the first novel however, this sequel followed two characters’ journeys: two females who are part of a religious environmental cult, as they try to survive in their dying society. I really liked that this allowed the reader to see characters and events that had already been established in the first novel but from different perspectives. Very clever!

This book definitely continued my love for this series, and dystopian as a genre too, with the freedom for creativity an imagination with a complete lack of boundaries. Margaret Atwood is undeniably one of the most celebrated of the dystopian and speculative fiction genre, and with good reason. Atwood obviously has a vivid imagination in the creation of her novels, which she conveys through her writing very efficiently with beautiful and simplistic descriptions – I was particularly impressed in this novel with her ability to describe events while maintaining the different characters’ personalities.  Furthermore, the foundations of the deterioration of her fictional societies are issues that can already be found in our current society. The MaddAddam series focuses on the influence of a company that creates health and beauty products, and how they can sell products that harm people in order to raise the sales of their other products – and consequently develops into the death of an entire country’s population. (Similarly, her novel The Handmaid’s Tale has recently been received as a satirical response to President Trump, despite it being written in 1985…).

Dystopian fiction genre, and Atwood, has been increasing in popularity recently (which I would like to think is not a reflection of the route the world is taking!), such as YA novels, film and TV programmes. The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favourite novels ever (wow, I should probably write a post about it…), and the US tv series so far (we’re a bit behind in the UK) has only increased my appreciation  of Atwood’s writing. I’m sorry that was a bit of a tangent from reviewing The Year of the Flood as a novel, but I just like Atwood’s writing, which very much includes this novel!

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