Specimen One: Toby, a former high-ranking member of the now defunct fallaciously pacifist eco-freak religious cult, God’s Gardeners. Specimen Two: Ren, a former Gardener, and up until just now, an exotic dancer at Scales & Tails. Could it be? Are these two women the last people on earth? Told in a series of alternating POV’s, flashbacks and flash-forwards, part of the fun of Margaret Atwood’s sometimes laborious novel, The Year of the Flood, is finding out if they are…or if they aren’t…and if they aren’t…who or what awaits them in a post-apocalyptic world?
Though it’s by no means a necessary pre-requisite, perhaps if I had read Atwood’s earlier novel Oryx and Crake (whose events run somewhat parallel to The Year of the Flood in the same futuristic and doomed universe) I would not have been as confused early on, and when certain characters made an appearance or particular events were referenced, there would’ve been more “AHA!” moments for me. But you see, it’s not so much a grand serial epic or the apocalypse per se that Atwood is most interested in. It’s the speculation… Continue reading