Thank you so much to Bloomsbury Publishing for providing my free copy – all opinions are my own.
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.
This is one of the most bizarre and intelligent books I’ve ever read. It’s introspective, philosophical, evocative, and poetic. Without any explanation, 95 percent of the world’s population has disappeared in an event called the Rending. The remaining population have no idea why the Rending occurred but decide to trudge on and try to add to their existence. We follow our protagonist Mira as she makes her way through this gloomy, post-apocalyptic world. The sky is an everlasting gray and the atmosphere is always a steady, chilly temperature. Mira’s job is to climb the Piles, which are mountains of junk, in order to find useful items for their makeshift community of Zion. In the past three years, no babies have been born, but suddenly Mira’s friend Lana discovers she is pregnant. Lana gives birth to an inanimate object and other women of Zion start to experience the same phenomenon. So you can see why I used the word bizarre.
The main themes of THE RENDING AND THE NEST are motherhood, survival, and loss. This is a very character-driven story which reminded me a bit of Station Eleven, and just like Station Eleven it focuses on the character’s journey, emotions, and relationships. I enjoyed reading about Mira and Lana’s characters a great deal and about another intriguing character introduced later on. The storyline is inventive, interesting, horrifying, and thought-provoking with an eerily realistic, strange future world. But be prepared, as this book moves rather slowly and is heavy on the details. Also, you may want answers to questions you won’t get but I promise this story will stay with you. Ultimately though, Schwehn’s writing is next level brilliant with beautiful, lyrical prose and whether you love it or hate it, I guarantee you’ve never read a book like this.
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars!
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