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Arts & Culture
There are one million new books published each year. With so many books and so little time, where do you begin to find your next must-read? There’s the New York Times Bestseller list, the Goodreads app, the Cape Library’s Staff picks shelf and now Martin’s Must-Reads.Every Wednesday at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m., and Sunday at 8:18 a.m., Betty Martin recommends a must read based on her own personal biases for historical fiction, quirky characters and overall well-turned phrases. Her list includes WWII novels, biographies of trailblazers, novels with truly unique individuals and lots more. Reading close to 100 titles a year, Betty has plenty of titles to share.Local support for "Martin's Must Reads" comes from the Cape Girardeau Public Library and the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library.

Martin's Must Reads: 'After the Flood'

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“After years of slowly overtaking the continent, rising floodwaters have obliterated America’s great coastal cities and then its heartland, leaving nothing but an archipelago of mountaintop  colonies surrounded by a deep expanse of open water. “

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s a quote from the flyleaf of Kassandra Montag’s futuristic novel After the Flood. Seven years before the start of the story, pregnant Myra was left behind in the rising flood waters by her husband who took their five year old daughter, Row, with him. Myra survived the flood in a boat her grandfather built, a boat in which she gave birth to her second daughter ,Pearl.

A year after Pearl’s birth, Myra’s grandfather dies. Myra survives by becoming proficient in reading the waters to catch fish and by visiting the few remaining dry land outposts to trade for other supplies. Pearl has lived her entire life on the water, helping her mother fish and playing with small snakes, her only companions. And for seven years, to everyone she meets, Myra shows a photo of Row asking if they’ve seen her, never giving up hope.

When she finally gets news of where Row is, she realizes she’ll need a bigger boat to navigate the seas north to Row’s location. Myra and Pearl join forces with a crew of seven on a larger boat, a community who hope to start a new, democratic colony, unlike the pirate avenging colonies that seem to currently dominate what is left of the world. Myra sets out to convince them to head for Row’s last known location.

If you are looking for a novel of dark despair and soaring hope, then you must read After the Flood by Kassandra Montag.

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