“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.