In a world prone to violent flooding, Britain, ravaged 20 years earlier by a deadly virus, has been largely cut off from the rest of the world. Survivors are few and far between, most of them infertile. Children, the only hope for the future, are a rare commodity.
For 22-year-old Roza Polanski, life with her family in their isolated tower block is relatively comfortable. She’s safe, happy enough. But when a stranger called Aashay Kent arrives, everything changes. At first he’s a welcome addition, his magnetism drawing the Polanskis out of their shells, promising an alternative to a lonely existence. But Roza can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to Aashay than he’s letting on. Is there more to life beyond their isolated bubble? Is it true that children are being kidnapped? And what will it cost to find out?
Clare Morrall, author of the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Astonishing Splashes of Colour, creates a startling vision of the future in a world not so very far from our own, and a thrilling story of suspense.
I’m really quite annoyed with myself. I’ve had a copy of this on my bookshelf for months, and I just kept putting off reading it. I don’t know what it was but something just didn’t sit right with me about it, and then I decided it was time to pick it up and give it a go and I devoured every single word in absolutely no time at all. So that will teach me won’t it?!
In When The Floods Came we meet Roza, she lives just outside of Birmingham with her family, they are survivors of a virus which all but wiped out the human population. Their lives are now controlled by the erratic weather conditions which include severe flooding for months at a time. If they want to go anywhere they have to cycle, food is grown or delivered in drops from other countries, the government is in Brighton, and they work via the web for the Chinese.
Children are rare, most people are infertile so Roza’s family are an anomaly as they have been able to have children and Roza being the eldest at 22 is about to get married in the hope that she can also have children. She’s never met her fiance but he is cycling from Brighton to meet her. When Aashay turns up things get weird do they trust this charming stranger?
I was completely drawn into this world, I don’t think any of us find it hard to imagine a world like these people are living in anymore (well I don’t)! Roza and her family have lived an isolated existence and whilst they want desperately to meet new people they are also extremely wary when Aashay turns up.
I felt for Roza’s plight, I felt her pull towards him and also her need to pull away from him. He represented so many things she wanted, he was able to offer answers to questions she didn’t even know she had, he was able to offer experiences she didn’t think she could have but at the same time she was terrified he was a danger to her family. Reading through her journey and watching as she unpicked the situation and grew closer to the answer was so tense.
I had three possible outcomes for the ending that I had decided were the most viable ways for the novel to end and Clare Morrall totally threw me through a hoop by having an ending that wasn’t even in my realm of possibility! I hadn’t in a million years seen things ending the way they did.
This was a fabulous dystopia with the feel of Margaret Atwood, I’m just sorry I didn’t read it sooner.
A huge thanks to Clare Morrall and Sceptre Books for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review.
Book & Buy Links
Title: When The Floods Came
Author: Clare Morrall
Publisher: Sceptre Books
Publication Date: 11 February 2016
Review Format: Paperback
Other Formats: Hardcover | eBook | Audio
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen