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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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3.7 out of 5
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  • I loved this book

    I received a free electronic ARC copy of this novel on October 5, 2019, from Netgalley, Maja Lunde, and Scribner UK. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I am pleased to recommend The End of the Ocean to friends and family. This is a novel that speaks well for the hearts call of family and the importance of cleaning up our act on our earth. It is a story for our time, and that to come. Let it not be a prophecy. The End of the Ocean is set out in two timelines, two distinct stories that eventually intertwine. This is handled most effectively - seamlessly - by Maja Lunde. We have the story of Singe Hauger, born and raised in Ringfjorden, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway but a citizen of the world, a journalist, author, and professional activist. One of the few of her generation to leave their small village in Norway, Singe has lived in the wider world these last 50 years. In 2019 at 70 years old, she crosses the wide ocean to return home in her boat. Blue was an 18th-year birthday gift from her mother, though they shared little else physically or emotionally. Blue was, for Singe, a perfect match. Together they have traveled the world, touching nature all around. Blue is both sail and diesel, small enough for her to handle on her own, big enough for her to live comfortably aboard, making a very small footprint on the earth. Blue has allowed Singe the mobility necessary to fight her battles with the polluters of this world. Singe had returned home occasionally. For the funerals of first her mother, then her father, to clean up after their deaths and grieve them properly. Now she is seeking closure with the love of her life. Magnus is at the heart of this desecration of her Norway. Advocating for the earth and its critters are her vocation, her life, her heart song. There is no way to work past this defilement of the earth. This is the ultimate betrayal. For the news from home is crushing - Those in power have sold Blafonna, the iceberg on the mountain, ice being harvested and shipped to the wealthy southern European nations firmly in the grip of the drought - so they might have ice in their cocktails. And the community has plans to harness the River Breio - trap the flow on the mountain and send it by pipeline, bypassing the River, and the Sisters, famous local waterfalls. They need to control the flow to power a massive generator and create electricity enough for the mining of aluminum ore on the mountain. Aluminum necessary only for the seemingly eternal war in the Middle East. It will be the death of the villages on that river, Eidesdalen, and Ringfjorden. Fed by the mountain rains and the slowly melting glacier composed of ice a thousand years old, the River Breio, Lake Eide and Sister Falls are the heart of Norway and home. There may be one more battle of environmental advocacy left in the old girl. And we view life in 2041 through the eyes of David, who with his 6-year-old daughter Lou is a refugee in search of a home - and the other half of his family, wife Anna and young son August who due to circumstance did not leave Argeles, France with David and Lou. The world drought has Europe firmly in its clutches, and as David and Lou move from one refugee camp to another seeking the rest of their family and a country willing to take them in, they see the system of refuge breaking down in camp after camp, leaving these footsore travelers without water or medicine or food, and the camps themselves becoming armed headquarters for the lawless. Even the Red Cross has given up control of the refugee camps. And then David and Lou find Singe's boat Blue, carefully wrapped against the weather, and waiting. But where will they go from here? How do you run from an endless worldwide drought? Where do you run when the world implodes around you? Where can you go, in a world without potable water?

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    4 person found this review helpful

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    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Water

    Water. Water is something we take for granted, but someday this may not be the case. In this thought-provoking novel by Maja Lunde, water is in short supply for David and his young daughter Lou during the year 2041. As they journey across the country to reunite with their family, they discover clues of Signe. Signe is a seventy-year-old woman in the year 2019 with a purpose to prevent the glacier she grew up near being destroyed for use of expensive drinks and hydroelectricity. The two storylines meet each other as David and Lou find an old boat that belonged to Signe when she journeyed across the ocean in search of her love. I found that while the characters introduced in this book were relatable and intriguing, the connection between the stories was a bit tenuous in that there were not enough links to link the two together. Overall, however, I found that this as a thrilling story that shows what could very well happen to our own world should we continue to not correct our ways.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Profound and emotionally shattering

    For such a short book “The End of the Ocean” is truly epic in scope. The two main characters, Signe and David, are in two very different timelines that connect at the end in a profound and emotionally shattering way. This story will rip your heart out, cast you into the pit of despair and pull you out the other side determined to change the world. Pretty powerful for one book! There is nothing scarier than seeing a dark future coming and being unable to change course and avoid it. This story is all about how the actions we take now (in Signe’s timeline) affect lives in the future (David’s timeline.) If you are a climate change denier you will likely scoff at this book but most of us will take it as a dire warning about a possible future that we very much need to avoid. Signe sees the devastation left on her local landscape by commercial interests which have led to a power plant and dam built to harness a river. This has completely drained it and the twin waterfalls it fed along with wiping out the local fauna species. She also is witness to an ancient glacier receding due to global warming and harvesting for clean ice for the wealthy. This right here is our timeline and our reality. David and his daughter Lou are in the midst of the devastation in the much too near future. They are climate refugees fleeing unending drought and fires. It’s truly a sad and terrifying picture. I cannot stress enough how disturbing David’s chapters were. It’s the stuff of nightmares. Being able to see the beginnings of this today is heartbreaking. We already have camps of climate refugees and massive wildfires burning towns, people, and wildlife. This book was originally written in Norwegian but it has none of the awkwardness that often plagues translations. The writing is absolutely beautiful. The imagery is vivid and devastating. I could feel the cold spray on Signe’s boat and the scorched earth under David’s feet. It puts you directly in the story which is often an uncomfortable place to be! If it does nothing else (your heart must be cold and dead if that is the case) this book will convince you that we have to make huge changes. We are living in Signe’s time where it may still be possible to alter trajectory so we don’t end up in David’s terrifying near future. We’ve travelled pretty far in the wrong direction but it’s never too late to take the first steps on a new path. Heroes like Signe and the real life hero Greta have shown us the way. All we need to do is follow and be the change the world needs. Thank you to HarperCollins Publishers and HarperVia for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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