“Water itself is colorless. It’s the world around it that gives it color, reflections from the sky, from the surroundings, water is never just water. Water absorbs and whirls around everything it meets. Water is humus, sand, clay, and plankton. Water is given color by the bed it covers. Water reflects the world.”
Like all Nordic fiction, The End of the Ocean is starkly written. It is dystopian fiction, so you’d expect it to be harsh but the two storylines are each bleak and hopeless in their own unique ways.
The story follows Signe in 2017 as she is flashing back in her life and the life of her small town as big business destroys the natural glacier in the name of improving the local economy. Signe even through her childhood eyes saw the threat to the environment and now 70 years later she is still trying to stop the inevitable collapse. She is fierce and principled and completely emotionally damaged.
In 2041, David and Lou are living in a refugee camp trying to survive the severe drought that has left water a severely rationed resource. They have been separated from the rest of their family and hope is wearing thin.
I’d be hard pressed to say whether David and Lou had a harder reality than Signe. Each was trying to make the best of their circumstances but it is definitely one of the more bleak dystopian stories I have read. We see the devastation of their own lives in parallel with the destruction of the environment.
I love books that use nature as a metaphor because the writing is always beautiful and the sentiment is easy to connect with but this one was more depressing than I had imagined. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I’m working this weekend, what are your weekend plans?