The Rending and the Nest by Kaethe Schwehn

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Themes of community and faith intermingle with questions about the power of motherhood and the desperate desire to explain the unexplainable, all revolving around the very human necessity of sharing our own stories. It’s a sharp, fearless narrative – one rendered all the more impressive by the fact that it’s the author’s debut novel.
-The Maine Edge

Synopsis

A chilling yet redemptive post-apocalyptic debut that examines community, motherhood, faith, and the importance of telling one's own story.

When 95 percent of the earth's population disappears for no apparent reason, Mira does what she can to create some semblance of a life: She cobbles together a haphazard community named Zion, scavenges the Piles for supplies they might need, and avoids loving anyone she can't afford to lose. She has everything under control. Almost.

Four years after the Rending, Mira's best friend, Lana, announces her pregnancy, the first since everything changed and a new source of hope for Mira. But when Lana gives birth to an inanimate object--and other women of Zion follow suit--the thin veil of normalcy Mira has thrown over her new life begins to fray. As the Zionites wrestle with the presence of these Babies, a confident outsider named Michael appears, proselytizing about the world beyond Zion. He lures Lana away and when she doesn't return, Mira must decide how much she's willing to let go in order to save her friend, her home, and her own fraught pregnancy.

Like California by Edan Lepucki and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Rending and the Nest uses a fantastical, post-apocalyptic landscape to ask decidedly human questions: How well do we know the people we love? What sustains us in the midst of suffering? How do we forgive the brokenness we find within others--and within ourselves?
 

About Kaethe Schwehn

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Published February 20, 2018 by Bloomsbury USA. 304 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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The Maine Edge

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Reviewed by Allen Adams on Feb 21 2018

Themes of community and faith intermingle with questions about the power of motherhood and the desperate desire to explain the unexplainable, all revolving around the very human necessity of sharing our own stories. It’s a sharp, fearless narrative – one rendered all the more impressive by the fact that it’s the author’s debut novel.

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