The Rending and the Nest

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Mira wasn’t the kind of girl people relied on in times of trouble. She wasn’t a symbol for strength or hope or survival. She wasn’t noticeable at all, really. But that was before.

Kaethe Schwehn’s The Rending and the Nest introduces us to Mira four years after an event survivors have come to know as the Rending, an inexplicable disappearance of 95 percent of the population and their belongings. Where Mira is now, a collective known as Zion, she is a scavenger, the one with the list of the collective’s needs and the tenacity to find those things. She has a purpose and she is focused, and she barely has time to think about the family she lost and the world before. Instead, her days are filled with work, her friend Lana, and a blossoming romance with fellow Zionite Rodney. Everything is as normal as can be expected after the Rending until Lana becomes pregnant. Hers is the first pregnancy and birth in four years, and while it should inspire hope at the thought of renewal, what actually happens on the day she delivers the baby is beyond anyone’s comprehension.

Mira grew up as a pastor’s daughter, and Schwehn uses biblical allusion and imagery throughout the novel to add weight to the wonder and worry of the post-Rending world. It is no accident that when outsider Michael, a traveler from a neighboring community, arrives, his intrusion is seen as an evil force against the good of Zion.

Equal parts science-fiction, fantasy, and study in humanity, The Rending and the Nest is the kind of book you can’t stop reading because you have to know if everything turns out all right. This is a must-read for anyone interested in post-apocalyptic narratives and meditations on the nature of grief and forgiveness.


Reviewed By:

Author Kaethe Schwehn
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Bloomsbury USA
Publish Date 2018-Feb-20
ISBN 9781632869722
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2018
Category Modern Literature
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