KASSANDRA MONTAG is an award-winning poet, fiction writer, and freelance medical journalist. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies such as Midwestern Gothic, Nebraska Poetry, Prairie Schooner, and Mystery Weekly Magazine, among others. She holds an MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Creighton University, and makes her home in Omaha, Nebraska.
AFTER THE FLOOD
HarperCollins - September 3, 2019
An unforgettable, inventive, and riveting epic saga with the literary force and evocative imagination of Station Eleven, Zone One, and The Road, that signals the arrival of an extraordinary new talent.
A little more than a century from now, the world has been utterly transformed. After years of slowly overtaking the continent, starting with the great coastal cities, rising floodwaters have left America an archipelago of mountaintop colonies surrounded by a deep expanse of open water. Civilization as it once was is gone. Bands of pirates roam the waters, in search of goods and women to breed. Some join together to create a new kind of society, while others sail alone, barely surviving.
Stubbornly independent Myra and her precocious and feisty eight-year-old daughter, Pearl, fish from their small boat, the Bird, visiting small hamlets and towns on dry land only to trade for supplies and information. Just before Pearl’s birth, when the monstrous deluge overtook their home in Nebraska, Maya’s oldest daughter, Row, was stolen by her father.
For eight years Myra has searched for the girl that she knows, in her bones and her heart, still lives. In a violent confrontation with a stranger, Myra discovers that Row was last seen in a far-off encampment of raiders on the coast of what used to be Greenland. Throwing aside her usual caution, she and Pearl embark on a perilous voyage into the icy northern seas to rescue the girl, now thirteen.
On the journey, Myra and Pearl join forces with a larger ship, a band of Americans like them. In a desperate act of deceit and manipulation, Myra convinces the crew to sail north. Though she hides her true motivations, Myra finds herself bonding with her fellow seekers, men, women, and children who hope to build a safe haven together in this dangerous new world.
But secrets, lust, and betrayals threaten to capsize their dream, and after their fortunes take a shocking—and bloody—turn, Myra can no longer ignore the question of whether saving Row is worth endangering Pearl and her fellow travelers.
A compulsively readable novel of dark despair and soaring hope, After the Flood is a magnificent, action-packed, and sometimes frightening odyssey laced with wonder—an affecting and wholly original saga both redemptive and astonishing.
PRAISE FOR AFTER THE FLOOD
“The searing, often brutal story of a mother’s terrifying quest to find her missing daughter in a post-apocalyptic world. Haunting and shocking.”—Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish
“A promising debut…an intriguing and innovative woman-centered swashbuckling quest narrative, centers on the social impact of climate change a little over a century from now. Readers who enjoy postapocalyptic fiction and strong female heroes will appreciate Myra, a super-survivalist who combines Wonder Woman’s physical prowess and the unsinkable Molly Brown’s resilience.”—Publishers Weekly
“In Montag’s thrilling debut, a woman reluctantly joins forces with the crew of a ship large enough to ferry her toward the one thing she wants. As in the very best adventure novels, Myra and the crew of the Sedna are beset by troubles, both those they stumble across and more pressingly, those of their own making. If the center of this novel is one mother’s quest to recover the daughter stolen from her, the heart of it is the truth that, as unrecognizable as the world may become, what is most human in us—our loves, our fears, our strengths, and our failings—can be neither drowned nor outrun.”—Lydia Kang, author of A Beautiful Poison
“An undeniable, brilliantly written tale of trauma and grief. In a world under water, Myra not only learns how to survive—and all the nitty-gritties that entails while sailing over what used to be North America amid raiders, scoundrels, predators, and worse—but she must also learn to trust herself and the others on her journey. We do the same along with her. Myra is one of the most memorable heroines we’ve met in years, and After the Flood a story about the pursuit of redemption you will want to come back to again and again.”—Theodore Wheeler, author of Kings of Broken Things
“I lost complete track of time and missed lunch and had to eat leftover casserole straight from the fridge with my hands because I could not put this book down until the last word.”—Liz Kay, author of Monsters: A Love Story
“A soaring, brilliantly imagined novel about love and desperation, set in an astonishing new world that still feels utterly gripping and contemporary. Kassandra Montag is a visionary new talent!”—Karin Slaughter, international bestselling author of The Last Widow