The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood was the first book to be voted off of Canada Reads 2014. This novel was defended by Stephen Lewis, who is a “Canadian philanthropist and a Companion of the Order of Canada. [He is also] the chair of the Stephen Lewis foundation, which provides support to women and children in Africa living with HIV/AIDS” (http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads/2013/11/meet-the-canada-reads-2014-contenders.html) .
I had the pleasure of reading this novel prior to the Canada Reads debate which began March 3rd, 2014. This book takes place in the future after a waterless flood has swept over the land. The Year of the Flood is the second book of a trilogy, the first being Oryx and Crake and third is the newly released MaddAddam. This book takes place in the future after pollution (and other relevant environmental concerns of today) have taken effect on our planet On its own, The Year of the Flood, is a strong narrative that focuses on two prominent characters, Toby and Ren, who are part of a group, called God’s Gardeners. This story is told primarily through flashbacks of the two characters lives. These flash backs tell the story of how they ended up in their current situation. Throughout this novel we see Atwood’s brilliant reference to the influence of words and the bequest of power they can have over the author or the reader. This serves as a gentle reminder that as the reader of this novel, we can change our fate by letting this book influence our every day decisions. Having not read the other two novels in the trilogy, I can only imagine how prominent and powerful these novels would be as a series.
The theme of Canada Reads 2014 is “What is the novel that could change Canada?”, and while this novel certainly fulfills this topic by addressing the changes we need to ensue in order to save our environment, I would argue that this novel goes a step further and suggests that it is not just Canada, but the world that we have to change.
Although The Year of the Flood did not win Canada Reads 2014, I urge you to read this book!
Didn't get a chance to listen to the debate? Here is the link : http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadareads/listen/index.html