Ellingsen’s deeply affecting follow-up to 2015’s Not Dark Yet finds ex-military man Brandon Minamoto ready to leave the remote cabin (presumably in North America) that he’s taken refuge in. A catastrophic hurricane has devastated his unnamed hometown, and he gathers his few belongings and sets out to find his family, including his brother, Katsuhiro, and his boyfriend, Michael. Meanwhile, a team of aid workers has been sent into the flood zone to catalogue the dead. When Brandon crosses their path, he offers his help, unaware that the group carries ominous secrets. Harrowing, strangely beautiful scenes punctuate Ellingsen’s softly apocalyptic story, particularly one set in a flooded parking garage and another in the waterlogged ruins of an art history museum. Swirling prose seamlessly mingles the brutally matter-of-fact details of crisis management with the fragility and fleeting nature of life. Ellingsen has an eye for the fine nuances of human interaction, quietly elevating the mundane and bringing a deep compassion to the noble work of tallying the human toll of natural disasters. Though the story certainly has something to say about the looming effects of climate change, the focus is on the mystery and wonder of the human subjects of this beautifully written, intimate tale. Agent: Allison Devereux, Mackenzie Wolf Literary. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2018 Release date: 05/14/2018 Genre: Fiction
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