cover image Be Here to Love Me at the End of the World

Be Here to Love Me at the End of the World

Sasha Fletcher. Melville House, $17.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-61219-947-4

Poet Fletcher’s tender debut novel (after the collection It Is Going to Be a Good Year) follows a 20-something couple facing the end of the world. In the not-too-distant future, Sam works from home in Brooklyn, busying himself with the tedium of resubmitting invoices for proofreading gigs while Eleanor braves her daily commute. Their romance began after they ran into each other at a party several years earlier, during which the sky ominously (or fortuitously) opened up. Now, as more harbingers of end-times emerge, such as a threat of a nuclear attack on the city and the secret police (“just like regular police, except secret”), Sam spends a good portion of his days planning the meals he cooks for Eleanor, each dinner becoming an event, perhaps just enough to maintain optimism. Fletcher confidently describes Sam and Eleanor’s staid domestic life with punchy, declarative lines (“It’s so hard, sometimes, to try to love the world with an open heart”). It’s a style that mostly endears and occasionally grates. Still, this emotionally resonant dystopian succeeds at turning the end of the world into a new beginning. (Feb.)