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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the number one international best seller The History of Bees, a captivating story of the power of nature and the human spirit that explores the threat of a devastating worldwide drought, witnessed through the lives of a father, a daughter, and a woman who will risk her life to save the future.

In 2019, 70-year-old Signe sets sail alone on a hazardous voyage across the ocean in a sailboat. On board, a cargo that can change lives. Signe is haunted by memories of the love of her life, whom she’ll meet again soon. 

In 2041, David and his young daughter, Lou, flee from a drought-stricken Southern Europe that has been ravaged by thirst and war. Separated from the rest of their family and desperate to find them, they discover an ancient sailboat in a dried-out garden, miles away from the nearest shore. Signe’s sailboat. 

As David and Lou discover Signe’s personal effects, her long ago journey becomes inexorably linked to their own. 

An evocative tale of the search for love and connection, The End of the Ocean is a profoundly moving father daughter story of survival and a clarion call for climate action.

©2020 Maja Lunde (P)2020 HarperAudio

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We are Water.

I have been listening to nonfiction for months. The world is such a mess. I needed to escape into fiction. This book was not an escape but it drew me in to two other lives. Signe, an older woman, in the present narrating a contemporary Old Man and the Sea journey juxtaposed with that of a young father who lives in the world the woman strove to prevent. With imperfect protagonists, perfectly crafted to have readers/listeners experience these two realities, one with an abundance of water, and the other a scarcity of water so real it parched my throat, their linked points on a timeline saddened me in a way that hurt, but I had to follow them in their journeys to their perhaps predictable contented moments at the end of the book. I'd have fallen into a pit of despair without some glimmer of hope. The North Sea, rivers, waterfalls and the coastal waters of Northern Europe are the tangible, frigid, and fragile context upon which the last few decades of the late 20th Century and the first two decades of the 21st play out for Signe as she battles the ferocious nature of the water planet she loves and the impervious march of corporate control of resources. This is also a story of modern women's choices made real. Love, loneness, age impinging on action, the raw mismatch of individuals in families, and inevitable outcomes are served up with Signe's memories of love, loss, and a bit of GPS stalking. A father and daughter, David and Lou, who attempt escape from European firestorms and world-drought tell a refugee story as touching as any ever told. Refuge is found in people as much as in camps. In the end we are left wondering whether a woman from a wealthy family who makes informed choices, that may or may not be rational, or a young father and laborer who never planned, and always lived in the moment making irrational choices, more in control of their lives? Are mere moments of joy or contentment all that humans really have in a world damaged beyond repair? A bit like Bergman in a book.

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Odd, Whiney Global Crisis Futility Novel

Two unrelated climate crisis stories told every other chapter. Both stories had unlikable characters dealing poorly with difficult times. The male character's story has a convincing climate refugee tragedy but he was far too whiney. The female character's story is about an overzealous climate activist dealing poorly with the love of her life who is a realist.