In a flooded future haunted by fearsome leviathans, Thea struggles with addiction, the loss of her sister, and hostile conditions. A Flood of Posies is gripping speculative fiction about unexpressed trauma.
Scrappy and abrasive, Thea is deep in the grips of heroin addiction when a mysterious flood swamps the earth. What starts as a rainstorm fills her sister Doris’s home, forcing the two to seek refuge on the roof, then on a floating metal door. Thea soon realizes that they’re not alone: there is a monster in the water, and it is hungry.
Doris, recovering from a recent accident, can’t swim, and Thea is incapacitated by the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. After Thea is swept away, alternating chapters depict how she survives in a flooded world, after even the birds have died without land to nest on. She becomes marooned with a stranger, Robert. Both are determined to survive the watery apocalypse and the Poseidon, or “posy,” that stalks them.
Flashbacks to Doris and Thea’s childhood, and scenes from Thea’s active addiction, provide context for Thea’s brutal approach to life. The novel’s three story lines—past, present, and future—are knit together by lyrical language that elevates the book’s gory scenes to poetry. Thea, fishing for dinner with a hook in her own flesh, is sardonic; her apathy obscures her own lurking monsters, which emerge from the depths of her past one at a time.
The novel’s supporting characters are complex and prickly, bonded by mutual need, not love. Doris’s relationship with her husband is intriguing, showing how family trauma replicates between generations. Robert is a strong foil for Thea; together, they are an ill-prepared Adam and Eve.
With its unforgettable imagery, Posies is a phenomenal novel set at the edge of an unforeseen apocalypse.
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