The sun brightens in the east, reddening the blue-grey haze that marks the distant ocean. The vultures roosting on the hydro poles fan out their wings to dry them. the air smells faintly of burning. The waterless flood - a manmade plague - has ended the world.
But two young women have survived: Ren, a young dancer trapped where she worked, in an upmarket sex club (the cleanest dirty girls in town); and Toby, who watches and waits from her rooftop garden. Is anyone else out there?
'Atwood knows how to show us ourselves, but the mirror she holds up to life does more than reflect . . . The Year of the Flood isn't prophecy, but it is eerily possible' Jeanette Winterson
'Margaret Atwood has outdone - and outsung - herself this time. The Year of the Flood is at once a solemn praise song to human hope and a dead-serious poke at our capacity for self-destruction . . . Shows Atwood at the pinnacle of her prodigious creative powers' Elle
'A sharp observer of the female psyche . . . Atwood's richly fertile imagination plays to exuberant and often comic effect' Caroline Moore, Daily Telegraph
'A gripping and visceral book that showcases her pure storytelling talents with energy, inventiveness and narrative panache' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times