On a beach in Antarctica, scientist Adam Leith marks the passage of the summer solstice. Back in Sydney his partner Ellie waits for the results of her latest round of IVF treatment.
That result, when it comes, will change both their lives and propel them into a future neither could have predicted. In a collapsing England Adam will battle to survive an apocalyptic storm. Against a backdrop of growing civil unrest at home, Ellie will discover a strange affinity with beekeeping. In the aftermath of a pandemic, a young man finds solace in building virtual recreations of the dead. And new connections will be formed from the most unlikely beginnings.
Clade is the story of one family in a radically changing world, a place of loss and wonder where the extraordinary mingles with the everyday. Haunting, lyrical and unexpectedly hopeful, it is the work of a writer in command of the major themes of our time.
A book with many angles and connections – a narrative that will make you pause to consider the world we live in and the world we will leave behind us. I was quite surprised by the direction this narrative took – first we are introduced to the topic of IVF; this issue was sensitively and powerfully told and I thought that this is what the central story was about – infertility, but I was mistaken, this is just an introduction to the overarching thread about family, connections, the primal response to protect ones family and the bigger picture issue of climate change.
This narrative takes us on a tumultuous ride through the three generations of one family all living in rapidly changing environments. For me I found the potential of this work of fiction to plausibly suggest the way our changing planet is heading to be slightly depressing though I think the overall message is a glimpse of what could come, a message tinged with optimism that we are adaptable and that there is hope… Clade is a very literary, not too distant, example of science fiction. It is very powerfully written.
**A clade is a grouping that includes a common ancestor and all the descendants (living and extinct) of that ancestor. (http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/search/imagedetail.php?id=260&topic_id=&keywords )