My library has added a new category and it is all too terrifying: cli-fi. Climate fiction. It’s like sci-fi, but the “what if” hits a little closer to home – earth, but under more severe impacts of climate change. An earth in which we are all climate refugees. It’s not pretty. It’s also a genre I don’t usually read, because it’s new.
In the world of Memory of Water, fresh water no longer runs free. After continents are devastated by ocean rises, the new government that develops owns and controls all fresh water by military force. I don’t recall if we’re ever told precisely where this story is set, but the summary describes it as the Scandinavian Union. Our narrator, Noria, is the daughter of the village tea master. Yup, water is a scarce resource but somehow there are still enough people of means that a luxury like tea can keep a family afloat. It’s not just the tea itself, there’s a very special ceremony as well. Anyway.
The family secret is that in the lands behind their home there is a hidden spring and it is this spring that has kept the family alive for generations. Noria is training to be a tea master like her father but she also goes to explore with her best friend the “plastic grave” near their village which I guess was a dump? In said exploring, they find fragments of our society and are able to put together a working CD player and on the CD they play is history of what came before (“Twilight Years”) and then they find more CDs and it started to lose me. It isn’t a bad book, but I was excited to move onto the next.
Bingo Square: Not In My Wheelhouse