End of Story by Louise Swanson

It’s the year 2035 and fiction has been banned by the government for five years. Writing novels is a crime. Reading fairytales to children is punishable by law.

Fern Dostoy is a criminal. Officially, she has retrained in a new job outside of the arts but she still scrawls in a secret notepad in an effort to capture what her life has become: her work on a banned phone line, reading bedtime stories to sleep-starved children; Hunter, the young boy who calls her and has captured her heart; and the dreaded visits from government officials.

But as Fern begins to learn more about Hunter, doubts begin to surface. What are they both hiding? And who can be trusted?

Oh this book is amazing.

I loved Louise’s earlier books (writing as Louise Beech), this is her first foray into a dystopian sci-fi and boy is it a doozy.

It’s 2035 and fiction has been banned. Writing novels is a criminal offence. Even reading stories to children is punishable by law. As dystopian futures go, this is pretty bleak. The story of Fern, a once-famous author, and her move into secret work as a reader will draw you in, wrap you in this strange world leaving you wondering just how we got there, and how on earth it’s possible to come back.

Hard to say more without spoiling anything, so get yourself a copy of this brilliant book, a large cup of tea and settle down for the ride. It’s worth every illegally-written word.

The writing is beautiful, the setting horrific, and it finishes with an ending that’ll leave you thinking for days. Hugely recommended, and I for one cannot wait to see what Louise Swanson comes up with next.

End of Story by Louise Swanson is published by Hodder & Stoughton in March 2023. Huge thanks to the publisher for the advance copy of the book to review.

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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