A week ago or so I finished the final novel in the Maddaddam trilogy, Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood. It was a good wrap up and a good ending in many ways, but for me the second book of the series is the one that shines the most. Maddaddam picks up right where The Year of the Flood ends and we follow our band of survivors, along with the genetically modified humans, as they continue to try and survive.
Atwood uses this book to look more carefully at how and if the humans and the genetically modified beings can live together. What does that look like? How can the humans teach them more about history and how they came to be where they are without tainting them in the same way the human race was tainted—which one could argue is how they ended up in the utter mess they are in now. And it’s definitely an interesting question. The Crakers don’t know anything about writing, about pain, about shame, about revenge or jealousy, they are completely innocent and how much should they learn those things? For a fresh start to be truly fresh maybe they are better off without those emotions. But could knowing about the history of the world also be helpful, to guard against mistakes that have already been made?
While contemplating those questions are worthwhile, the story itself didn’t grab me as much. But I do like things to be a bit more tidy in novels and this book definitely wraps up the story in a way where I didn’t feel I was left hanging.