There has been some kind of apocalyptic climate event; the sky is white, the waters are poisoned, humanity seems to have been snuffed out. But the Matriarch survived. So did her brother. They are in the midst of repopulating the Earth. Their brood, now three generations, are animals.
This book was a graphic, horrifying read of what a "final dregs of humanity" type event could look like. The children of the Matriarch act like animals; they only care about themselves, they fuck one another constantly, they use violence without much if any hesitation. Many are born with physical or mental deformities from the inbreeding.
Dolores, who is born without legs below the knee and who doesn't speak or even seem to cognitively process things, is sent away by the Matriarch to "marry into another group." This was a lie from the Matriarch. Her intention is to send Dolores deep into the woods and let her die.
So when Dolores miraculously returns to camp on her own, the Matriarch's authority is instantly forfeited. Things quickly spiral.
This book made me tear up at times, and made me put the book down and pace around more than once. There's just something so unrelenting about the characters that makes them truly feel disconnected from any type of world we know. The writing is so well done that it makes you keep coming back regardless of how challenging it might feel.
It felt like the type of fever dream nightmare that you would hate to experience, but you feel a gap in your life once you wake from it.
Loved it. Hated it.