The four interlocking narratives in Stephen Markley's spectacular debut, Ohio, unfolded over the course of one night. The Deluge uses a similar structure but spans decades.
Delving into the climate crisis, the book opens in 2013 San Diego, Calif., focusing on Tony Pietrus, a geologist at Scripps Institute of Oceanography; moves to Shane Acosta, a sophisticated ecoterrorist; then to Kate Morris during the infancy of her work as a climate justice activist in 2017 Jackson, Wyo.; and Ashir al-Hasan, chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. As the global vulnerabilities increase--political, ecological and cultural--so do their personal stakes rise, while their paths interweave. The pages fly by in this epic novel, which takes us eventually to the year 2040. These three-dimensional characters' passion for people and missions, their ambitions and causes co-opted by larger entities offer readers opportunity for reflection on recent events as well as possible futures for the planet.