In this debut novel, Sam and Eleanor are in their 20s and in love, struggling to make a life for themselves under the weight of student-loan debt, climate change and a fascistic national political culture that all seems to spell doom.
The narrator is undoubtedly the most compelling element of the text. Frenetic, frustrated, and knowledgeable, the narrator is so excited to tell the story of a young couple in love that they don’t know where to begin, or end, or how to not tell the punchline before the setup ... Readers can observe two of Fletcher’s main goals outright: drawing the dotted line between poor and brutal decisions in American history to dangerous, systemic problems that exist today...and sifting through the muck of America’s soiled past to present the case to persevere ... Fletcher’s poetic sensibilities appear throughout in some of the beautiful language that comes through in the prose ... There are times when the narrator’s preachiness hits too hard and the need to interrupt the interruptions can be jarring. But in a world where satire is violently divisive, Be Here to Love Me at the End of the World holds a place in the canon of media that is yelling to be heard and Fletcher’s command of story is undeniable and worth every exclamation point.
The narrator finds the humor in any situation, and serves it up with deadpan seriousness. Where there is no humor, they rant: about the secret police, the president, and human nature. They are not impartial, no, but they are crucial to keeping the book’s tone balanced between cool, distant observation and tense, passionate commentary ... Be Here to Love Me at the End of the World is an announcement that love neither conquers all nor will it insulate one from the ills of society, though it does make life observable and bearable.
Fletcher’s unusual debut novel evokes a surreal, heightened version of reality ... described in exacting detail by the narrator, whose voice and opinions often take over the novel. The digressive prose of the narrator is relentless, hyperactive, and indignantly and understandably angry at police brutality, student loans, and the many under-acknowledged horrors of American history ... Strange and glib, this is a Lynchian love story that captures the relentless ridiculousness of the contemporary moment.