“The dystopian feminist novel for a new generation and a story that will rev you up to be part of the resistance.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

This novel takes place in the near future where abortion has once again been outlawed, and it is impossible to adopt if you are going to be a single parent. Reminiscent in a way of Louise Erdrich’s last book, Future Home of the Living God, which also concerns birth rights, one gets the impression that the political climate of today has touched writers to once again tackle this subject, as the fear of Roe v. Wade being overturned may be a very real one. If so, this climate has produced two very good books bearing upon the thought of a woman no longer having the right to choose.

In this story, which takes place in a small town in Oregon, the issue is told through the eyes of a teacher who is writing a biography of the first woman Arctic explorer, who is getting up in years, is unmarried, and is trying to become pregnant just before it will become illegal to be a single parent, and one of her students who has become pregnant and wants to end the pregnancy instead of seeing it to term with her child being adopted. The story is told through the eyes of five woman who all are going through difficult periods in their lives. Roe, the Biographer, Mattie the daughter, Susan the wife, who is the mother of the daughter, Gin who is the Mender, the local woman who can terminate the pregnancy, and Elver, the explorer who the biographer is writing about.

The story jumps back and forth between these characters, and each woman is defined by the difficult choices in life each has to make. This is a sad story, but in a way, also uplifting as the main thought here is how these woman all need to make life changing decisions, and how they each find the strength to do what needs to be done. All the chapters are very short, and the book can read fairly quickly. Well written and with great feeling.

Recommended.

 

Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 1st March 2018

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Richard Franco