Berkley. Oct. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9780593201107. $27. F
Dalcher (Vox) is a master of the feminist dystopian novel; her latest asks readers to consider if society would be better if women were in charge. It opens on a world in which the economy has collapsed, food and supplies are scarce, and no help is in sight. After learning that her husband has overextended their accounts and abandoned his family to fend for themselves, Miranda Reynolds and her teenage daughter head for their last hope: Femlandia. Founded by Miranda’s estranged mother decades earlier, Femlandia is a women-only haven for those who have been abused or neglected or who have nowhere else to turn. Upon arrival, Miranda discovers that Femlandia is not the hardscrabble hippie commune she imagined, but neither is it the utopia it purports to be. Strict rules and harsh punishments are just the beginning. As Miranda digs into Femlandia’s secrets, she learns just how far her mother would go to create her ideal society.
VERDICT A no-holds-barred thriller and thought-provoking read for fans of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Naomi Alderman’s The Power, and Kim Liggett’s The Grace Year.
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