My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The writing in this book, and the way the author is able to describe the somewhat strange setting, is stellar. In the Man Booker Prize longlist wasteland that is 2018, I found it one of the more compelling reads. I love the little backstory italic parts between chapters, the ending and questioning everything, and the sisters. I felt like the story itself, what actually happens, to be less satisfying.
The italics backstory is where the story connects most with other recent books from The Power by Naomii Alderman to Red Clocks by Leni Zumas. Here is one passage in particular:
"I didn't understand how rapidly things had changed, how all that had been needed was permission for everything to go to shit, and that permission had been granted. I didn't know that there was no longer any need for the men to hold their bodies in check or to carry on the lie that we mattered."These sections make the reader think they know what the book is. But is that what it is?
I have no idea how to classify it now that I've reached the end. (view spoiler)[Is this dystopia on a grand scale or more like Room is for the two in it? Are there actual environmental toxins going on or are the daughters being poisoned? Is the third sister really not related or was that a convenient story to tell for King to get what he wanted? Who were the women who used to be with them, and why aren't there any more? (hide spoiler)]
I have to admit, I kind of liked mulling over these questions, maybe the best part of my reading experience. That coupled with the writing made it more of a solid read for me.
Thanks to the publisher for providing access to this title through NetGalley. It doesn't come out in the USA until 9 January 2019, but my library bought it already so it can be found online. And I wanted to try to finish it before the shortlist was announced.
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