It’s my turn on the BlogTour Femlandia by Christina Dalcher and I couldn’t be more stoked. I loved this book!
About the Author
Christina Dalcher earned her doctorate in theoretical linguistics from Georgetown University. She specialized in the phonetics of sound change in Italian and British dialects and taught at universities in the United States, England, and the United Arab Emirates.
Her short stories and flash fiction appear in over one hundred journals worldwide. Recognitions include first prize in the Bath Flash Fiction Award as well as nominations for The Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions.
After spending several years abroad, most recently in Sri Lanka, Dalcher and her husband now split their time between the American South and Andalucia, Spain.
Her debut novel, VOX, was published in August 2018 by Berkley (an imprint of Penguin Random House) and has been translated into twenty languages. The success of Vox was followed up by the equally successful novels Master Class, Q and now Femlandia.
About the book
A chilling look into an alternate near future where a woman and her daughter seek refuge in a women-only colony, only to find that the safe haven they were hoping for is the most dangerous place they could be.
Miranda Reynolds always thought she would rather die than live in Femlandia. But that was before the country sank into total economic collapse and her husband walked out in the harshest, most permanent way, leaving her and her sixteen-year-old daughter with nothing. The streets are full of looting, robbing, and killing, and Miranda and Emma no longer have much choice—either starve and risk getting murdered, or find safety. And so they set off to Femlandia, the women-only colony Miranda’s mother, Win Somers, established decades ago.
Although Win is no longer in the spotlight, her protégé Jen Jones has taken Femlandia to new heights: The off-grid colonies are secluded, self-sufficient, and thriving—and Emma is instantly enchanted by this idea of a safe haven. But something is not right. There are no men allowed in the colony, but babies are being born—and they’re all girls. Miranda discovers just how the all-women community is capable of enduring, and it leads her to question how far her mother went to create this perfect, thriving, horrifying society.
I loved this book! This is going on my best of the year list. I enjoy the way this author has no qualms about venturing into areas a lot of authors steer clear of. There is no fear of treading into controversial topics and crossing boundaries, and in this case calling some bluffs.
Let’s talk Femlandia, and believe me there is plenty to talk about. Miranda and her teenage daughter find themselves in the ruins of their previously privileged life and the breakdown of society as the world knows it. Food shortages, Mad Max dystopian violence is rampant, and the two of them decide to make a run for it before it’s too late.
Enter the world Miranda’s long estranged,and now deceased mother, Win created many years ago. Compounds filled only with girls and women. Miranda and Emma head for the closest one, but the safe harbour appears to be a shallow facade for something for sinister.
The author takes the concept of a woman only world and points out the obvious missing link – if you want to have a continuation of said concept you need men. In a destroyed civilisation without technology how do you ensure only women survive? There are also a few arrows aimed in the general direction of radical feminists and gender – it’s a red hot topic at the moment. I think it’s fair to say … nah I’m not even going to go there. What I will say is the ending of this book speaks volumes about the core of women’s rights and voices being silenced, by the patriarchy and those raised in and supporting said system.
I could talk about this book and the premise for ages. I can’t wait to tell people about it and get their take on it. That’s something you always take away from a book by Dalcher – plenty to talk about. Once again it’s another cracking read. A grenade tossing, minefield dodging exploration of radical feminism, societal constructs and that good old chestnut – patriarchy.