Book Review: Women’s Work by Kari Aguila

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This is a very interesting book.  It attracted my attention because of the dystopian spin to it.  Here is the synopsis:

“So, when most of the men were dead, women saw their chance to take over?” Kate searches her son’s eyes as he asks this. “Not take over,” she says. “Fix things.” It wasn’t hard to justify what the women had done since the end of the Last War. They rebuilt their bombed-out neighborhoods as best they could and worked to established peace and gender equality. But small groups of men roam the country, viciously indicating that the pendulum may have swung too far. When a bedraggled man shows up on Kate’s doorstep one night, will she risk everything to help him? Does he deserve her help? 

Women’s Work is set in a dystopic world in the Pacific Northwest, where women struggle to survive through sustenance farming, clever engineering, and a deeply rooted sisterhood. In this suspenseful thriller, Kate and her family are asked to let go of their anger and fear on a journey to forgiveness and understanding. It is a compelling story that challenges all of us to question traditional gender roles and to confront the fragility of love.

This story echoes a duo of books I have reviewed previously by Lance Erlick.  Women are in charge, they are trying to reshape society to be less violent, kinder, gentler.

Like that series, this book asks if women have gone too far.

I really enjoyed reading about HOW they survived.  In some books of this nature, the “how” is often glossed over.  Things are different, but they never explain it in detail.

We often forget how easy we have it in this society.  Flip a switch and get light, turn a knob and get water.  Communicate over thousands of miles with the press of a button.  Go to the grocery store and find thousands of foods from all over the world just sitting on shelves and in bins.  This book makes the reader think about all the work that goes into survival.

I liked the political connotations as well.  I look at the way women are treated around the world, and even in this country, and I wonder if we are going backwards.

In this book, set mid 21st century, women have taken over after most of the male population was decimated through war.  But they still retain some of the prejudices of the old world.  Apparently no matter how much things change, they still stay the same.

I loved reading about Kate’s relationships with her children and with the mystery man.  I loved reading how they both had to reevaluate their misconceptions of the opposite sex.  Learn how to trust again.  Truly a tender story.

Overall, a great read.  Very thought provoking, emotional.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kari Aguila
    Dec 16, 2013 @ 19:51:38

    Amanda, Thank you so much for the terrific review of Women’s Work! Some of my favorite parts to write were the bits about HOW people survived after falling off the grid. It was interesting researching it all (though I don’t ever need to hear about skinning a rabbit again in my lifetime…), and I’m glad you liked it! Your review was thoughtful and insightful. Thanks!

    Reply

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