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Femlandia

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Femlandia

  1. 4 out of 5

    karen

    this book was...not for me. i've already written far too many words in my little reviewing journal trying to figure out why i didn't love it, and now i've missed pub date, so you tell me. review still coming, but—need more time. okay, here we go: i wasn't crazy about this one, and i’ve been trying to figure out why for about a month now. quickplot: an economic collapse causes chaos across the USA, and the ensuing violence, looting, and food insecurity forces miranda—a pregnant, newly-widowed, forme this book was...not for me. i've already written far too many words in my little reviewing journal trying to figure out why i didn't love it, and now i've missed pub date, so you tell me. review still coming, but—need more time. okay, here we go: i wasn't crazy about this one, and i’ve been trying to figure out why for about a month now. quickplot: an economic collapse causes chaos across the USA, and the ensuing violence, looting, and food insecurity forces miranda—a pregnant, newly-widowed, formerly wealthy mother of a sixteen-year-old girl to seek shelter in the nearest femlandia—one of a number of self-sufficient female-only compounds her famous-feminist mother win somers established across the country. ("Self-sufficiency...Or I guess we could call it 'self-sufficienSHE.'" GROAN) before her mother's death, miranda had been estranged from her for many years, #notafan of the great win somers' beliefs, methods, or showboating public persona. miranda married young and lived very comfortably for twenty years, until circumstances (i.e. world goes boom) led her to beg for entry from femlandia co-founder jennifer jones—the woman who slipped into the daughter-shaped void miranda left in her mother's life. behind the walls of femlandia, womyn are free from the scrutiny of the male gaze, from abusive husbands, from the aggressions and microaggressions of men: It isn't only the loose kaftans and colorful fabrics that mark them as different from the women I'm accustomed to; it isn't anything they have or wear at all, but rather what they don't have. An absence. I don't think I ever realized until now how uptight we city women are—or were—how we constantly, incessantly protect ourselves by keeping our heads bent down at our phones or by examining an imagined hangnail, our subconsciouses expecting danger lurking around every corner. We make ourselves look older and uglier than we are, as if youth and beauty were attributes to be hidden away from the world. These women don't have any of these tics, because what these women don't have is fear. And being fearless, they must possess a sense of freedom most of us have never known. cut off from the rest of the world, they have been thriving on their own for years, so this little societal collapse is just another day in the life for them. however, femlandia is not so much a feminist utopia as it is a misandrist cult, and miranda starts uncovering some of the grubby little secrets at the heart of her mother's creation (like how these women are still getting pregnant, and having babies and how all of these babies are female), while her daughter emma embraces the community's highly problematic philosophy with full teenage fervor. but, like a teenager's devotion, this book is all surface with very little depth or substance. it’s a little loose at its joints—it feels like dalcher wanted to write about A and B and C, and she focused on writing the loud shocking parts without spending any time developing the quiet connective tissue that would make this whole situation feel...considered. the trans issue is a pretty good example. the femlandia leadership has a very staunch policy when it comes to transfolk—if you have, or have ever had, a penis attached to your body, you are unwelcome: "They can identify as a fucking hedgehog for all I care. I'm talking about what they are. Not what they think they are or what they want to be. It's a slippery slope. You let one in, you have to let in all. There is a reason your mother called this place Femlandia. Get used to it." part of the femlandia vetting process involves a physical examination, with an explanation: "I need to satisfy myself that you were always a woman." which, hey—your compound, your rules, but since there is no mention of trans men or nonbinary/genderqueer people anywhere in the book, it feels like dalcher just didn't want to have to bother with the complexities of gender identity, and dispensed with the matter, shutting it down in one short paragraph. and that gruff dismissal of an entire segment of the population is indicative of how this book deals with any kind of nuance—it doesn't. it ignores the complex and favors the reductive—a colorblocked philosophy without any shading. my problems with this book aren't ideological—i don't read books to see my beliefs mirrored, nor do i read books to have my beliefs challenged. i'm willing to roll along wherever the author chooses to have their characters take me, but at the end of it all, i want there to have been a purpose for the journey—not necessarily a lesson or a stance, but give me something to digest at the end of it; even something as writing 101 as setting or character growth or conflict resolution. my issues with this book are storytelling issues. as far as the community is concerned, we get very few details about the logistics or political structure or How It All Works. we see some of the punishments for disobedience—in fact, miranda's month-long solitary confinement means we don't get a lot of first-impression insights or any perspective about how this colony functions—she immediately (on day five, after being in a medically-induced coma for three days) becomes peripheral to the action; locked in a room reading books while emma is being turned against her and radicalized—with no clarity about how her daughter came to be so quickly indoctrinated into this "all men are terrible" weltanschauung. miranda is a wildly inconsistent character and very slow on the uptake. come on, miranda, you work in a zoo and you don't know what coyotes sound like? (and the reveal of that particular plot point was obvious from the first mention, but it was dragged out so long, like dalcher thought we were brand-new and wouldn't immediately clock what was going on there.) it's such a contrast to Matrix, which squeezes the theme of a female-centric cooperative of every last narrative drop. and obviously that's a different situation, a different mission statement, a different writer, but it's a very good example of a story written by someone who is willing to Do the Work—to think beyond the barebones "i have an idea!" stage and actually flesh it out with meat for a reader to chew on. Matrix took the idea of a gated community of women and showed all the angles—the good, the bad, all of the unconsidered subtleties. by comparison, this is so shallow and brief. i'm not sure what point she was trying to make. ladies can be shitty, too? what's the story? why is this book? i liked the beginning of this very much—the tipping-point momentum of society breaking down, the shortages, the danger, the situational morality, miranda's friends, having resented her cushy life, turning their backs on her, along with every religious or social institution she approaches for help. You want to know how people end up homeless, how anyone could turn away or shut a door or hang up a phone? Just start asking for help. but it doesn't give anything to the reader, other than a hollow misanthropic clang. men are shitty. women are shitty. people are shitty. we know. we've been here. come to my blog!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susanne

    Review posted to blog: books-are-a-girls-best-friend.com A World Without Men? Truth Be Told, at this point in time, that sounds pretty good to me. Then the doors to Femlandia opened and all was revealed. Decades ago, a group of women banded together to form a women’s only colony, free from the rules of the states. Surviving off the land, they become wholly self-sufficient. When the country collapses, Femlandia is the only place to go for Miranda Reynolds and her daughter Emma. Living off the grid s Review posted to blog: books-are-a-girls-best-friend.com A World Without Men? Truth Be Told, at this point in time, that sounds pretty good to me. Then the doors to Femlandia opened and all was revealed. Decades ago, a group of women banded together to form a women’s only colony, free from the rules of the states. Surviving off the land, they become wholly self-sufficient. When the country collapses, Femlandia is the only place to go for Miranda Reynolds and her daughter Emma. Living off the grid seems almost idyllic upon arrival. It’s only once Miranda steps inside that she realizes Femlandia’s methods are barbaric and that her mother and her former best friend, are responsible. It’s inside the colony that Miranda must figure out a way to save herself and everyone else from the Cult her mother created, or die trying. Anxiety-inducing, disturbing, and thought-provoking, Femlandia is not for the faint of heart. It’s quite shocking at times and includes assault, torture, and extreme violence. While I enjoyed this novel by Christina Dalcher, Vox remains my favorite. 3.65 Stars Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Pub for the arc via NetGalley. Published on Goodreads and Twitter

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jackson Sambora

    Femlandia is my third Dalcher book, meaning I've read all of her novels to date. I am convinced that she has, at some point a few years ago, lost her flash-fiction prompt cards, because she seems to be stuck using the same one over and over. That wouldn't be so bad... if said prompt card was any good. *I got sent a free copy of this book from the publisher - I think someone who is working for Harper Collins secretly enjoys my reviews. Femlandia is due to release in October, but that being said, t Femlandia is my third Dalcher book, meaning I've read all of her novels to date. I am convinced that she has, at some point a few years ago, lost her flash-fiction prompt cards, because she seems to be stuck using the same one over and over. That wouldn't be so bad... if said prompt card was any good. *I got sent a free copy of this book from the publisher - I think someone who is working for Harper Collins secretly enjoys my reviews. Femlandia is due to release in October, but that being said, this review will contain ALL OF THE SPOILERS. If you are determined to read this book for yourself, read no further.* Anyone that has been friends with me for a while here on Goodreads knows what my relationship is like with Christina Dalcher's stories. Simply put; it's not good. This is because the stories are uninspired, repetitive, lazy and a whole bunch of other adjectives that I shall save for later use in this review. Strap in, get comfy - it's going to be another long one. We shall start by discussing the obvious - the plot. It's another dystopian America. Society has somehow crumbled, the economy has gone to shit and people almost immediately start killing each other and/or themselves. We never really get an explanation of why this happened, it just kinda did. It's really just a backdrop for the real stars of the show - the horrendously titled "Femlandia" communities. Plural because there are multiple. I don't know why from a writing perspective - we only see one and only one was ever relevant. Anyway. Set up as women-only communes, Femlandia is sold to the world as safe place for women to thrive peacefully without the influence, control or fear of men. They are entirely self-sufficient and are cut off from the outside world, thus are not effected by the issues the wider that society is facing. Miranda; a middle-aged and middle-class white woman, and Emma; her one-dimensional teenage daughter, decide they've had enough of living in a dystopia and walk to their nearest Femlandia, which plot convenience would have it was founded by Miranda's mother, Win. Dalcher cannot seem to to come up with a protagonist to a story that isn't loosely based off herself, as well as being directly related to the person that is credited with whatever the concept of the book is about. Just for comparison: - In VOX the main character, Jean, was a doctor of linguistics, who's husband worked with the government to come up with a method of silencing women. - In Q/Masterclass, Elena was an English language teacher in an elite school, in a world in which everyone is judged by their perceived intelligence and social standing, and anyone falling below in that regard was sent away. Elena and her partner came up with the system when they were younger- Elena only regretting it when it effected her later in life. - In Femlandia, Miranda teaches sign language to Apes... or Gorillas. I cannot remember which because we never see it on screen, although that still doesn't stop it being mentioned every other chapter. But yes, like the previous protags, language and communication is her "thing". And as I've said, this time around the Femlandia communities were founded and run by Miranda's mother Win. Christina Dalcher has a doctorate in theoretical linguistics. Go figure. I wonder if anyone she knows is planning on doing something awful? I'm sure that that doctorate helped her come up with truly inspired lines like, "Self-sufficiency," Jennifer said. She laughed a little."Or I guess we could call it 'self-sufficienSHE.'" and my personal favourite "We know the date - Black Wednesday, April 1st, the year of our Lord two thousand and something." Slow clap. Another one of the many self-plagiarising ideas that we see used in all 3 of these novels is the idea of the "easily indoctrinated child". Steven in VOX, Anne in Q and now Emma in Femlandia - these children all buy into these societal systems of control without any hesitation or questioning, turning against their families and becoming malicious immediately. It seems as though Dalcher is making an unoriginal and often times inaccurate comment on "the youth of today". It is boring, predictable and just shows how disconnected she is from whom I am fairly certainly will be many of her readers. OK so we've briefly touched upon plot and characters. Next talking points! Themes, consistency and the moral of the story... None of these exist here. I'm getting frustrated just thinking about this. This story was so riddled with inconsistencies - timeline, pacing, characterisation. The most frustrating of these being the latter - the main character going from justifiably hating her husband, Nick, for abandoning her and leaving her in financial ruin, to daydreaming about aforementioned dead husband and how "he wasn't so bad" and "at least he looked after me". From being fucking GLAD that the starving girl on the street runs away from you as society collapses so that you don't have another mouth to feed... "...I really didn't want her to join us. She was so small and weak, and we barely had enough food for two. I don't know what happened to her - part of me doesn't really care." to "I've always been drawn to helpless things. The stray cat trembling under a porch on a rainy night. A dozy bird who saw only trees, not the glass of my living room window. Nick always said I had a soft side, a runaway mothering instinct. I guess I do." The whole thing is a fucking joke. Miranda says she would do anything to protect her young, teenage daughter from harm, but that doesn't stop her from flaunting her about in front of men in hopes of sympathy and/or handouts. I am very certain that NO MOTHER WOULD DO THIS. It completely undermined the sense of danger that Dalcher was clearly trying to create. "That was the best I could do, try to use Emma as my pawn, stir some pity in those cold eyes of the men." It's not even a well written sentence! My gosh it's just so terrible. As for themes and the intended take away of the story, I honestly couldn't tell you. Men are bad - well, not all men - we actually need men - men deserve better. Feminism is stupid - feminism might save us all - feminism is inherently flawed - people don't understand feminism - feminists are literally evil slavers that keep infant boys locked up and force them to jack off into cups so that Femlandia can keep it's population going -- feminism is for everyone. This may sound like an exaggeration or hyperbole but that is literally the premise of the story. Our main character, the same lady who works in a fucking ZOO and specialises in animal communication, hears "coyotes" frequently while in Femlandia - it takes until she is pressed up against the chain link for her to put 1+1 together and realise that it's actually cages of feral boys all screaming and howling. Some of the boys can talk though, having been abducted as teenagers, I'm not sure why they didn't call for help using words humans would understand but hey. It's all so fucking ridiculous and contrived. Despite secretly keeping and housing boys for their sperm, Femlandia's strict "NO TRANS WOMEN ALLOWED" policy is still in militant effect, giving us immediate red flags. But upon learning this, our protagonist barely quibbles and the subject is brushed past never to be addressed again. This is classic terf mentality, and despite it coming from the "baddies" of the story, the fact that our protagonist also cares so little and doesn't argue the fact just adds insult to injury. Dalcher does absolutely nothing to accommodate for a trans person's perspective, opinion or experience in this world she has created. This one time that the topic is raised is over in two paragraphs, and it ends unrivalled and unchallenged with; "They can identify as a fucking hedgehog for all I care. I'm talking about what they are. Not what they think they are or what they want to be. It's a slippery slope. You let one in, you have to let in all. There is a reason your mother called this place Femlandia. Get used to it." Charming, right? There is so much wrong with this book. I could go on for much longer explaining how awful this book is but I won't. I will say however just how frustrated I am that I know full well that this book will be targeted and promoted primarily toward young female feminists, who will see slogans like "JOIN THE SISTERHOOD" on the bright pink cover, or see the comparisons drawn to Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and think that this is more of the same. This is NOT a story about feminism. This book is not even pro-feminism. It is a shallow, bland and exclusionary thriller, disguised as "turning a utopia on it's head" like that's something ground-breaking. If you have read this review and discount my opinion because I am a man, then I have no doubt that this book will tick all of your boxes. But not only am I a man, but I also consider myself an intersectional feminist. I am a bookseller, I have the context of Dalcher's two previous novels and I am also currently enjoying a "Women of SFF Literature" year, in which 95% of the books I read are written by women of various backgrounds. But still, there will of course be those to which these things don't matter and that's fine. I hope y'all enjoy this book. To everyone else, thank you for reading my review, I hope that I have done enough to help make it clear just how terrible it is. I am currently reading Planet of Exile by the superb Ursula K. Le Guin as well as The Employees by Olga Ravn, which has me thoroughly intrigued at the moment. I hope that anyone that has read this whole thing is enjoying their current reads too. All the best.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Argh! I keep screaming! They didn’t stop all night! I had so many nightmares. I advise you not to read this book before you go to bed if you don’t want to look like me dripping salvias, insomniac, exhausted, terrified piece of human particles! If you already read the author’s Vox and Master Class , you may be prepared what kind of biggest bomb she will throw in your lap but knowing doesn’t mean how to dismantle it! The things you’ll read still shake you to the core! The book opens with not so br Argh! I keep screaming! They didn’t stop all night! I had so many nightmares. I advise you not to read this book before you go to bed if you don’t want to look like me dripping salvias, insomniac, exhausted, terrified piece of human particles! If you already read the author’s Vox and Master Class , you may be prepared what kind of biggest bomb she will throw in your lap but knowing doesn’t mean how to dismantle it! The things you’ll read still shake you to the core! The book opens with not so bright future where the economy and government already collapsed. Miranda Reynold’s 20 years long husband Nick couldn’t choose the worst time to leave her and their sixteen years old daughter Emma behind by texting her he’s sorry, siphoning their savings and driving the Maserati coupe off the side of the mountain. The streets are already out of control, people are killing each other and they are afraid of taking their own lives. The rest of them are robbing or looting around. Miranda and Emma should urgently find a place to stay if they don’t want to starve to death or get killed in the middle of the street. This means she has to give a chance to the place has founded by her own mother Win she’s already estranged. The place she never wants to set a foot in the door. She said she’d rather eat dirt instead of staying there. But they don’t have any other choice! Welcome to the feminist utopia Femlandia: womyn-oriented, self sufficient,cooperative, safe, accepting, natural, free place promises the women a world without men equals to a world without worry as it’s advertised by cofounder Jennifer Jones.( she seems like playing daughter part better than Miranda) But there’s always a price to pay for shutting yourself off the world. Miranda finally realizes they already took their first steps to eight circle of hell. It’s a quite horrifying definition of cult where the preys turn into hunters and where the bullied victims turn into monsters. There are so many triggering subjects in this book which are hard to digest including extreme violence, rape, invest etc. They probably give you nightmares all month long. It’s freaking disturbing, thought provoking, but also extremely frightening novel make you scream, giving you anxiety attacks! It’s still well written, smart, shocking, dark and I think the fans of the author who can absorb dark, bleak sci-fi concepts will enjoy it a lot! But I’m warning you: this book is not for everyone. If you cannot handle nightmarish dystopian thrillers with graphic violence, you get to choose another read. I’m giving my frightening, numb, ominous, soul crushing four stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Femlandia by Christina Dalcher is a science fiction dystopian fantasy novel. Some have this one tagged as horror and while I wouldn’t say it’s really horror I would warn that some content is horrific in this dystopian world which leads to a trigger warning of abuse and assault. Femlandia is set in an alternate near future world when society has broken down and it’s chaos everywhere. Miranda Reynolds’s mother was an extreme feminist and is known around the world for starting colonies known as Feml Femlandia by Christina Dalcher is a science fiction dystopian fantasy novel. Some have this one tagged as horror and while I wouldn’t say it’s really horror I would warn that some content is horrific in this dystopian world which leads to a trigger warning of abuse and assault. Femlandia is set in an alternate near future world when society has broken down and it’s chaos everywhere. Miranda Reynolds’s mother was an extreme feminist and is known around the world for starting colonies known as Femlandia. These are meant as a safe space for abused women where they live in self sustaining isolation from the rest of the world around them. Miranda never agreed with her mother’s idea of the world and was living her own life with her husband and daughter away from her mother’s ideal society. However, after losing her husband at the time that the world started breaking down Miranda was left to defend herself and her daughter and decided to take her daughter to Femlandia for protection. Christina Dalcher is an author that I was already familiar with after reading her novel, Vox, which was compared to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I actually enjoyed that dystopian read more than I had Atwood’s so seeing Femlandia I was certainly curious yet again. The story in Femlandia is yet again not for the squeamish but it did keep me engaged as I wondered how everything would work out in this one which a few twists along the way. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  6. 5 out of 5

    JK

    Woah. Okay. I’ve had to let out a few measured breaths before starting to process this one. The premise is exciting - a woman-only community living freely, separate from men. The founder’s daughter finds her way there as society breaks down on the outside. The adaptation to new rules, a new way of living. The promise from the book’s description that I was about to experience a women’s only ‘safe haven’. Sounds cool, sounds like something I would happily consume, hell, maybe I’d even consider laun Woah. Okay. I’ve had to let out a few measured breaths before starting to process this one. The premise is exciting - a woman-only community living freely, separate from men. The founder’s daughter finds her way there as society breaks down on the outside. The adaptation to new rules, a new way of living. The promise from the book’s description that I was about to experience a women’s only ‘safe haven’. Sounds cool, sounds like something I would happily consume, hell, maybe I’d even consider launching my own commune. Right? Wrong. I had so many issues with this which I’ll relate to you, whilst attempting to keep the vitriol from my voice. Firstly, the title and the name of the commune - Femlandia. FEMLANDIA. FEM! I don’t have the energy to go into all the issues I had with this, but I will say it gave me distinct memories of a revered 90s YA author who would have his characters go to the mall and visit shops called things like CD World. Despite the fascinating dystopian idea Dalcher has here, she fails to make it in any way engaging. The plot is dry, peppered with memories which sometimes don’t feel relevant, or which are there to reinforce a point already made, as though readers are too stupid to have clicked onto it the first time. Our main character, Miranda, is unlikable as hell, and no one else fares any better in the popularity stakes, making it impossible to care what happens to anyone. What I was really interested in here was how the community functioned in comparison to the outside. What are the rules and why have they been enforced? What are relationships like? It seemed there was very little democracy, with the women being ruled over by a leader, but there was no real exploration of this. If this is being depicted as a cult, I want to know more about it. Which brings me on to my next point - portraying this whole community as a cult, and choosing to name their leader Jen Jones, is incredibly tasteless. I find it impossible to believe this is a coincidence, and I find it painfully unnecessary and cheap. The whole thing smacked of transphobia to me. When our insipid protagonist reaches the gates, she questions the women-only rule, and specifically asks about trans women. She’s told trans women are too grey an area, and they deal with only absolutes. If they start letting trans women in just because they identify as women, then where will it stop? BIG YIKES. A disgusting statement, which happens in the first quarter of the novel, so I had my back up the rest of the way. Trans men are never mentioned, and seem not to exist in Dalcher’s world. I’ve spent enough time talking about this, and I’d like to move on. In parting, I’d like to express my hope that the use of XX as a women-only symbol is removed from the marketing materials, as not all women have those chromosomes. It would also be lovely if we all started to think a little bit about other groups in society before thrusting something like this into the world.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bob/Sally

    Okay, for starters, let me make something clear. I read this as a nonbinary/femme in a female-led relationship. I firmly believe in the principles of female domination and female leadership, and I believe a community by women for women could be wonderful place. You'd think I'm the perfect audience for this. That said, I struggled with the fact that every single man we meet in the first third of the book is a monster or a creep. To a man, they're violent and cruel and selfish, either animal-like r Okay, for starters, let me make something clear. I read this as a nonbinary/femme in a female-led relationship. I firmly believe in the principles of female domination and female leadership, and I believe a community by women for women could be wonderful place. You'd think I'm the perfect audience for this. That said, I struggled with the fact that every single man we meet in the first third of the book is a monster or a creep. To a man, they're violent and cruel and selfish, either animal-like rapists and murders or cowardly suicides, the very worst examples of their gender. At the same time, I was getting a really bad feeling about these Femlandia communes, misogynistic sanctuaries by man-hating women for man-hating women. I'm not saying it's the author's bias or opinion, as I know nothing about her, but Femlanida itself is super TERF-y. "Sister Jen has a strong preference against anything with a dick." "I need to satisfy myself that you were always a woman." "They can identify as a fucking hedgehog for all I care. I'm talking about what they are. Not what they think they are or what they want to be." That was at 34%, and that's where I gave up. I'm sure there's twists to come, revelations that may define some kind of theme or meaning, but this is either a celebration of the kind of TERFs I want nothing to do with, or a condemnation of feminism itself, which is hardly more appealing. If I gave a damn about a single character, I might have kept reading . . . but given how little I enjoyed this, I doubt it. https://beauty-in-ruins.blogspot.com/...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I really enjoyed, “Vox,” by Christina Dalcher and, although I haven’t yet got around to reading her previous novel, “Master Class,” I was intrigued to read and review her latest. Like “Vox,” this is dystopia, but set within the boundaries of a society that we recognise. Our main character is forty-one-year-old Miranda Reynolds, mother of sixteen-year-old Emma and recently widowed. Her husband Nick had recently committed suicide, leaving them with nothing. Her mother, Win Somers, was the founder I really enjoyed, “Vox,” by Christina Dalcher and, although I haven’t yet got around to reading her previous novel, “Master Class,” I was intrigued to read and review her latest. Like “Vox,” this is dystopia, but set within the boundaries of a society that we recognise. Our main character is forty-one-year-old Miranda Reynolds, mother of sixteen-year-old Emma and recently widowed. Her husband Nick had recently committed suicide, leaving them with nothing. Her mother, Win Somers, was the founder of ‘Femlandia,’ a female only community with no men or inequality. This was a society that she had set up nineteen years ago with her deputy, Jennifer Jones, and now fifteen US states have a Femlandia community, with ten more planned. Miranda had many run ins with her feminist mother. She enjoyed the things that Win frowned upon – from pink, frilly dresses as a young girl, to motherhood and marriage as a woman. However, now she finds herself homeless, unemployed, with a daughter to support and in a lawless country. Men, it seems, have destroyed the economy and, with nowhere to go, Miranda and Emma head for Femlandia. Of course, this is not a utopian society and, before long, Miranda realises that things are very wrong indeed. This novel looks at the lives of Win and Miranda, of issues surrounding motherhood, pregnancy and cults. On paper, it looked interesting, but I failed to engage with the characters and struggled with this. It may have just been this didn’t have the shock value or “Vox,” or just that the society Dalcher drew in that novel, seemed frighteningly more likely than in this. Or, perhaps, the central idea was just too similar. Still, an interesting premise and I would try another by this author. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I had to sit on my thoughts about this book before I decided to write this review. I really needed to process everything I had just read because man, it is heavy. The description covers the basics. The economy has collapsed and so has the government. The world is in chaos. People are killing each other to survive and those not strong enough are killing themselves. Miranda and her teenage daughter Emma are fleeing the city with nothing but the clothes on their back and a few basic staples. Their d I had to sit on my thoughts about this book before I decided to write this review. I really needed to process everything I had just read because man, it is heavy. The description covers the basics. The economy has collapsed and so has the government. The world is in chaos. People are killing each other to survive and those not strong enough are killing themselves. Miranda and her teenage daughter Emma are fleeing the city with nothing but the clothes on their back and a few basic staples. Their destination is a place called Femlandia. Femlandia is best described as a commune that Miranda's mother founded. Miranda's mother, Win, despised men and all that they represented. She and Miranda parted ways long ago because of her extremist views, but Miranda figures Femlandia is just as safe a place as any to seek refuge. They make it to Femlandia, but it's not the utopia Win described. There is a price to pay for shutting yourself off from half of the world. It's not long before Miranda realizes she's gone from the frying pan into the fire. Again, this is a very difficult book to read so if you upset easily reading about abuse of any kind, skip it. I found it well written and a fascinating look at how cults are formed, how the abused can become abusers, how powerful extremist views can become, and so, so much more. I felt compassion, fear, outrage, shock....the whole gamut of emotions. This is a book that will stay with you long after finishing it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Sounds kind of like the Gate to Women's Country. I'm SO DOWN. Sounds kind of like the Gate to Women's Country. I'm SO DOWN.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Misha (Heartsfullofreads)

    A look into the future where a group of women build a sanctuary with no men. Miranda tried to remain so positive throughout this book. She suffered quite a lot and had her teen daughter to care for as the world crumbled around her. In a last ditch effort to keep them both alive she turns to Femlandia. This book was absolutely terrifying, thought provoking, and seriously sick at times. This one is not for the faint of heart. Thank you to Penguin Random House for a copy of this one in exhange for an A look into the future where a group of women build a sanctuary with no men. Miranda tried to remain so positive throughout this book. She suffered quite a lot and had her teen daughter to care for as the world crumbled around her. In a last ditch effort to keep them both alive she turns to Femlandia. This book was absolutely terrifying, thought provoking, and seriously sick at times. This one is not for the faint of heart. Thank you to Penguin Random House for a copy of this one in exhange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Booktastically Amazing

    It's incredibly simple, you know? I want to be disturbed. In a good way. It's incredibly simple, you know? I want to be disturbed. In a good way.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Helen Leecy

    Well, this was certainly an odd one, although I didn’t expect anything else after having previously read ‘Vox’. Femlandia is another dystopian future whereby we are thrown right into the chaos. The downfall and disorder are already in full throttle, and we have no idea, to begin with, how the world got to be like this. We initially meet Miranda and Emma as they are losing the last of their belongings and have nowhere to turn for survival. They have a few days worth of food, and Miranda has to sta Well, this was certainly an odd one, although I didn’t expect anything else after having previously read ‘Vox’. Femlandia is another dystopian future whereby we are thrown right into the chaos. The downfall and disorder are already in full throttle, and we have no idea, to begin with, how the world got to be like this. We initially meet Miranda and Emma as they are losing the last of their belongings and have nowhere to turn for survival. They have a few days worth of food, and Miranda has to start thinking of doing something she swore she never would in order to give her daughter, Emma, the best chance to live through this nightmare. I found the timeline at the beginning to be quite confusing as Miranda has a tendency to reminisce about how things were a few weeks earlier and if only she’d acted sooner. She intermingles these thoughts with the present and with those of further in the past. So I did find it quite hard to get into the story without knowing the background to the world she was living in and the different timelines she was weaving in and out of. As the story progresses and we arrive in Femlandia, a sanctuary for women away from the harshness of what is happening to the rest of the world and away from all men. The story moves away from how Miranda can simply survive; she now needs to conform to the idea that all men and everything associated with men is evil. There are many questions about how such a place could thrive without men, and these questions get answered in the most horrific way possible as Miranda refuses to accept everything at face value. I did enjoy reading this book, but there were times that I got a little confused about what was happening. Such as by the gate when Miranda ends up injured afterwards. I have no idea what happened, did some attack? Did she fall over? It was all a bit blurry, and I thought it would be cleared up later on, but it wasn’t. I was also frustrated with the Emma side of things. If Jen hadn’t have cosseted Emma, maybe Miranda wouldn’t have felt the need to act as she had. However, Jen purposely poked the bear with what she did, so this side of the storyline felt a little weak. Overall, however, it was an excellent read. Very dark and maybe not the right sort of genre to read when our real world feels like we are living in a dystopian nightmare but ‘enjoyable’ nonetheless. Thanks for reading! If you want to see more of my reviews visit www.pinkanddizzy.com

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    My Review Of FEMLANDIA By Author, Christina Dalcher Published by #BerkleyPartner @BerkleyPub Gifted by Publicist @KCCPR On Sale: 10/19/21- Purchase Link in my Bio ****** This Author has become my favorite Author of Dystopian/ Twisted futuristic thrillers. Her writing offers a chilling glimpse into what are sometimes terrifying scenarios in the future and her mind is full of how humanity would change along with a mix of characters that are both intoxicating and frightening. It all begins with Miranda Re My Review Of FEMLANDIA By Author, Christina Dalcher Published by #BerkleyPartner @BerkleyPub Gifted by Publicist @KCCPR On Sale: 10/19/21- Purchase Link in my Bio ****** This Author has become my favorite Author of Dystopian/ Twisted futuristic thrillers. Her writing offers a chilling glimpse into what are sometimes terrifying scenarios in the future and her mind is full of how humanity would change along with a mix of characters that are both intoxicating and frightening. It all begins with Miranda Reynolds and her daughter Emma being left when her husband/father commits suicide to escape the dystopian world that has come about due to the world financial collapse. Soon everything would be closed, supplies run out and leave people making a choice to go on the road in search of food or wait to die. With no family to turn to, Miranda does everything in her power to protect her daughter. Along the road it is not safe, there is no police, no order or place to run. But there is a place her mother created when she was younger that tore them apart decades ago because Miranda didn’t have the same beliefs as her mother. The women only colony, Femlandia,is a place she’s never seen but it may be the only place for refuge. Yet what they find when they get there is so much worse than Miranda ever could have imagined and it turns even her own daughter against her. Pretty soon, Miranda’s search for the truth uncovers horrific happenings and the fate of everyone at Femlandia is now uncertain.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    Thank you to @netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.  — When the economy collapses and the world turns into survival mode, Miranda and her daughter, Emma, have no choice but to go to Femlandia. A women-only community set up by Miranda’s mother, Win. Except what they find, is no safe-haven. — TW for discussions of transphobia in this review. I thought this book was going to be about a community of women thriving without the need for men. But I was wrong. So wrong.  The characters were Thank you to @netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.  — When the economy collapses and the world turns into survival mode, Miranda and her daughter, Emma, have no choice but to go to Femlandia. A women-only community set up by Miranda’s mother, Win. Except what they find, is no safe-haven. — TW for discussions of transphobia in this review. I thought this book was going to be about a community of women thriving without the need for men. But I was wrong. So wrong.  The characters were annoying and acted so stupidly but the thing I absolutely hated about this book was the transphobia. The TERF energy coming from this book was unbelievable.  There’s a scene where the MC and her daughter finally reach Femlandia and there has to be a spot search upon entry. Understandable, right? Except they make them take all their clothes off to make sure they’ve always been a woman.  “I’m talking about what they are. Not what they think they are or what they want to be.” Trans women are women. That is what they are.  Can we stop using the ‘XX’ symbol as a sign of feminism? Not all women have those chromosomes. Not all people with xx chromosomes identify as women. At this point, I was hate-reading this book. Surely, it couldn’t possibly get any worse? Wrong. We then move onto the conversation about Feminism where the MC’s mother tells us that if we don’t agree with the sinister, disgusting behaviour being carried out in this so-called ‘Femlandia’ then we don’t believe women. It’s ridiculous. My biggest concern is the impressionable people reading this book, the young women who think this is an accurate reflection of what needs to happen to the TERF’s of the world having their reasoning that trans women are just men finding another way to abuse women, validated. It’s worrying. 

  16. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Despite the premise, this dystopian fiction was devoid of excitement and entirely predictable. Middle-aged Miranda and her daughter, Emma (16), are left homeless after a social and government meltdown (never really explained what happened). With no where else to go and absolutely no one to take them in for shelter, they begin a long, hot walk to Femlandia — a womyn only community in nearby Virginia hidden deep in the woods. It just so happens that Miranda’s mother and former best friend are the f Despite the premise, this dystopian fiction was devoid of excitement and entirely predictable. Middle-aged Miranda and her daughter, Emma (16), are left homeless after a social and government meltdown (never really explained what happened). With no where else to go and absolutely no one to take them in for shelter, they begin a long, hot walk to Femlandia — a womyn only community in nearby Virginia hidden deep in the woods. It just so happens that Miranda’s mother and former best friend are the founders of this sect and, though Miranda and her mother have not spoken in years, Miranda feels that this is their only choice for protection and survival. It becomes clear, once they arrive, that Femlandia isn’t the safe haven they were hoping to find. No spoilers. So disappointing, really. The characters were so one-dimensional and unlikeable. I wasn’t impressed with the writing style and much of the narrative was a slog to get through. I’ve read 2 other books by this author but since all 3 now seemed basically the same plot line and outcome, I’m over it. I could go on, but I won’t ruin this book for any fans who really love it. I didn’t. Thank you. To NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for providing an e-book ARC to read and review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    Another thought provoking dystopia by the author of Vox and Q? Yes please! Christina Dalcher is quickly becoming one of those authors where I'd even read her shopping list if she published it. Unlike its predecessors, I felt that Femlandia had much darker and violent undertones. The dystopia was also more devastating and sudden. This book was so disturbing but also really good. There were many flashbacks which made it a bit confusing occasionally but as a Linguistics graduate, I appreciated the fa Another thought provoking dystopia by the author of Vox and Q? Yes please! Christina Dalcher is quickly becoming one of those authors where I'd even read her shopping list if she published it. Unlike its predecessors, I felt that Femlandia had much darker and violent undertones. The dystopia was also more devastating and sudden. This book was so disturbing but also really good. There were many flashbacks which made it a bit confusing occasionally but as a Linguistics graduate, I appreciated the fascinating bits about languages. There was a bit of transphobia which I get was to make you not like a character but I was not comfortable reading it. I did not like all the misandry which I felt was a bit extreme and left me wondering if there is such a thing as being too feminist. All in all, another good book by Dalcher and I look forward to being scared again by her chilling alternative futures. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    For me ‘Femlandia’ was a strange read; on the one hand it describes a dark dystopia which I am usually drawn to but on the other it is a very difficult story to digest. I loved ‘Vox’ because at its heart it carries the strength and determination of women and I thought that it would bear similarities to this story but this read has a very different and much darker tone. The story follows mother and daughter, MIranda and Emma, and how after the total breakdown of society they must travel to a suppo For me ‘Femlandia’ was a strange read; on the one hand it describes a dark dystopia which I am usually drawn to but on the other it is a very difficult story to digest. I loved ‘Vox’ because at its heart it carries the strength and determination of women and I thought that it would bear similarities to this story but this read has a very different and much darker tone. The story follows mother and daughter, MIranda and Emma, and how after the total breakdown of society they must travel to a supposed safe haven for women. Miranda always swore that she would never step foot in Femlandia because she didn’t agree with their extreme views but in order to protect her daughter she feels like she has no other choice. Personally I didn’t really like any of the characters in this book (not always a negative) but the extreme setting felt a lot heavier and darker than simply a cult vibe. I get the ideal of a women led society but as I had expected ideals are quickly dropped and an imposing hierarchy takes their place. The way that men are portrayed and treated is very extreme in this novel and I felt uncomfortable about the clear attitude about the perimeters of how a ‘woman’ is identified. I felt like it set the tone for the rest of the book which I did find in all honesty a bit harrowing. It is definitely a story that will stay with me for a long time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ana Lopez

    Well, this really is the disappointment of the year. I don't usually give books 1 star because there is always something that redeems them. I might really dislike a book but I can admit that book might become someone's favourite. However, I just don't want to give it more stars because I want people to know I don't want them to read this book just because they thought I saw redeeming qualities in it. The worst thing about this book is the marketing behind it. That's not the author's fault so I wo Well, this really is the disappointment of the year. I don't usually give books 1 star because there is always something that redeems them. I might really dislike a book but I can admit that book might become someone's favourite. However, I just don't want to give it more stars because I want people to know I don't want them to read this book just because they thought I saw redeeming qualities in it. The worst thing about this book is the marketing behind it. That's not the author's fault so I won't blame her for that. When you write a book that ends up being called "feminist", people assume you'll write another one that is similar. If they see the title "Femlandia", it'd be even more clear to them. The marketing team will use the success of the previous book to promote this one in a similar fashion. It all makes sense. HOWEVER, this book is not a feminist book, it is an anti-feminist book. If this was promoted as a thriller with an evil group doing evil things, I wouldn't mind it too much. But people, and mostly women, will read this expecting it to be something very different. And many won't care because their "feminism" is full of empty slogans that do nothing to fix the problem, so I'm sure they'll love the misogyny of this book. But critical thinkers like myself...well, we see things differently. In VOX, our main protagonist used to not see the harm the patriarchy does to the world. She used to laugh at her feminist friend until shit hit the fan and oh well, maybe the crazy feminist was right. That book was not perfect and I personally didn't love the ending. But I really enjoyed it and thought it started really interesting conversations. And that's what I want when I read a fiction book with feminist undertones. I don't need a guide on how to be a feminist. I need fiction to be used to start conversations that we need to have. I actually thought something similar might happen in this book. We got Win, the woman who had very extreme ideas and who had a daughter that fought her because of those ideals. Then the world becomes absolute hell, Miranda has to face adversities for once and...she realizes that the world isn't as pretty as she thought? Nah, that would involve character development and she was the flattest most annoying character I've read in a long while. This book mentions all the reasons why women feel unsafe, it acknowledges them...only to then discard them in the next paragraph. If someone told me this book was written by a man, I would believe them. And the key to all of it is in the author's note. The author tells us that she didn't like how some people reacted to her book VOX. And that's fair. As a writer myself, I can understand being annoyed by people misinterpreting your work or using it for a purpose you didn't intend. However, what the author says is that because she wrote a book about men oppressing women, a lot of women read it and reacted to it by realizing that, shocker, men oppress women. And so a lot of people assumed that the author hated men. Cause you know, feminists hate men. And so, rather than explaining her point, she decided to write a book where the feminists women are as evil as you can imagine, and of course, she repeats multiple times that they hate men. Not her, the author, and not her main protagonist. Never them, because we can't make men uncomfortable by talking about the patriarchy or anything like that. One of the worst parts of the book is how the idea of being a "victim" was used. I bet psychologists who have to treat very damaged women loved to hear that talking to them about their trauma is basically manipulating them. What a lovely thought! In the end, the epilogue tries to show something that could have made the book so much better. But of course, it did that wrong too. Radical feminists don't want to murder men. I know, wild. They want to change society, mostly through education, so the differences between sexes (not genders, gender is the problem) disappear. It's a long boring process, but it's the way to see change at some point. Exploring that through the concept of Femlandia, acknowledging the many hurdles that would appear, could have made this book a super interesting and important read. But that would probably make more men mad with the author and you know, women live to serve, not to be annoying. Thank you to NetGalley and HQ for providing me with an early copy of the book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    What the actual hell did I just read? I thought this would be a feminist book but what I got was a bunch of TERFs running a cult passing it off as a feminist utopia and a spineless protagonist. Honestly, this book had it's messages all mixed up and I am not here for it. We do not need books about extremist feminists. And honestly some of the scenes in this book made me sick. It's 2022, there's been a financial crash bigger than 2008 and the US has gone to pot. The book centres on Miranda, a woma What the actual hell did I just read? I thought this would be a feminist book but what I got was a bunch of TERFs running a cult passing it off as a feminist utopia and a spineless protagonist. Honestly, this book had it's messages all mixed up and I am not here for it. We do not need books about extremist feminists. And honestly some of the scenes in this book made me sick. It's 2022, there's been a financial crash bigger than 2008 and the US has gone to pot. The book centres on Miranda, a woman in her forties pregnant with her second child, heading to Femlandia with her 16 year old daughter Emma after her husband Nick drives off a cliff because he can't handle the financial crisis. Miranda's mother Win founded Femlandia before she passed away, and adopted daughter Jen now runs the place. Miranda never saw eye to eye with her mother, preferring to talk about boys and make-up than be invested in her mother's community ideas. Anyway, Femlandia isn't the utopia its cracked up to be and some really sick things are happening there. (view spoiler)[ Honestly it's disgusting they're forcing young boys to masturbate and produce sperm so they can have babies, and if the babies are boys they pretend they're stillborn girls and the mothers think their daughters died. Also the Femlandia leaders use the women's past trauma to keep them in line and radicalise them. (hide spoiler)] Basically, the world doesn't need books like this with confused messages about feminism. I don't even know what the author was trying to get out. Defo look for the trigger warnings because this is one of the grimmest, most disgusting books I've ever read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Basic B's Guide

    For the reader who enjoys feminist dystopian. I both listened to and read this newest from Dalcher and must say it’s my least favorite of hers. I was thoroughly engaged for the first half but lost interest when the pacing just did not pick up. I definitely recommend Master Class if you’d like to give this author a try.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Book Wormy

    #ARC #Netgalley #Femlandia My first thoughts on finishing this were Wow this is messed up closely followed by Love It. This book is not without its faults and one of those is its binary nature however that binary nature does allow for a straightforward us and them storyline, one where if you are not with us you are against us and will have to face the consequences. If you are happy to forget the real world for a while and move into a world where most of the characters see things in terms of absolu #ARC #Netgalley #Femlandia My first thoughts on finishing this were Wow this is messed up closely followed by Love It. This book is not without its faults and one of those is its binary nature however that binary nature does allow for a straightforward us and them storyline, one where if you are not with us you are against us and will have to face the consequences. If you are happy to forget the real world for a while and move into a world where most of the characters see things in terms of absolutes then this could be for you. Full review here https://thereadersroom.org/2021/11/02...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

    Oof. Dalcher's books always make me think and feel and throw the book across the room...every. single. time. Just like her two before this one, it was painful to read, but also so damn good! Oof. Dalcher's books always make me think and feel and throw the book across the room...every. single. time. Just like her two before this one, it was painful to read, but also so damn good!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin B.

    Holy shit folks - Christina Dalcher has done it once again. She wrote a book that made me angry, sad, scared and made me use my damn brain. I cannot say enough positive things about her writing and her style in general. Steeped in a mothers love in all her books - they diverge onto different paths, feminism, equality, sometimes even diverging to misandry. I hope Dalcher never stops writing. She is brilliant and unlike almost anyone I’ve read before.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Doon

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Sometimes I read a novel and I absolutely get the point the author is making with the story, and occasionally I think “who am I supposed to be rooting for, all these people are awful?” Femlandia is such a novel. The main character, Miranda, is a smug tradwife, newly widowed as society breaks down, but seemingly only sad about the loss of her financial security rather than her husband. Miranda and her daughter join Femlandia, the cult started by her mother, a ‘feminist’ utopia run by TERFs. Mirand Sometimes I read a novel and I absolutely get the point the author is making with the story, and occasionally I think “who am I supposed to be rooting for, all these people are awful?” Femlandia is such a novel. The main character, Miranda, is a smug tradwife, newly widowed as society breaks down, but seemingly only sad about the loss of her financial security rather than her husband. Miranda and her daughter join Femlandia, the cult started by her mother, a ‘feminist’ utopia run by TERFs. Miranda who despite witnessing the attempted rape of her daughter, and listening to both her daughter, mother, and other women’s tales of sexual assault, is unable to say anything other than “men aren’t all bad”. Rather than empathising with these traumatised women (including her own daughter), Miranda is, at all times, unable to contemplate that others hopes for their lives could be as valid as her own. Everyone is ‘jealous’ of Miranda for her feminist choice of (formerly) being a rich stay at home mom who is constantly reminiscing about Starbucks and getting her nails done. Starbucks is mentioned so often in this novel that I became suspicious that Dalcher might actually be sponsored by them. As you may have gathered, for most of the novel Miranda is a deeply unsympathetic character, and it is only the final act reveal that validates her actions. The reveal, that the leaders of Femlandia have been indulging in both hitherto unmentioned psychological conditioning and for decades have been stealing male babies and treating them like dogs is underwritten, and far-fetched. While I thought the novel set up the tension between Miranda’s view of the world and her mother’s extremely radical feminism well, I wanted that tension, and their relationship, to be the core of the story. The final acts reliance on horror style theatrics undermined what could have been a much needed exploration of how trauma has a lasting impact on your sense of safety and security.

  26. 4 out of 5

    The Grim Reader Podcast

    What would happen if women ruled the world? We meet Miranda and her sixteen-year-old daughter fighting for survival in a now dystopian America. After an economic crash and has descended into chaos. With barely any money and being forced out of their house, Miranda and Emma must find somewhere safe to go to. Being outside after dark is dangerous, and there are no shelters with space to take them. They decide to go to Femlandia, a female-only commune and “paradise.” Well, this book is disturbing a What would happen if women ruled the world? We meet Miranda and her sixteen-year-old daughter fighting for survival in a now dystopian America. After an economic crash and has descended into chaos. With barely any money and being forced out of their house, Miranda and Emma must find somewhere safe to go to. Being outside after dark is dangerous, and there are no shelters with space to take them. They decide to go to Femlandia, a female-only commune and “paradise.” Well, this book is disturbing and is not one for the fainthearted. There are many scenes that will leave the reader uncomfortable and almost sick. Christina Dalcher takes the idea of a woman-led environment to the extreme, and while thought-provoking at times, overall it is gruesome. To me, the women and their society came across as cult-like. The fanatism and extremism of their views are distressing, and there is no hint of equality between the sexes. To be honest, I didn’t quite care for the characters. Miranda bored me, I felt it tiresome to read through her point of view. I understand that we need to learn her history and her previous life of glamour and wealth. But there were things that happened in her past that I felt would have shaped her character differently than how she was portrayed. I also would have loved to hear more from the other characters such as Emma, Sal, and Nell. There are things that I question about this book, and it’s very difficult for me to put them into words. There are things in this book that don’t sit right with me, even the concept of this book, and maybe I might be on my own about that. Rebecca, 1/3 of The Grim Readers Thank you to HQ and NetGalley for the copy of this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    Dalcher is certainly earning a name for herself with books about future life that we would probably rather not see. This one again divides the genders hugely,but with women on top,ruling Femlandia,a place that seems like the only safe place to run to with your teenage daughter,when the world falls around you. It's supposed to be the ideal escape, women all working together for the better living. You just know somethings going to go wrong. At times troubling,and other times just down right sinister,i Dalcher is certainly earning a name for herself with books about future life that we would probably rather not see. This one again divides the genders hugely,but with women on top,ruling Femlandia,a place that seems like the only safe place to run to with your teenage daughter,when the world falls around you. It's supposed to be the ideal escape, women all working together for the better living. You just know somethings going to go wrong. At times troubling,and other times just down right sinister,it's definitely worth picking this up,and praying that (once again) things don't ever go this far.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is the second book by an author who writes (and publisher who publishes) under the falsehood of “patriarchal dystopia.” Any author who writes “feminist” female characters as unstable, narcissistic misandrists only further perpetuates negative views of feminism and should be ashamed of themselves. Negative five stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amy G

    Really enjoyed it but wanted less plot more story telling

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zara Jenna

    Whew. What a story. I always think the mark of a good book is when you pass chapter after chapter before realizing you somehow consumed 100 pages. A bit Handmaid’s Tale-esque. Definitely eerie and chilling. I could have done with more character development but the story itself sustained me. A winner to be sure.

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