Sunday, October 10, 2010

Book Review: Nomansland by Lesley Hauge


What would it be like to live in a world without men?

Nomansland explores this question, and I have to tell you: Life without men, the way Hauge portrays it, is not sugar and spice and everything nice. In this futuristic dystopia, women in power are ruthless, controlling, and are opposed to anything feminine. Reproduction and relationships have been reduced to pure functionality.

Of course, men are not completely gone. How else would the women make children? If this were a world filled with technology, maybe this would be possible, but this futuristic world is back-to-basics. There is little in the way of innovative technology. The women survive by raising animals and produce. Hard labor.

And, women have manly names. No names are given with an "e" sound at the end. No Jennies, Susies, Hayleys, Brittanys, etc. (My name, Hattie, would not be acceptable.) Women are not allowed to look at themselves in the mirror, wear makeup, or have relationships with one another. Of course, men are forbidden. 

There is so much more that I could get into in relation to the plot and characters of this book. I am not sure that it's going to be a series, but I hope it is. I enjoyed this first book for the questions that it raises. What does it mean to be a woman? Are there inalienable characteristics that women possess? I have always thought so, and do even more after reading this book. 

I've been thinking about this book ever since I finished it. I am a bit baffled by the world created in it and feel like there is room to explain how and why these women have decided to shun their womanly characteristics. It is an entertaining and interesting read. It leaves off with a bit of a cliffhanger, but I hope that is just a set-up for a sequel. 

**Read as part of the YAD2 Reading Challenge Hosted by Bart's Bookshelf**

7 comments:

  1. While I have seen this book out on various blogs, this is the first review I have caught.
    I actually like the concept and think I would enjoy this based on what you said in your review.

    The older I get the more I ask some of these questions very same questions.

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  2. Oh wow! This book sounds really interesting. I'm really curious about it now. I'll definitely have to get it soon. Great review!

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  3. I also found this novel to be really intriguing, though I thought it could have gone a bit deeper into gender politics.

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  4. Interesting! I've heard nothing about it -- have you read Ammonite by Nicola Griffith? Sort of the same idea -- space travelers find new planet with virus that kills all men; it's rediscovered centuries later and everyone is shocked to find there are still humans there! And yet, still no men!

    And randomly, Boo!

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  5. I've also seen this one on several blogs but haven't seen a review yet! Thanks for posting about it - I probably wouldn't have looked twice, but I'm intrigued by your review!

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  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have heard a lot about this book but was kind of doubtful whether to read it or not. Thanks for the review!

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  7. I really liked this book, it made me think. I even interviewed the author on my blog.
    Hafsah @ IceyBooks

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