The Natural Way of Things

The Natural Way of Things

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
9
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"Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of a desert. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls. In each girl's past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. The Natural Way of Things is a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted. Most of all, it is the story of two friends, their sisterly love and courage."--Author's website.
Publisher: [New York] : Europa Editions, 2016.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781609453626
160945362X
Branch Call Number: FIC WOOD, CHARLOTTE
Characteristics: 230 p. ; 21 cm

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q
Quidnuncle
Jun 12, 2017

A dystopian novel. Although I appreciated the style, setting and overall theme, there was too much that seemed improbable, particularly of a psychological nature.

l
lostintheshelves
May 02, 2017

This excellent book is much more than a feminist dystopia that ends in hope. The first third seems like a realistic update of The Handmaid's Tale, one that could be happening in secret today: young women, almost all working-class, at the center of various "sex scandals" (winners of sexual harassment suits, a politician's mistress) are imprisoned and shamed by an incompetent firm in the isolated Australian outback. But then something more complicated happens, as the guards realize they are just as trapped as the prisoners, different women find different means of empowerment, and the reader gradually realizes that the story is a dense and complicated allegory. (The ending is actually quite happy if you understand the allegory, which a couple other reviewers clearly didn't.) I liked that the women sometimes work together in solidarity, and sometimes don't; that they are realistically affected by internalized sexism, reinforced by classism and capitalism; and that the characters change and evolve so much to wind up empowered. It's also amazingly written, and I won't forget the nature imagery or the story of Yolanda, a gang-rape victim, re-claiming her relationship with her body for a long time.

m
morex4
May 01, 2017

The writing style was good and the story had me hooked, but in the end I was disappointed. The subject matter was very unrealistic (I know--it's fiction) and just went a little too far. Hated the ending. Just left me.

u
uncommonreader
Dec 11, 2016

Do not be fooled by the hype. This is not a feminist text and there is no female solidarity.

JCLAmandaW Nov 30, 2016

Dark, detailed and honest, this is not a pretty book. This book looks at topics like sexual assault, victim shaming, harmful beauty standards and double standards in a very grueling and poignant way. There is no "happy ending" here and why should there be? These are issues that are ongoing and very real today without resolution in sight. Exceptionally well written there are times you'll need to turn away for a breath from the graphic descriptions. But again, the book is extremely honest and, I would argue, very important.

c
Candaceb108
Aug 13, 2016

Incredible book for anyone to read, but deep for a feminist or a woman for whom the scales of patriarchy are falling off and revealing a true self.

I would disagree with the Library Journal review. The women were not chosen for sexual sins. The women were chosen because the spoke up about their rape, abuse or their sexual choices. In other words they were not, to quote the book, "keeping their slag mouths shut".

Thinking men might want to read it to as a way of looking into how their behavior toward women is perceived.

f
Fadz
May 07, 2016

Sometimes a book comes along that wins prizes like this one which absolutely does not appeal. This is such a book for me. Don't read this book is you're after something uplifting because this story is ugly, depressing and brutal.

s
Sansha
May 04, 2016

Book Club Choice. Memorable. Disturbing. Compelling.

j
jr3083
Apr 20, 2016

Bleak, dystopian and topical. A disturbing but utterly compelling read. For my review see
https://residentjudge.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/the-natural-way-of-things-by-charlotte-wood/

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