Book Of The Month recommended it to me with the tagline “This novel has the perfect molecular structure: a charming protagonist, humor, a lovable dog, and feminist bonafides.” And… yes. 1000% yes.
It’s speculative fiction but the rules of the “speculation” part are never clearly stated or understood by the characters. Very frustrating. I really liked the concept and I really wanted to love this book. And yet.
Biff is an asshat, a self-serving narcissist who exemplifies low-brow adolescent bro behavior. He finds himself endlessly amusing and the “jokes” are a mile a minute with only a few passages that aren’t over the top or played for humor. As schticks go, this one wore very thin very fast.
Ana is a feminist in the first century who wants to be a voice not just for herself but for all the women whose stories are forgotten, ignored, or hidden. Her struggle between society expectations vs what she longed to do with her life… felt very familiar.
An ambitious story about a remarkable heroine told in the language and style of earlier American “classic” literature that challenges our assumptions while carving out a well-deserved place in the modern canon of feminist and historical literature. I just wish it has been granted the freedom of its subtitle.
This book has stuff for everyone… it is not just a “gay” book even though, yes, it is hella gay. I would highly recommend it for the story, the writing, and the universal truths. And again… That ending… /chef’s kiss.