Christina Dalcher’s Femlandia is 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 haven they were hoping for is the most dangerous place they could be. In a book that pushes the boundaries of misandry and radical feminism to the extreme, Dalcher asks, “Why shouldn’t evil be an equal-opportunity trait?”
Read on for a plot summary from the publisher and some thoughts on Femlandia!
Femlandia Plot summary
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 many choices—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.
This book kicks ass and takes names! It’s one of the best of 2021! It’s unexpected in its handling of sexism, misandry, and feminism. To be honest, once you reach the book’s climax, it reads more like a horror novel than a feminist thriller. It’s heavy (so heavy that I sat on this review for some time).
Femlandia will fulfill your book binge cravings! You’ll feel all the feels. Anger. Hope. Disgust. Sadness. My biggest takeaway from this book is: The world needs both men and women. For real. Because this version of the world feels dark and sad.
3 Unique Things About This Book:
The female villainy!
When I posted a Question of the Day on Instagram about readers’ favorite female villains, almost all of the answers came from Disney movies (Maleficent, Ursula, etc.). Of course, there was the rando mention of Misery’s Annie Wilkes [emphatically nods “yes!”].
Some of the women in Femlandia exemplify villainry. I mean, these baddies are downright evil. No spoilers, but they commit some truly atrocious crimes. Evil isn’t a male thing. It’s an equal-opportunity trait!
Is it any surprise that after a global struggle with the covid19 pandemic, readers are looking to dystopian fiction as an escape or reimagining of our modern problems?
Dystopian fiction is popular for a couple of reasons. One reason is that it’s so relatable. Dystopian novels warn readers about possible futures with excessive government control, destruction of the environment, and dystopian societies. These books are escapist fantasies that offer readers the opportunity to deal with problems like climate change or nuclear war by imagining them in a different, dystopian context.
In Christina Dalcher’s Femlandia, the world has suffered an economic collapse. It’s not shocking to read that things spiral out of control very quickly!
The dynamics among the mothers and daughters of this book!
In my opinion, mother-daughter relationships are probably the most complicated relationships that exist. The backstory between the main character Miranda and her mother Win really propel this story forward. Add in Miranda’s salty daughter Emma & you have an estrogen-filled cocktail of chaos.
read this book if you like…
- dystopias with gender- or religion-specific phobias
- non-patriarchal society settings
- feminist and women’s lit
- dystopian fiction ala Margaret Atwood
other books by Christina dalcher
Set in a United States in which half the population has been silenced, Vox is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter. On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.
Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard. For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.
This is just the beginning…not the end.
Every child’s potential is regularly determined by a standardized measurement: their quotient (Q). Score high enough, and attend a top-tier school with a golden future. Score too low, and it’s off to a federal boarding school with limited prospects afterward. The purpose? An improved society where education costs drop, teachers focus on the more promising students, and parents are happy.
When your child is taken from you.
Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state’s elite schools. When her nine-year-old daughter bombs a monthly test and her Q score drops to a disastrously low level, she is immediately forced to leave her top school for a federal institution hundreds of miles away. As a teacher, Elena thought she understood the tiered educational system, but as a mother whose child is now gone, Elena’s perspective is changed forever. She just wants her daughter back.
And she will do the unthinkable to make it happen.
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I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy feminist literature, dystopian fiction, and strong female characters. Sign up for my email list if you want more book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox! In a society that pushes the boundaries of misandry and radical feminism to the extreme, Dalcher asks, “Why shouldn’t evil be an equal-opportunity trait?”
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