The Unit, City of Friends, The Woman at Number 24

 

The Unit is a novel I read about in a blog and then found on the new arrivals section in my library so I scooped it up.  A thinking woman’s dystopian, this novel is definitely for fans of Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale,  Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, or James’ Children of Men.  The novel tackles issues of feminism, ageism, and the value of the individual in a dystopian setting in which a person’s worth is based upon procreation.  Men who have already procreated express derision for desperate single women trying to “steal their sperm”.  Young girls in a desire to save themselves from The Unit later in life are having unwanted children at 17.  Life on the unit is covered with this facade of luxury and leisure hiding the horror underneath.  A great read!  5 stars.

City of Friends by Joanna Trollope is a celebration of capitalism disguised as feminism.  Heavy handed didactic prose revolving around four women whose petty grievances wouldn’t even cause the average woman to bat her eyes.  One character, trying to reach her young teen daughter writes her a letter about the glory of work, how work will save you, how work is the greatest thing ever….made me instantly feel that the tagline for this book should be “lean in”.    Perhaps I just don’t relate to the issues of the 1%.  I have been trying Trollope because her work is recommended to me based on other women’s fiction that I have read, but it just hasn’t worked for me.

The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton is a quick, fun read.  Sarah is  a recent divorcee, so determined to see the inner beauty in everyone, that she finds herself taken advantage of by everyone, from the now gone Smith, to her ex-husband Leo,  her mother, and her basement dwelling neighbor, Mavis. The strength of this book is the characters and sense of camaraderie the book develops.  It is a book about friendship and family and how a collection of individuals can come together to support each other.  The only negative is that there is one romance novel device that the reader sees through almost immediately, however I still enjoyed the overall story. 

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