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Summary

In this Philip K. Dick Award-winning series, one woman’s unknowable destiny depends on a bold new step in human evolution.

In the wake of the apocalypse, Flora has come of age in a highly gendered post-plague society where females have become a precious, coveted, hunted, and endangered commodity. But Flora does not participate in the economy that trades in bodies. An anathema in a world that prizes procreation above all else, she is an outsider everywhere she goes, including the thriving all-female city of Shy. 

Now navigating a blighted landscape, Flora, her friends, and a sullen young slave she adopts as her own child leave their oppressive pasts behind to find their place in the world. They seek refuge aboard a ship where gender is fluid, where the dynamic is uneasy, and where rumors flow of a bold new reproductive strategy. 

When the promise of a miraculous hope for humanity’s future tears Flora’s makeshift family asunder, she must choose: protect the safe haven she’s built or risk everything to defy oppression, whatever its provenance.

©2019 by Meg Elison. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable but not as good as book 1&2

Enjoyable, but not nearly as good and engaging as the first two in the series.

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Profile Image for Jennifer Maxam
  • Jennifer Maxam
  • 05-09-19

the first two were great- this one not so much!

ridiculously difficult to follow- genders we're never fully explained and it gave me a complete headache trying to keep track of characters I had no real vested interest in, unlike the first two books. had to force myself to finish. do not recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Emily A Thurman
  • 10-05-19

Not worthy of the series

What the frag?!? How did Elison’s editor let this go to press? Flora isn’t even fully realized, the plot has GIANT holes, the over-dependence on deus ex machina was absurd, and the characters make the most illogical choices!!!! If you want to go to SF from the Midwest, why go through Georgia?!? It was profoundly frustrating as a listener from chapter one. I loved The Book Of the Unnamed Midwife; the second one was worth a listen, but ....this one was a rough draft that needed work. Never tell when you can show.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Brittney D. Goodman
  • 14-02-20

Surprisingly Okay

So here it is, as I have stated before, I usually do not read full “series” of books. *But* I read all of these. I will say that the Unknown Midwife was by far the best book. The book of Etta was good, the author was able to keep a steady pace throughout the book, and I was pleased. She is impressive with the way she sticks to different genders and sees from their view. It’s a unique reading experience. This last book was interesting as well, however the writing style is getting redundant, the story line is beginning to show similarity. I have to say for long stretches in the book where they are traveling and such, the writer does a good job of keeping the reader activated without being redundant.   I listened to the book on audible, and I must be honest, there were a couple of times in the beginning of the book that I got very confused. The narrator wasn’t exactly monotone, but the voice inflections were subtle, and it took me a while to catch onto the inflections.  With all the women in the book it was a bit confusing though. I have to say. All in all, 4 stars for the story, 3 for the narrator, and 4 for the overall experience. I was an easy going read with unique concepts and written with unique skill

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  • PrincessEun
  • 13-11-20

So good!!

I encourage people to read The book of the midwife series..The book of the midnight..The book of Etta...and The book of Flora.. brilliant work!!

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  • Olivia Wylie
  • 31-08-20

a lyrical, moving and empowering book

In lyrical poetry and powerful dialogue, in painfully beautiful descriptions and dreamy passages of scene, this story wraps us in a tale that feels as old as the world, and is yet the tale we need most for these times. I listened to the audiobook, and it is gorgeously narrated, soft and sweet and a pleasure in my ears. In the tradition of ‘A Canticle for Lebowitz’ and ‘The Parable of the Sower’, The Book of Flora explores what the world looks like after it has fallen down, as it’s deciding how to put itself back together in new and haphazard ways. They killed the Old World, that’s the only thing everyone agrees on. Beyond that, everyone has to figure out lives and societies in their own way. The Old World is broken, all its rules gone. In the absence, new kinds of societies emerge. Some are terrible. Some men create harems of rare women slaves. And some places are beautiful. Some places support all the ways we can be human, rule by common consent, and protect the stories of the past to protect the future. It’s an amazing re-imagining of the world, but it’s the little details that really amaze the reader. For example, language has slid and shifted; still just recognizable in the way it passes down from our existing world, but reworked into something new. Passing through Demon’s Town with the protagonist, you connect the dots and get hit with the realization that this is Des Moines. Womanhattan is a city where the women live and thrive.The way words have shifted emphasizes the strangeness of these new days. And the way stories have shifted is just as amazing: in this world, if you look into still water and say ‘Bloody Mary’ at midnight three times, a woman covered with child-bed blood will walk out of the water and give you a child. And in these new days, all the rules are out the window. I mean all the rules. What was once America has balkanized into hundreds of communities, fiefdoms and small empires. There’s a city where everyone is a woman, whether they were born with a cock or not. There are men born in women’s bodies, openly accepted in some places and reviled in others. There are children born between the genders, and there are places where that’s not a problem. There are tribes of Horsewomen who revere horses and use the chenicals in mare’s urine–horse medicine– to align their bodies with their female souls. There are places where people live underground and God is a woman. There are places with slave markets. There are places where men and women are segregated, kept on a strict breeding program. What you can do is all about where you are, and there’s a strange kind of hope in that. If you travel far enough across this great, wide continent, you will find a place where you belong. This is the story of a small found family and their travels across the vast continent: their search for a home and a place to belong, and then the things they did to protect it. The world is a character in its own right, brutally beautiful. I’m amazed by its power. And the LGBT thread running through this story is a wonder to behold. With poetry and with stark grace, the story reminds us of what’s important: personal autonomy. Choice. Authenticity. And finding the place you can live as your true self. This book’s narrator is Flora, and her kind, gentle and patient narration makes even painful topics possible to discuss. With acceptance and quiet, Flora opens her heart, her gently honest philosophies, and her world to us all. ‘I cannot say that I was born wrong, or raised wrong. Only that I was born, and I was made.’ These quiet words of Flora’s are gentle in a hard-edged world, showing us how to move like silk and tea in a world full of knives and clubs.

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  • tanny
  • 05-06-19

love the series!

I stumbled upon the initial book in the series and was immediately hooked. Woman focused post apocalyptic fiction ❤❤

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  • Leslie Huebner
  • 29-04-19

Another great read!

Another great read by Meg Elison! I hope she has more in the works cause I'm definitely a fan.