Book review


In a desparate post-war world, women rebuilt their bombed-out neighborhoods as best they could and worked to established peace and gender equality. But when one group gets power over another, it's a slippery slope to oppression. Small groups of men roam the country, viciously indicating that the pendulum may have swung too far. Rumors and misinformation spread like fire through the broken rural landscape, and women argue about the strange new society they've created.

Kate is a widowed mother of three barely surviving on her threadbare farm, and struggling with the new rules and the fear and anger that linger. When a strange man shows up on Kate's porch one night, gaunt and filthy, will she risk everything to save him? Does he deserve her help?

Women's Work is a dystopic look at gender roles, where strong women struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world through sustenance farming, clever engineering, and a deeply rooted sisterhood. In this suspenseful thriller, Kate is faced with a morally complex choice between what her heart believes and what society deems right. It is a compelling story that challenges all of us to question stereotypes, relationships, and the pursuit of power!

This trailblazing novel is being heralded by critics as a timely and necessary look at the oversimplification of the issue of gender equality. It asks the question, "What would change if women ruled the world?" The answer in not as simple as you might think, and when one group gains power over the other, it quickly becomes a slippery slope to the oppression of the "other" group. Follow Kate, her family and the strong women of her neighborhood as they try to navigate a world where women claim both authority over and superiority over men. To what will the women in this suspenseful tale resort in order to keep the fragile peace they have established? Can Kate continue to justify the new rules to her young son and daughters? The survival of her family, her neighborhood and her new society depend upon the answer.

What would you do in a world that has fallen off 'the grid'? Raised with the conveniences of the modern world, could you relearn the nearly forgotten methods of growing, hunting for, harvesting and preserving your own food? Kate and her young children have faced hunger and darkness in the aftermath of a devastating war, and now that they have finally started to feel like they might just survive from year to year, they are forced to deal with the new threat of raiders. Surrounded by fear, rumors and uncertainty, Kate is cautiously trying to determine what society's new rules mean for her family while taking her own journey from anger to understanding. Kate is forced to undergo a most difficult change -- the evolution of her deeply held beliefs. She represents everyone who has been hurt before, and now has to decide if she will open up her heart again.

Join Kate as she finds her way through this difficult and confusing new society. Readers and critics are falling in love with the strong women and powerful emotional complexities of Women's Work.  Hopefully, you will identify with Kate's struggle to justify the women's actions to her own young son and daughters, and as the thrilling suspense of the story builds to a head, you will be moved by the fear and frustrations she feels. Women's Work is an excellent selection for book clubs and individuals, and readers will be talking about the characters and themes of this story for a long time.

Women's Work by Kari Aguila

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Kari Aguila
Coley Press
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Women's Work

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