Ticked-off book club

The Gate to
Women’s Country
by Sheri S. Tepper
This book made one of my friends so mad she couldn’t finish
reading it. And then—when she asked me to tell her what happens in the rest of
the book and I gave her the plot rundown—she got even madder.
Hello, gender dystopia.
Apparently this book is a thing people either love or hate. Although…
that’s not true, because I can identify things I like and dislike about it, and
I’d say I’m kind of iggis* about the book.
The thing is: it makes a great
book club pick. Even my friends who hadn’t finished the book had plenty to say
about it, and that’s a sign of a fine book discussion book.
Here’s the basic plot (or at least as much of it as I can tell you
without ruining it): In the future, after a massive apocalyptic event, there’s
a place called Women’s Country, which is run by… women. And most of the men
have chosen to become warriors and live in a garrison outside the gates of
Women’s Country. So the women are running the show, and the men live apart and
defend them (and father their children). And a small subset of men return to
Women’s Country to become servants.
A woman named Stavia is now part of the Council in Women’s
Country, and as her son makes the decision to leave to become a warrior, she
reflects on her younger years, when she was a fool for love and did some really
stupid stuff.
So there are all kinds of examples of gender-based societal
structures here, and some of them probably will tick a person off, regardless
of that person’s sex and worldview.
Don’t you just want to dive in right now?
*I’m pretty sure this isn’t really a word [though—lazy librarian:
did not check the OED], except in my
family it is. And it means: neutral/on the fence/so-so/I could take it or leave

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