Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy ★★★★☆

Reading for A Very Merry Readathon

I am so excited for this book. It is one of my most anticipated reads of December and of this readathon. It is about a woman who is in an insane asylum because she thinks she sees and can communicate with the future. The trick is, she can. This has hints of dystopian, time travel, and feminism. These are probably among my most favorite sub-genres, time travel certainly. You can find this book in a lot of the lists for the best feminist fiction books even though it isn’t talked about as much as others (The Color Purple, Handmaids Tale, etc.).

Read 12/16/19 – 12/17/19

I enjoyed this book, but I think I am still a little disappointed by it. Let me be clear, it is pretty much everything I wanted it to be. This is a deep analysis of how women have been treated as well as how doctors and asylums have operated. Much more than that, it is a visceral attack on many of the issues that we deal with today (most stemming from capitalism), and it is a dark look at what might be if we are not careful as well as what could be if we push ourselves.

I don’t have a definitive reason why it wasn’t as exciting a read as I had hoped. I just know I found myself getting disinterested at a lot of the futuristic visions our main character is seeing. It is a key, not to mention fascinating, analysis on what the future might be and what would shape it to be so. Nevertheless, I found myself disinterested at times. I also found the pseudo-anarchist utopia a little preachy more than convincing at time. I recognize utopia is subjective, and over all Piercy does a fantastic job thinking about how a lot of these issues we deal with today could be resolved.

I wish more of the novel was spent in the modern day because it’s as a commentary against modern medicine and the treatment of women that this book is most effective. In the intro to this, I presented the premise as if we know she sees the future, but I suppose it is possible we have an unreliable narrator. That is also an intriguing thought. However, I think we are meant to believe her sane. That is because she plays a key role in conveying all the injustices done against women.

Overall, I highly encourage this book. It is not only an informative commentary but a fairly engaging and entertaining read. 4.25/5 stars.

2 Replies to “Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy ★★★★☆”

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