Book #49 for 2016
Habitica’s Legendary Book Club Modest Reading Challenge Task: A book published this year.
PopSugar Challenge Category: A book that is published in 2016.
Wow, this was one creepy book! Even more so because it’s almost a perfect allegory of this election season. That makes for quite a lot to unpack from this strange tale of witchcraft unleashed.
Although the story started off in an amusing manner, the undercurrent of gravity was definitely present. I had the distinct impression of “laugh so you don’t cry” terror coming from these people who were trying to a comical degree to behave normally. But the stress and fatigue were beginning to show.
I found it interesting that the theme of “a terrible choice” was highlighted many times in the book and was even a major piece of the witch’s origin story, but the male-centric leadership of the village never understood its import. There were female characters, yes, but they lacked agency. All they could ever do was try to bargain their way out of situations or, failing that, lash out in anger. And I think it is telling that the author focused on their roles as mothers. He also incorporated a lot of breast imagery, and it seems to me it was purposeful. Despite the lack of strong female characters, I think he was trying to demonstrate how misogyny leads society into a downward spiral.
The choice of Stephen Grant as the main character is interesting, not only because he is male, but also because he is not very active when compared to the other characters whose actions precipitate the unravelling of the village’s tenuous stability. I wonder if the author was trying to make a statement about keeping silent for the sake of stability and yet being just as culpable as those who would court instability.
I would dearly love to see this made into a movie. Not that I would have the fortitude to go see that movie, but what a badass movie it would be!