The Book of Flora by Meg Elison

Series Book #3: The Road to Nowhere

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

They have a good library here. I have come to measure every town and village by whether they keep books and how well they keep them.

The Book of Flora – Meg Elison

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: Oh, I loved this book. There were so many times I wanted to stop reading just so that I could start writing about it. My two MAIN loves were:

  • The reverence for books throughout the entire story. It’s a book-lover’s dream. This love of books is shown in Book 1 (The Book of the Unnamed Midwife) and Book 2 (The Book of Etta), however, in this book, I felt like that love of literature had evolved and was just lovely.
  • The LGBTQ+ stories were just so enlightening. The confusion and struggles that Etta/Eddie, Flora, and Connie go through give the reader such a wonderful view of the inner and outer struggles that a person could be going through.

How I Felt: I was so relieved to love this book. I still adore The Book of the Unnamed Midwife and it is my favorite, but I was less in-love with The Book of Etta. I was concerned that I would read The Book of Flora and realize that I didn’t enjoy the series any longer, but that was not the case at all. This book seemed to take us back a bit to the feeling of the first book. There is so much travel to different places, and meeting different people. The struggles of sexuality and sexual identity are there, and were more vast, than in the Unnamed Midwife, as there were more characters dealing with their own situations. The book is definitely more sexual than The Book of Etta was. There are some pretty detailed scenes, but what I loved about those scenes were the insight they gave to me about the character’s personalities and their struggles with their own sexuality.

To Read or Not To Read: I would recommend this book to anyone that has read the first two books in the Road to Nowhere series. If you haven’t read the first two, I wouldn’t start here. There are many characters spoken about in The Book of Flora that were introduced in Book 1 and Book 2. If you haven’t read this series yet, go read my review of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife.

What’s This Book About Anyway?

The Book of Flora picks up where The Book of Etta left off, but now our narrator is Flora. Flora tells her story with chapters focused on the present and then jumps back in time to fill in the gaps from her time after escaping the Lion to the present. Her writings in the present speak about an army coming and about the danger this army brings. As we progress in the book, the story about the army takes shape and we begin to slowly understand more about it.

In the “past” story of Flora, Eddie (Etta), Flora, and Alice set out to find a place where they can be accepted for who they are. This is a big theme in the book surrounding the sexual confusion of some, the transformation of others, and the feelings each person has about their own sexuality. There were some great quotes surrounding this that really gave me pause and made me think.

“It’s no great crime to live as a man. Men are plentiful and everyone understands why you do it. Women lying with women is a waste, but you’ll hardly get killed for it. Living as a woman without being one is the thing that always stirs hate and violence. As if there is some great deception in it. As if it is the worst kind of fraud. Yet a woman who cannot breed or will not try is never the same sort of problem. And women past the end of their blood are no threat. I am no different from them.”

The Book of Flora – Meg Elison

This book’s plot surrounding the army is a bit understated, the main focus of the story felt more like a road to finding acceptance to be who they know they are. That said, I loved this book, and was so happy to have found it.

Where to find this book:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Book-Flora-Road-Nowhere-ebook/dp/B07G12QFP2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+book+of+flora&qid=1572147988&sr=8-1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41026414-the-book-of-flora?ac=1&from_search=true

Footnotes:

#thebookofflora #theroadtonowhere #megelison #shejustlovesbooks #sciencefiction #lgbtq #lgbtqlit #bookreview #bookblog #dystopian #postapocalyptic

The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere #2) by Meg Elison

⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: I love a book series! I hate saying goodbye to a character’s story, so the continuation of the series, is always so much fun! This book definitely lived up to that expectation of a series for me, with a bit of a twist. Instead of carrying on the first book’s character’s story, this book picks up years later with new characters, but in the same town. It gave me all new people to meet, while staying true to the original story.

Additionally, I loved that Meg Elison tackled LGBTQ topics here. The main character is Etta on the outside, but is Eddie on the inside. I was so pleased to read this book and get to understand this character.

How I Felt: This book did not feel quite as gritty as the first. There were less X rated scenes and less swearing, but still had enough that it clearly belonged to the same series. I was carried away with Etta and her story. It was not confusing at all to have the character jump back and forth between her true self. And I loved that there were times where Eddie would step aside because Etta was needed to survive, and vice versa.

To Read or Not To Read: If you’ve read book 1 in the series, you have to read book 2! If you haven’t read book 1, and for some reason happen to have this book right now and want to read it without starting with book 1, I think you can. While, it’s clearly part of a series, because it is new characters, and there are some explanations as to what previously happened, I really think this book can stand alone.


What’s This Book About Anyway?

Years after the epidemic that wiped out most of humanity, small tribes of people are trying to survive and carry on with what is left of life on earth. So much of the “before-time” is lost. The characters end up in Merrimack Caverns and they have no idea what it is. They find old t-shirts that have survived and are excited for the cloth with no understanding of what it used to be.

Women continue to have difficult births with survival rates for mother and daughter still very low due to the epidemic. Men outnumber women significantly, and in Etta’s town, many form hives with one woman living with many men. Etta chooses to become a scavenger, rather than the sacred midwife she could be. She does not feel like a girl and chooses to be a man on the road. She leaves Nowhere and finds herself in a new city when the Lion and his men come and take away a young girl from her mother. Etta makes a choice and puts herself on a track to stop the Lion at all costs.

Her travels take her through different cities and we, the reader, get a chance to envision a world where towns are so far apart, that no two towns have adapted to the new way of life in the same way.

This was an absolutely wonderful book. The storyline continues from book one, and I can’t wait to pick up book three, The Book of Flora!

Footnotes:

#theroadtonowhere #megelison #shejustlovesbooks

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison

(The Road to Nowhere Book 1)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: The Book of the Unnamed Midwife is written as a diary of the main character. I found that to be such an intriguing way to tell this story. I loved that at times, she had others write their stories in her diary, so we got to see the experiences of others as well. I also loved that the author wrapped up loose ends with side characters, so we know where their stories went as well. It made the story feel complete.


How I Felt: Oh, this book was gritty and raw. The writing didn’t pull any punches, making the reader feel the pain and suffering happening to characters. I felt disgusted at times when the characters would come across things that had happened, or were happening to people. There was little happiness in this book, it is post-apocalyptic, and as that genre goes, this book nailed it. There were moments, where I was so happy to have a ray of sunshine in the Midwife’s experiences. This helped to make the book ebb and flow just right.


To Read or Not To Read: With 5-star books, I’m usually saying “Everyone Read This!”, however, with this book, while it is 100% a 5-star-read for me, it has a lot of topics and language that could be offensive for people. So, here is my warning: F-Bombs, female anatomy words that are offensive, rape, death, fairly explicit sexual scenes. Other than all of that terrible bleakness, this book was amazing. I like the post-apocalyptic genre because I like to see how people would cope, what they do, how they eat, etc and this book did that for me. If you enjoy that, this book is for you.


What’s This Book About Anyway?

A fever has broken out, almost completely obliterating human life. The fever has made pregnancy almost entirely fatal to mother and child, making women extremely rare in the post-apocalyptic state. The Unnamed Midwife finds herself awakening from her fever in the aftermath of this devastating turn of events. She keeps a diary as she travels from town to town trying to survive. As she realizes the danger of being a women in a world where men wholly outnumber women, she begins to dress, walk, and talk like a man to fool people. This was a very interesting part of the story. The way she writes in her diary, you experience the transition she goes through, forcing herself to think this way, and then at times, falling back into being a woman. She encounters few people on her journey, but the ones she does encounter leave lasting impressions on her.


Footnotes:

#thebookoftheunnamedmidwife #megelison #shejustlovesbooks #sciencefiction #postapocalypticfiction #theroadtonowherebookseries #theroadtonowhere