Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Book of Flora

The Book of Flora by Meg Elison
47North: 4/23/19
eBook review copy; 332 pages
ISBN-13: 9781542042093

The Book of Flora by Meg Elison is a recommended concluding book in the postapocalyptic series that started with The Book of the Unnamed Midwife.

Picking up from where the second book, The Book of Etta, left off, The Book of Flora tells the story of Flora.  Now living in a community on Bambritch Island that is awaiting the invasion of an army headed for them, Flora tells her story looking back over the last forty years. She tells of life in the underground city of Ommun, her visit to Shy, and travels across the post-plague land until she reaches Bambritch Island. The novel switches between the story of the past that led her to her present situation, and the present as the community waits to be attacked. Flora's story includes that of characters found in the previous book.

At this point, having read all three books in the series my advice would be to read the first in the series, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, and then stop. Parts of this final book in the series make it worth reading if you have already read the second book, but this time the whole book really fell flat for me. What I mentioned in the review for the previous book holds true and is multiplied tenfold in this final installment. "The focus and anxiety over gender questions among several characters is almost overwrought, taking up more pages of anxiety than would seem necessary in this changed world." In this concluding narrative, the pages and pages and chapters of focus on gender identity is simply too over-the-top. I get it, don't beat me up with it, state the facts while establishing your characters and get on with the story. I'm reading for the plot and character development. Please don't lecture me. I forced myself to keep reading only to find out who was going to attack and what happened. (I'm being generous with my rating.)

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.

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