A sickness begins decimating the worlds’ population, targeting mother and child during birth. When the midwife wakes up in an empty hospital after contracting the fever, she finds a world in which most of Earth’s population is gone. Even more startling, most women did not survive, and men easily outnumber women ten to one. Packs of men fight over the leftover women, most of whom treat women as possessions. As the midwife struggles to survive in this new world, she assumes the identity of a man.
This post-apocalyptic world is the first in the authenticity of a woman’s perspective shines! Alone in a new world, the unnamed midwife is almost immediately raped. In a new world in which power rules the social structure — most women do not fare well. She encounters many trigger-warning worthy situations, including physical abuse, sex trafficking, and genital mutilation. She encounters girls who choose not to leave their rapist captors because they are treated “well”, most of whom she pushes birth control upon so they have a chance of not dying in childbirth.
In addition to being realistically difficult to read, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife is fast-paced and gripping throughout most of the novel, despite a protracted winter with a couple of Church of the Latter Day Saints members. As the midwife is bisexual and smart, she alternates from feelings of boredom due to the lack of uninteresting conversation and teaching about the accepted norms of the bay area, which in itself is rather dull. She takes an exceptionally long time (the entire book actually) to find a group of people she is willing to join, rendering a mostly frightening and lonely story.
Recommended for fans of A Children of Men, The Walking Dead, or The Handmaiden’s Tale, but from a darker female perspective!
“I would be happy to defend you ladies,” Duke said with a shine in his eyes. Every man on earth thinks his dick is magic. Alex could hear Roxanne saying it in her head the day they had met.”