Monday, June 7, 2010

Nomansland by Lesley Hauge

Keller is training to be a Tracker, those who patrol the outer ridges of Foundland for the enemy. In this case, the enemy is Men. Keller lives in a society of only women, hard work, and survival. No one is permitted to have fancy first names, and all must avoid the Seven Pitfalls (much like the seven deadly sins) if they do not want to be punished. It is a dreary, boring life, but it is all Keller knows. Until one night, when fellow Patrol member Laing takes her to a hidden underground house from the Time Before, and it is filled with colorful magazines of women and men wearing and doing things Keller has never seen before. Suddenly everything Keller knows about life is tipped upside down, and she must quickly find the strength to carry on with or without the answers she seeks.

I thought Nomansland was fascinating dystopian YA lit. Lesley Huage portrayed a bleak, grim picture of a possible future - one not only without men, but also without so many material things to keep people happy. I was surprised at how seriously this book took itself, keeping with the strong biblical references to Eve and the snake. I am also always surprised at how strict the rules are in these imagined dystopian communities. So harsh! Keller's character is deep and incredibly well written. She goes from being completely compliant of her place in life, to thinking on her own and making her own wise decisions. I kept trying to imagine myself in Keller's position and wondered if I could have been as strong as she was. Hauge has written a fantastic book for teen girls to read and share with each other. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for more from this author!

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

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