Gibbon's Decline and Fall by Sheri S. Tepper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This one should be put on one of the absolute classics list. I'm really surprised that it isn't talked about even now, but here we are, almost to the 20 year anniversary from when this first came out and it DESERVES TO BE KNOWN.
It belongs in the same category of The Handmaid's Tale, The Power, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, and many others that tackle the big issue of what it means to be a woman.
But how does this stack up to the others?
A group of young women become life-long friends, complaining about the tendency of women everywhere to make a stand and then eventually decline... and fall... the world dragging them down. They vow to hold strong and fast and support each other, meeting every year and being REAL with each other.
Sound good? Well, the writing is better than the premise and more fascinating. The characters are an absolutely gorgeous treat to read.
And if that doesn't convince you, then just wait till things get really messed up all across the world. :)
Do we have a problem with sexism in this world? Set your teeth in this Decline and Fall. One particular note, however. This is NOT a hopeless man-hating novel. It's also not so dire that it becomes a grimdark dystopia. It IS, however, a novel with many very bright facets and a deep exploration of so many different kinds of ideas and viewpoints.
Oh, and it's very bright on some key issues, too, but let's not spoil it, shall we? I happen to wholeheartedly approve of Tepper's stand on women. No one should ever have to live through a Hail Mary, become a breeding machine for misogynists, or be forced to give up the fruits of their labors.
The more horrible stuff is absolutely atrocious and needs no reinforcing.
That being said, I'd LOVE to see a bit more repairing on that medicine bag. :) :)
I'm going to count this novel as one of my absolute favorites of all time. I've always been a fan of Tepper, and while I was kind of put off at the beginning of this particular novel because it wasn't the high-fantasy stuff I'd grown to love, it DEFINITELY made up for it in sheer quality of characters and development and ideas. :)
View all my reviews