In this Philip K. Dick Award–winning series, one woman’s unknowable destiny depends on a bold new step in human evolution.
In the wake of the apocalypse, Flora has come of age in a highly gendered post-plague society where females have become a precious, coveted, hunted, and endangered commodity. But Flora does not participate in the economy that trades in bodies. An anathema in a world that prizes procreation above all else, she is an outsider everywhere she goes, including the thriving all-female city of Shy.
Now navigating a blighted landscape, Flora, her friends, and a sullen young slave she adopts as her own child leave their oppressive pasts behind to find their place in the world. They seek refuge aboard a ship where gender is fluid, where the dynamic is uneasy, and where rumors flow of a bold new reproductive strategy.
When the promise of a miraculous hope for humanity’s future tears Flora’s makeshift family asunder, she must choose: protect the safe haven she’s built or risk everything to defy oppression, whatever its provenance.
About the Author
Meg Elison is a high school dropout and a graduate of UC Berkeley. She is the author of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, winner of the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award, and The Book of Etta. The Book of Flora is the third novel in the Road to Nowhere trilogy. The author lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and writes like she’s running out of time. For more information, visit www.megelison.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was going to say that this book must have been the shortest of the three, but it turns out it's actually the longest. I'm actually sad it's over. I *loved* it, I mean, as much as one can love such a brutal world. The series as a whole is so original and so well-written. I was reading through in this book and noticing (for the first time - how is this possible??) how the city and state names were all bastardizations of actual cities. Estiel - STL - St. Louis. Niyak - New York? Demons - Des Moines. Iwa - Iowa. I am guessing that Shy is Chicago (Chi-Town). And it keeps going and going and I was amazed at the sheer number of cities these people were able to make it to and through in their journeys. Also: No magical Mormons as many people feared! The exploration of gender was very interesting. And the idea that humans were evolving so rapidly - literally in a generation or two - was a really compelling take. I think my main problem with the story line was what was happening with this army, and why. I guess I didn't understand the motivations of the army's leader, even though it seemed like it was explored and laid out in quite a bit of detail. It just didn't make a lot of sense to me. Overall I loved the book, and I loved the entire series. I wish that this book had been longer! Even a little extra at the end with the army's arrival, and a longer epilogue with more detail would have been fantastic. But what a fitting end to the series. I'm looking forward to more Meg Elison in the future. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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.
The Book of Flora is the 3rd and final book in The Road to Nowhere trilogy. My thanks to NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this amazing conclusion. The book picks up where the second book "The Book of Etta" leaves off, deep below ground in the community known as Ommun. The story is told going back and forth in time between Flora writing in her diary from an island referred to as Bambritch (current) to flashbacks of her history and her journey that took her to Bambritch. In this book we learn much more about Etta/Eddy's history as well as Flora's history which I found both interesting and sometimes confusing. I say confusing because both of these characters share the same issue of gender identity. Etta was born a woman but thinks of herself as a man and Flora is a man who identifies as a woman. The stories of the two of them weave in and out so frequently sometimes it became confusing to figure out who was the person talking. But really maybe that was the point. It really wasn't important how they identified but about how they interacted with each other and those around them. A newer character in the book is someone referred to as Connie. Connie says she was born a girl but physically became male as he reached puberty. Again, the characters in the story referred to Connie as they or them so gender sort of fell to the background. In any case the book really tied up everyone's story in a very satisfactory way and I think really makes you think about how relationships are made no matter who you are.