Three women find each other in a world lost to war. In times of crisis, it is natural to believe in miracles. To believe in each other is revolutionary.
Taking a few steps into the future, Melody Curtiss shares her *Zombie Apocalypse, a perfect storm of economic collapse, global warfare and natural.
*Spoiler Alert: There are no zombies in this book, only strong women.
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Reminds me of the Joanna Russ novel The Female Man with its women living in different oppressive societies. Here though we have a modern update of a teen dystopia in a mundane scifi genre. Set in the Pacific Northwest after the US govt has collapsed.
"What to Wear to the Revolution" is a novel written in three parts, each part focusing on a different female protagonist, the narratives of each coalescing at the end bringing unity to the story as a whole. Clothing serves as the major symbol throughout. Each of the female protagonists defines herself through the clothing she wears, defining disparate roles within society. Within this dystopian world, mainstream society prescribes specific gender based expectations on women and it's only the women living outside of civilization who are able to define themselves. In a way it's comparable to our world today. But it's in reverse. Women in developed nations have gained freedoms that no women in history have ever attained. While women in some developing or regressing nations, still find themselves subject to strict normative rules mandating their dress and conduct. So, just picture the opposite of our world and that's the zeitgeist of the novel. It's also comparable to Victorian England. And I can see parallels to the relative freedom of the Proles in Orwell's novel 1984 compared to the strict rules placed on party members. The strengths of this novel come from Curtiss' ability to characterize her protagonists. She does this through a command in language uncommon in new authors. Through dialogue, digression, and internal monologue, each character comes to life with a unique voice and perspective. As one final note, I'd like to comment on Curtiss' warning about this being feminist fiction. Although it's feminist, it doesn't have any of the man-hating that that warning might imply. I would classify this as third-wave feminist. This is about women having the freedom to define themselves, not relative to men, not as some backlash to previous culture norms, but for themselves and their personal happiness.