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The natural way of things / Charlotte Wood.

By: Wood, Charlotte, 1965-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Crows Nest, N.S.W. : Allen & Unwin, 2015Copyright date: ©2015Description: 315 pages ; 21 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781760111236 (paperback).Subject(s): Kidnapping -- Fiction | False imprisonment -- Fiction | Female friendship -- Fiction | Australian fiction -- 21st centuryDDC classification: A823.4 Summary: Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of a desert. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a 'nurse'. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl's past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue - but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.
List(s) this item appears in: Handmaid's Tale Reading List Fiction notes: Click to open in new window
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item reserves
Default Sunshine Library
Fiction WOOD Available IA0597133
Default St Albans Library (DIY)
Fiction WOOD Available IA0840668
Default Keilor Library (DIY)
Fiction WOOD Available IA0840675
Total reserves: 0

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of a desert. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a 'nurse'. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl's past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue - but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In an utterly remote and barren part of Australia, ten young women are starved, sedated, dressed in outlandish Puritanical garb, and led about like dogs. Yolanda can't even remember how she got there, but it soon emerges that they are all being punished for past sexual sins. Making her U.S. debut with a novel that won the Australian Independent Booksellers Award as Best Novel and Best Book of the Year, Wood effectively renders the captors' brutality and the women's Lord-of-the-Flies struggle to survive. But it's the eventual bonding (particularly between Yolanda and the somehow familiar Verla) that is the novel's triumph. VERDICT A shocking and vital work for all readers. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

The latest from Australian novelist Wood (Animal People) is allegory at its best, a phantasmagoric portrait of modern culture's sexual politics textured by psychological realism and sparing lyricism. The unsettling opening launches readers into a nightmare. A group of drugged women wake up in a remote, dilapidated compound whose wild grounds are surrounded by an electrified fence. They are sheared and leashed and marched and beaten. "You need to know what you are," one of the guards tells them. As glancing references to their former lives indicate, each of the "bald and frightened girls" was at the center of a public scandal involving powerful men: sports stars, politicians, television hosts, religious leaders. Their horrid, punishing captivity is also marked by an eerie normality. One of their captors checks his online dating profile; another does morning yoga. The women form tenuous bonds over their extended detention, but they have also internalized the culture's sexist attitudes-the "dull fear and hatred" of the female body-and thus their sisterhood is occasionally riven by suspicion and scorn. Distinguishing themselves from the group are two fierce, introspective protagonists, Yolanda and Verla, who scour the land for game and mushrooms and reject the path of "trailing, limping obedience." Despite its overt message, the novel seldom feels programmatic because of Wood's gorgeous, elliptical style. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Book Review

An engrossing novel set in the barren Australian Outback in which women are held captive, victims of a violently misogynist system. Wood's allegorical novelher first to be published in the U.S.is at once brutal and beautiful. Imprisoned in a desert holding, surrounded by electric fencing, sleeping in dank doghouses, filthy, starving, and beaten, 10 girls struggle to keep alive and keep sane. They have been drugged and abducted, accused of licentiousness. Their sexuality has been criminalized; they have slept with the wrong man or have been raped or have resisted rape, and for these incidents have been shorn, shackled, and shamed. When the power goes out everywhere but the fence and it becomes clear that no one is coming to release themor their guardsthey must live by whatever remains of their own strength, dedicated "to the one quiet, animal triumph: survival." Yolanda and Verla, leaders of this desperate and dehumanized group, become huntersfor sources of life and of death. Surreal yet intensely vivid, the novel is disturbing and enthralling. It makes its pointthat "it was men who started wars, who did the world's killing and raping and maiming"plainly, just short of perfervidly. Haunting, imaginative language brings the characters' madness and suffering to life. An absorbing plot, lyrical prose, and discomfiting imagery make Wood's novel decidedly gripping. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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