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‘When Women Were Dragons’ explores a way out of a world with 1950s-style repression on women

Book review

What can’t be named can’t be questioned in this new novel by Minneapolis writer Kelly Barnhill, which immerses readers in a post-World War II period of conformity and repression with a speculative twist.

The Newbery Medal-winning children’s author dedicates her first novel for adult readers to Christine Blasey Ford, whose testimony at the confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh unleashed the rage of many women.

Barnhill transforms that suppressed rage into a wellspring of power, creating an alternate timeline where women told to suffer in silence instead spontaneously transform into dragons, often immolating abusive men in the process.

The story opens in a small Wisconsin town, where Alex, a budding scientist, grows up in a household full of secrets.

No one…

Read the Full Article Here The Seattle Times

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