Josephine Thomas has heard every conceivable theory about her mother’s disappearance. That she was kidnapped. Murdered. That she took on a new identity to start a new family. That she was a witch. This is the most worrying charge, because in a world where witches are real, peculiar behaviour raises suspicions and a woman – especially a Black woman – can find herself on trial for witchcraft.
But fourteen years have passed since her mother’s disappearance, and now Jo is finally ready to let go of the past. Yet her future is in doubt. The State mandates that all women marry by the age of thirty – or enrol in a registry that allows them to be monitored, effectively forfeiting their autonomy. At twenty-eight, Jo is ambivalent about marriage. With her ability to control her life on the line, she feels as if she has her never understood her mother more. When she’s offered the opportunity to honour one last request from her mother’s will, Jo leaves her regular life to feel connected to her one last time.
Published 9 August 2022 | Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia | RRP: AUD$34.99
My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)
I deserve to be angry about these things. There is nothing wrong with knowing you’ve been treated poorly for no good reason and wanting to be treated better.
I cracked open this book in the middle of reading When Women Were Dragons and immediately, I was hit with the similar vibe between the two. Granted, one is about dragons and the other, witches, but oh, the anger, the sadness, and over everything else, the tiredness was palpable and off the page.
The protagonist, Jo Thomas, is a woman and therefore, she could be a witch. She is also the child of a Black mother so that double or triple the chance that she could be a witch. And then, her mother disappeared when she was a child; with the suspicion that she was a witch, the chances that Jo is a witch skyrocketed and everything she does comes under scrutiny. Then she disappeared and reappeared… she MUST be a witch. Jo, understandably, is one very confused, lost, angry, and exhausted woman. One who has had to defend her position in society at every second and even to supress her uniqueness in order to fit and under the radar.
The Women Could Fly is a story of self discovery of what could be if only we could be and how magical that could be. It is Jo’s story. It is her mother’s story. It is her grandmother’s story. It is her BFF’s story. It is a story of all the women. It is a powerful note on our society and those oppressed; a dark tale with a glint of hope.
My thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for this copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts
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