"I know it's hot right now with the new movie, but the themes here are definitely worth pondering during Women's History Month. While I don't want the subject of 'women' to be always linked to sexual trauma, I found its handling here to be empowering rather than 'trauma porn,' especially in doing a book/movie comparison. This quote says it all:
'We are in a new era of feminism that’s defined by language, with a definite shift in the way we talk about gender, power, and sex. We continue to try and navigate these changes, somewhat messily. Consent is no longer flattened to “no means no,” we recognize people are more than just their biological sex, and many of the whisper networks of abuse that run through women’s worlds have grown to screams. All of these cultural steps forward are made possible by women’s voices; speaking out has changed from a liability to a source of power...'"
--author and reviewer Alisson Wood
One evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm.
While the men of the colony are off in the city, attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists and bring them home, these women—all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their community and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in—have very little time to make a choice: Should they stay in the only world they’ve ever known or should they dare to escape?
Based on real events and told through the “minutes” of the women’s all-female symposium, Toews’s masterful novel uses wry, politically engaged humor to relate this tale of women claiming their own power to decide