Monday, October 26, 2020

Graceful Burdens (Out of Line Collection), by Roxane Gay (author), Samira Wiley (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, September 2020

At an unstated point in the future, young adults are genetically screened to determine their suitability for reproduction. Those who are deemed genetically suitable, are licensed to reproduce. Those who don't, will never be allowed to have children. It's a judgment that determines the entire course of lives--especially women's lives.

Hadley is an unlicensed woman, working a poorly paid job and living in a meager apartment. She would say that she is glad to be unlicensed, with the greaater freedom that gives in some ways. Yet, she goes to the local public library, to an upper floor--and checks out a baby, a little girl named Gemma.

You may wonder where the children in the library come from; Hadley tries not to.

Serafina is a licensed woman, married to a man who is a perfect match genetically, and utterly boring in every other respect. She has two children, and she resents the burden. She live their care to the two nannies--until the day they leave for, they say, a five day vacation.

When the two nannies show up at Hadley's door, we're about to find out where the library babies come from, where they're bound for when they reach their third birthdays, and how women are fighting back.

It's an interesting look at a possible future dystopia, and resistance against it. 

I received this audiobook as part of the Audible Originals program, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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