Sunday, December 04, 2005

50 Book Challenge #66 & 67: A Canticle for Leibowitz & The Wise Woman

Black magic and nuclear weapons both inexorably lead to tragedy.

The Wise Woman walks the line between historical fiction and romance novel territory better than Outlander did, if only because every attempt by the protagonist, Alys, to achieve traditional romance novel goals brings her closer to destruction. It's a little cheesy, and a little unsettling, and more realistic about women's roles in Tudor society than you (and Alys) expect.

Miller's novel has a slow start (I started to read it years ago and abandoned it for that reason) but eventually winds through the rebirth and inevitable descent of human civilization after a 1950s nuclear apocalypse. It's mostly set in a monastery, which partially explains the lack of female characters, but by the end this absence began to grate.
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