The Compulsive Reader: Nomansland by Lesley Hauge

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nomansland by Lesley Hauge

Keller lives a strict and controlled life with all women in Foundland. They are each assigned tasks, and are expected to carry them out in perfect order and with complete obedience in order to avoid the major pitfalls of women in the past that led to humanity’s downfall. Keller is a novice Tracker, and spends her days learning how to hunt and kill the enemy: men. But when Keller the rest of the novices in her patrol find a dwelling from the Time Before, Keller's life is forever changed. In a bedroom of a teenage girl from long ago, the girls learn of beauty and dolls and make-up, and men who aren't the enemy. But these discoveries are dangerous...there are those in their world who would do anything to make sure that these discoveries are covered up, and the girls punished. For the first time in her life, Keller must decide where she stands, and if she is being told the truth.

Nomansland provides a very interesting concept with science fiction and dystopian elements, but at times Hauge's world is so shrouded in mystery that it is hard to get a grasp on what is really going on in Nomansland. Keller's world is roughly shaped: lessons, chores, and training leave little room for much else, and her movements are carefully monitored, yet she manages to sneak away and have quite a bit of freedom. Hauge does attempt to explain how the women continue to reproduce and what their childhoods are like, but the lack of details keeps Keller's world from being tangible to readers. Keller's discovery of the "traitors" in her midst and her feelings of confusion and distrust as she begins to understand her society and the sacrifices they make to maintain their life style is interesting, and the decisions she is forced to make are hard, but force her to stand on her own, which is gratifying to see. Though Hauge's world is thoughtful and emotional (despite how much the society would have the women smother their feelings), Nomansland feels lacking just a bit, and leaves readers with a lot of questions and an ending with just enough of a resolution to leave wondering, "Is this it?"

Cover Comments: I really love the power of this cover! The archery theme is present in a lot of images throughout the book, which is really neat.

This book will be available June 22nd, 2010 from Henry Holt.

ARC received from Amazon Vine.

1 comment:

celi.a said...

I saw this for the first time over at Rhiannon Hart's blog, and thought it looked like my cup of tea. But that summary...now it's reminding me of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which I wasn't such a fan of. Mmm...I should probably just read the book and let that make my mind up for me, yeah? So many books to read!