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The Book of Etta

(The Road to Nowhere #2)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  4,864 ratings  ·  546 reviews
In the gripping sequel to the Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, one woman undertakes a desperate journey to rescue the future.

Etta comes from Nowhere, a village of survivors of the great plague that wiped away the world that was. In the world that is, women are scarce and childbearing is dangerous…yet desperately necessary for humankind’s
Paperback, 314 pages
Published February 21st 2017 by 47North
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Ned “Horsewomen” are trans women who get supplementary estrogen by extracting it from the urine of pregnant mares. This used to be, in the main part, how …more“Horsewomen” are trans women who get supplementary estrogen by extracting it from the urine of pregnant mares. This used to be, in the main part, how we got supplementary estrogen, before we learned how to produce it synthetically. So, basically, they’re women who rely on horses for synthetic hormones.(less)
Kel Midthnaetitulla Most of the places mentioned are actual places on the map of Missouri. I assumed the "River Misery" was the Missouri River. I assumed the "O'Darks" we…moreMost of the places mentioned are actual places on the map of Missouri. I assumed the "River Misery" was the Missouri River. I assumed the "O'Darks" were the "Ozarks". Meramac Caverns is an actual cave, and there are "black mountains" in the Johnson Shut-ins...where I like to imagine Nowhere to be. Oh, and "Estiel" is "STL". I think the hotel that is mentioned is the Mansion House Apartments.(less)

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I loved the first book in this series. The Book of the Unnamed Midwife. I felt like it was a whole new take on the dystopian story world. I will say that normally I don't read many series and I shouldn't have picked this one up. I didn't hate it..I didn't love it either.

It picks up a hundred years from where the previous book left off. In the first book the Midwife lived through the plague that wiped out most of the world's women and all of the children. There has been some improvement made in t
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sf, netgalley
The Book of Etta is the follow-up of the extraordinary The Book of the Unnamed Midwife. For more information you can read my review here.

The Book of Etta is the kind of follow up for which you need to read the previous book in the series in order to understand what is going on. In The Book of Unnamed Midwife a disease wipes out 98 % of the human population, the women and the unborn babies being the most affected, leaving approx. 1 woman to 10 men. A terrible world to live in. The main character

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

1.) The Book of the Unnamed Midwife ★★★★★

“The Unnamed Midwife had been a founder in Nowhere. She had been from the old world, a trained nurse and Midwife who had lived through the dying and seen how it all came down. She had left behind her journals, which told the whole story—her own as well as the world’s. It was known by every man, woman, and child in Nowhere. They kept their own journals as a way to carry on her work.”
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!

The first book in the Road to Nowhere series hit me out of nowhere with it's stark and uncompromising view of humanity and the inhumanity of men toward women when a plague decimated (literally) the population of women. There's only one woman out of ten men across the world. It reads much more delightfully than Frank Herbert's The White Plague and it has a much more grimdark feel than even The Children of Men.

The second picks up and drives home the same point with
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
*** 4.25 ***

A buddy read with the MacHalos, because we obviously want to have nightmares for a while...

WTF??? Why are we doing this to ourselves? Why is Meg Elison doing this to us?? And what is wrong with us to actually appreciate it and ask for more??? I think there is a word for insanity like ours, but I would rather not put us in a category....

Speaking of categories... Talk about a world which is trying its darnest to figure out how to put people in tidy little categories and cement into t
THE BOOK OF ETTA (THE ROAD TO NOWHERE 2) is a heavy piece of dark, post-apocalyptic fiction.

This story picks up about 100 years after THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE. The Unnamed created the city of Nowhere and now they have developed their own way of life. Since the plague that started everything, women are scarce and children even more so. As such, Nowhere honors women and to keep the human race going, women there have created hives-a group of men/lovers who help that woman with chores and who
I read this for the 2017 MacHalo Group Reading Challenge.

Review also found at Dust Off Your MacHalo blog.

Spoilery items below... I'm not giving away any key plot points, but... eh. Just a warning. You must read the first book before attempting this one. One hundred years has passed. The fever plague that targeted women has mostly fizzled out. Instead of 100% infant mortality, it's now about 15% that live. Many mothers still die in childbirth, but slowly, slowly, babies are being born again.

Tudor Vlad
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Thank you 47North and NetGalley for providing me this copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife is hands down the best book I have read this years, so there was a lot of pressure for this sequel. I am so happy to say that it did not disappoint, despite focusing on a new character (Etta), the story and the world remained just as compelling. The only think that it missed was the urgency of the first book, The Book of Etta had some of the trademark moments
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book of the The Road to Nowhere series that started with The Book of the Unnamed Midwife. At first I thought the first one was so flabbergastingly hard to read (violent, not glossing anything over) that I felt more numb during this (the shock having worn off perhaps), that the impact is lessened because there is no tie to the old world (ours) anymore. But that changed mid-way through the book (right now I'm actually shaking from rage).

The story is that of Eddy/Etta (Eddy is t
***Note: I received a copy curtesy of Netgalley and 47North in exchange for an honest review.

When I read The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, I thought it was a perfect book all by itself, with no need whatsoever of a sequel. However, after reading The Book of Etta, I think this brought more insight to the world's status after the plague/fever and humankind's different ways to reorganize and carry on.
The Unnamed was Etta’s hero. Not as a Midwife, but as a survivor, a person who could be anything
Alice Lippart
Jun 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Really interesting world and themes, but definitely not as good as the first one in this series.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Make me. I was made. I made me.

Wow. Just wow. What a great book. Deliverance meets Priscilla, Queen of the Desert meets Mad Max meets the end of the world. This deserves every price and award it gets nominated for. I was unsure if I even wanted to read this, after liking Unnamed Midwife so much. But this is probably even better.

The different towns with their varied societies, how fascinating. Awesome world building. There are so many plot bunnies for so many books here. So imaginative.

And horrib
July 2019:

Wow! Again... Just WOW!

July 2018:

“The Unnamed was Etta’s hero. Not as a Midwife, but as a survivor, a person who could be anything they had to be to survive.”

A fantastic sequel to The Book of the Unnamed Midwife !

What a dark, exhilarating journey this series proved to be, one where nobody and nothing is ever safe and you don’t know where you’ll end up in this new terrifying world. I wasn’t expecting to like it this much, and Etta/Eddy is one of the most fascinating characters I’ve
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
I feel a bit ambivalent about my rating. I wasn't completely thrilled with the first half of the book, but I liked the second half better. All of it was pretty depressing and intense, but not as satisfying as I would have liked. The ending was pretty great though.
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfectly decent and absolutely unnecessary sequel in what is a planned trilogy set in the world first introduced to us in The Book of Unknown Midwife, a world where women became scarce and childbirth an almost always fatal proposition. Now some time has passed, there are somewhat more women, childbirth has become more plausible, survivors have established themselves in communities. In one of the surviving colonies Unknown Wife's words are taken seriously, especially by a young raider Eddy, also ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Mar 20, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: audiobook
Well, I'm disappointed to abandon this one, and may give it another try a little later. But I grow weary of dystopian novels that descend into people wandering a bleak landscape, avoiding violence, trading with questionable communities, and making bizarre reproduction decisions.
The Book of Etta is the second book in the Road to Nowhere series. It picks up about a hundred years after The Book of the Unnamed Midwife. You MUST read that first before moving on to TBOE or you won’t understand what’s happening or why.

TBOT Unnamed Midwife was a very realistic and brutal outlook on the aftermath of a plague apocalypse where the bulk of the world’s population died leaving one woman for every ten men. I couldn’t wait to dive into this one to see what that led to. It could really
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars again, though I'm very much still mulling this one over.

The book of Etta picks up where The Book of the Unnamed Midwife left off - the town of Nowhere, years after an illness swept through the United States and turned life as we knew it upside down. We don't go between times in this book, though there are journal entries - and thank goodness the font they used last time is only used for headings this time. My eyes are eternally grateful.

I've got such mixed feelings about this book. Ett
J.A. Ironside
I read The Book of the Unnamed Midwife earlier this year and found it gritty and compelling. I'm a real dystopian fiction nut and my reader's kink (or one of them) is world's ending. Seriously from The Stand to Watership Down, if the whole world is going to shit, I am in there like a greased weasel. The Book of Etta was equally compelling but I found it worked for me less well in terms of structure. I guess the diary entries weren't desperately necessary but I could overlook that. It was more th ...more
Donna Backshall
I absolutely loved Book One of this series, the Audible version narrated by the incredibly talented Angela Dawe, so I jumped right into an audio version of Book Two, hoping for something just as dark, insightful and raw. I can't say that this book held the same awe with me, but I think most of the issue was the narration of the audiobook. I can't put my finger on it, but the reading was The accents were terrible, and there were a bunch of mispronunciations (e.g. "pe-rif-ee-uhl" for p ...more
Ian Mond
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved The Book of the Unnamed Midwife. It was raw and unfiltered, uniquely exploring the issue of female reproductive rights in the middle of an apocalypse. I loved it so much that after reviewing it on my blog I suggested the book to Kirstyn for The Writer and the Critic podcast. I then applauded when it deservedly won the Philip K. Dick award and added volume to that cheer when a mainstream publisher bought the first novel (originally released by an indie press) and contracted author Meg Eli ...more
 Simply Sam ツ
This took a weird turn at about 75% and I'm still not sure it quite sure works for me. I'm not a super spiritual person so (view spoiler) ...more
A relatively quick, fast-paced read that felt like an appropriate sequel and next-in-the-series serial followup to The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, but ... for me ... not much more.

Unlike the first installment, my sense is - and I could be wrong - this one will rise or fall depending upon your openness to, experience with, and level of interest in LBGTQ issues and literature, so - forewarned is forearmed. In that context, I'm probably more partial to ... in the sci-fi, rather than pure dystopia
Karen Kay
I received this ARC from in exchange for a review.

This is the second book in the Road to Nowhere trilogy which takes place 100 years later than book one. This people were much rougher and less caring than the first book, is their behavior supposed to be a natural evolution of time? Gender and sexual behavior was a big part of this book whereas the first book was more about surviving and creating a new society and way of life.

I'm done with the series.
Tracy Robinson
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbr-wishlist
I’m already reading book 3. Can’t stop now. Review later - trust me. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS

I was going to wait until I finished the third book to write this review, but then I worried I would somehow meld parts of both in my mind, and this book definitely deserves its own spotlight.

In The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, the first book in Elison's Road to Nowhere series, the Unnamed is on a journey of survival. Along the way, in a hostile, dangerous world, she remakes or perhaps discovers her o
Monica **can't read fast enough**
I enjoyed Etta's story and all of the turmoil and danger that came with it. I'm looking forward to finishing out the series soon. Adenrele Ojo did an absolutely amazing job with the narration. I will be searching out more stories narrated by her.

Where you can find me:
•(♥).•*Monlatable Book Reviews*•.(♥)•
Twitter: @MonlatReader
Instagram: @readermonica
Facebook: Monica Reeds
Goodreads Group: The Black Bookcase

Jul 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
My suggestion: read BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE and stop there. As much as I loved MIDWIFE, I disliked this sequel in equal measure, and abandoned it half-way through. Far too much emphasis placed on the protagonist's sexual orientation, at the expense of the overall story.
Michelle Morrell
The Book of Etta follows a few generations past "The Book of the Unnamed Midwife" after a plague strikes down pregnant women leaving a male dominated planet and women either venerated as life itself or traded as a commodity. One of the strengths of the first book was the imagining of all the different permutations of society, which is again evident in the sequel.

The first third is introduction, Etta the trader and scavenger who becomes Eddy while on the road, dodging female-traders and rescuing
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an un-biased review.

First things first, The Book of Etta is the second book in a series. Sometimes you can squeak by without reading the first volume in a series, but this is not that kind of book. If you read this review and want to look into it then please visit my review for the first book, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife. Things that happen in Midwife are essential to understanding the world of The Book of Etta.
The Book of Etta is the second in Meg Elison's feminist dystopian trilogy (the third, The Book of Flora, is not out yet and does not even have a page with booksellers). In brief, Earth is hit by a plague that kills many men, most women, and especially women giving birth and their female children. Earth is considerably less populous and more steampunk and dangerous, as technology as we know it squeaks to a stop and resources become scarce. The narrator of Etta, like the first in the series (The B ...more
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Meg Elison is the author of THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE, a post-apocalyptic feminist speculative novel, Tiptree recommendation, and winner of the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award. The sequel to MIDWIFE, THE BOOK OF ETTA, was published in February 2017. Elison is a high school dropout and a graduate of UC Berkeley. Find her online, where she is always saying something:

Other books in the series

The Road to Nowhere (3 books)
  • The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere, #1)
  • The Book of Flora (The Road to Nowhere, #3)

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