But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes ...more
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Format: Print book
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Giveaway dates: Feb 25 - Mar 05, 2021
Countries available: U.S.
Rivers Solomon is an author who crafts stories about those marginalised, those seeking a voice, and those who experience inequality and intolerance. The writing is poetic and edgy, as Rivers uses a style to add another dimension to a very unique story. I was really enthused from the outset of Sorrowland to embark on a journey into a challenging plot and a unique set of characters. Rivers takes the opportunity to layer her novel with several contemporary messages on black slavery, anti- ...more
Sorrowland tells the story of Vern, a pregnant teenager who escapes the cult Cainland. Rather than re-enter society she births and raises her babies in the woods. However Vern soon learns that Cainland's powers are far-reaching and more life altering than she could have imagined.
So that's what the book is about in the literal sense. But everything it's saying is in the subtext. And it has a lot to say about a vast number of topics, including race, religion, sexu ...more
This book is a hard one to review given the enormity of what it achieves.
First, I want to express my surprise at the lack of male-gaze in a topic where I would expect it. The author is nonbinary and I can hear that perspective in the writing. The main character, Vern, is a teen mother who was forced into marriage at 15 by a cult her mother joined. It's so easy to fetishize this character, or to reduce her entire identity to motherh ...more
The craft of fiction at its finest.
I did have minor issues with some parts that might be ARC issues (time inconsistency and wording) but the overall story is too rich to not love. Definitely ...more
Sorrowland is a challenging and dark story that follows Vern and her life since she ran away from a place that was meant to be her home. It's a truly wonderful read, with many points along the way where you just have to take a few moments to breathe and gather yourself. It's one of those books tha ...more
Sorrowland definitely followed the same path as The Deep with me. I was confused on so many things that were happening. I also had endless questions forming in my brain too. Some of the answers that I received at the end left a bittersweet feeling in my mouth. I was honestly really sad about some things towards the last couple of pages.. but it feels good to have answers at the same time.
In it, you will meet Vern. Now she i ...more
The story of 15-year-old Vern and her twin children escaping an abusive cult, as she is developing an illness that causes what seem to be hallucinations. In a way this felt like Lakewood mixed with Mexican Gothic but very much written by Rivers Solomon.
I will neve ...more
The first act of this novel is a model of good story-telling. Solomon perfectly brings the reader into Vern's reality as the character seeks to find identity in the wilderness outside the gates of her form ...more
sorrowland is the story of vern, her escape from a commune-turned-cult, her motherhood, her restless, righteous hunt for survival, for safety and for answers. it's also the story of state atrocities, overt & covert, of medical experimentation, of the body horror & body euphoria of transformation, of identity & feeling & being beyond the limits of language, of trauma and fury and also, insistently, tenderness.
on a conceptual level, i ...more
When I first started this book I was really apprehensive about continuing. I am glad I did, but it was nothing like what I expected, to say the least. The writing was phenomenal, it flowed well and was easy to read, but the content at times got confusing. At one point it changed point-of-views for a couple of chapters with no warning whatsoever, something I was able to catch eventually with context clues. I ...more
Wow - Just Wow!
While it's not fair to compare, I was a bit concerned because while I loved An Unkindness of Ghosts, I really wasn't a fan of The Deep - even though it had a great premise and execution. So I was truly hoping this novel would meet or exceed my expectations because my interest was again piqued by the synopsis and my appreciation of the author's writing style and storytelling ability.
I wasn't disappointed - Solomon's story ta ...more
Honestly, I will be shocked if this isn't one of the most popular novels in spring/summer 2021, at least within the sci-fi and LGBT lit circles. Sorrowland is at the same time poignant and hopeful, haunting and soothing, submersing the reader into a gothic America scarred by the very real history of our country.
There isn't much I can say plot-wise without spoiling this novel. It is best expe ...more
Which is to say ...more
E-ARC kindly provided by Netgalley ♥
Gogo said it was the world, not the people, who were broken. People believed whatever they needed to, to maintain a thread of power in a society that systematically stripped them of it.
Trigger warnings include: animal cruelty, self harm, sexual abuse, homophobia, cults, transphobia, ableism, fatphobia, drug abuse, gaslighting, explicit sexual content, mutilation, human experimentation, racism, torture, cannibalism and manipulation. Please proceed ...more
Trigger warnings for the book!!
Racism, homophobia, transphobia, compulsory hetersexuality, religious extremism, cultism, body horror, gore, animal-death/abuse, child-death/abuse, sexual (?) abuse, domestic violence, arranged/forced marriages (kind of), cop brutality (kind of(?)). (Sorry if I forgot anything!)
(if you just want to know what rep we get, please scroll down-down-down to the end of the revie ...more
Some parts of the worldbuilding I struggled with (for example, I wasn't sure how usual or unusual it was for Vern to leave her babies for hours at a time in the woods--are kids unusually tough? Mine would have been dead most likely!) and it took me a long time to grasp what was going on in her settlement (no spoilers).
It's definitely a book where you need to sit back, and let it tell its story in ...more