Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about but haven’t yet read. Most of the time they’re books that have yet to be released, but not always. It’s based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme, which was originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week my Can’t-Wait-For is The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings!
Genres: Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Black bisexual MC
Published on: 9th August 2022
Reminiscent of the works of Margaret Atwood, Shirley Jackson, and Octavia Butler, a biting social commentary from the acclaimed author of Lakewood that speaks to our times--a piercing dystopian novel about the unbreakable bond between a young woman and her mysterious mother, set in a world in which witches are real and single women are closely monitored.
Josephine Thomas has heard every conceivable theory about her mother's disappearance. That she was kidnapped. Murdered. That she took on a new identity to start a new family. That she was a witch. This is the most worrying charge because in a world where witches are real, peculiar behavior raises suspicions and a woman--especially a Black woman--can find herself on trial for witchcraft.
But fourteen years have passed since her mother's disappearance, and now Jo is finally ready to let go of the past. Yet her future is in doubt. The State mandates that all women marry by the age of 30--or enroll in a registry that allows them to be monitored, effectively forfeiting their autonomy. At 28, Jo is ambivalent about marriage. With her ability to control her life on the line, she feels as if she has her never understood her mother more. When she's offered the opportunity to honor one last request from her mother's will, Jo leaves her regular life to feel connected to her one last time.
In this powerful and timely novel, Megan Giddings explores the limits women face--and the powers they have to transgress and transcend them.
I’ve been fascinated by the alignment of womanhood/femininity with witchcraft since I was old enough to understand that was a thing; I will always pounce on a book that plays with that!
(That being said, I always hope that stories which entwine magic with gender remember to leave room for nonbinary people, and I’m immediately curious about whether the men in Giddings’ world can be witches too. But questions like that just make me want to get my hands on a book faster so I can find out the answers!)
This is the first book I’ve been aware of, though, that brings race into the discussion as well – most of those womanhood = witchcraft stories are very, very white, and usually straight as well. Given that witchcraft is the province of the Other, and a Black queer woman is considered (and treated as) distinctly more Other than a white woman is… I’m very intrigued by how this will all play out in Giddings’ hands, and how it will make me think about and question things I usually don’t.
(Not gonna lie: I’m not solely interested in all the highbrow stuff. I’m easy to please, okay, I’ll make grabby-hands at any book that promises me witchcraft, queerness, and worldbuilding!)
This is also the only book I can think of, off the top of my head, that’s exploring Handmaid’s Tale-esque themes through fantasy – usually that kind of story is inevitably sci-fi, and I might be more willing to read sci-fi these days than I used to be, but fantasy will always be my first and greatest love!
In other words: GIVE ME ALL THE QUEER BLACK WITCHES!
I already know The Women Could Fly is going to make my blood boil – that’s kind of a given when you’re writing about prejudice and totalitarianism! – but I have a feeling it’s going to make my heart soar, too.
I’ve already preordered mine – have you ordered your copy yet???
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