Image of The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere)


Image of The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere)

After the phenomenal success of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, it is no surprise to find that The Book of Etta is on par with Elison’s first outing. The worldbuilding and depth of character involved in this novel are fantastic. That said, there is a section of the story where things are just not flowing as they should, where something is just a bit “off.” Without being spoilery, a novel that depends on the gritty reality of daily life fails when it brings in the mystical without explanation. Does this prohibit the story in any way from progressing or engaging the reader? No. Therefore it will not hold back this raving review. But it is something to be aware of. This is otherwise a terrific read.

Etta’s home city of Nowhere has been a protected secret haven for years. Founded by the Unnamed Midwife, Nowhere is a world where the safety of its women and mothers is paramount. The honor of motherhood and childbearing, in itself a great sacrifice and danger, is every woman’s social goal. Etta is not like most women. She becomes a raider rather than a mother, and it causes ripples in the community of Nowhere. However, when those she loves the most are kidnapped, it puts Etta in the uniquely qualified position of their rescuer. Can Etta do it though? And can she do it alone? (47NORTH, Feb., 341 pp., $14.95)

Reviewed by: 
Victoria Frerichs