With all the changes happening in my life recently and my mental health going up and down, I needed to change my reading. I usually prefer classics and literary fiction, but when life is a bit too much, I crave the more plot-driven stories. Which is why I very happily picked up Wilder Girls by Rory Power and it was everything I hoped it would be and more.
It's the story of an all-girls school on a remote island off the coast of Maine where a year and a half ago there was an outbreak of a horrendous virus referred to as the Tox that affected the girls, the teachers, and the woods and animals surrounding the school. This virus killed most of the pupils and teachers in the school and disfigured the others. Ever since the outbreak, they have been living in isolation and quarantine and are being sent supplies every other day by the
government. The story jumps between the perspectives of two girls: Hetty, newly appointed Boat Shift - in charge of getting the supplies - and Byatt, her best friend who goes missing near the beginning of the novel. On the whole, this story is your standard "subjects in extreme circumstances uncover secret plots, lose trust in authority figures and so have to take matters into their own hands" tale, but the details are very much worthwhile. For one thing, the descriptions are gross in the coolest way: the disfigurements are not pretty and there is oozing of all kinds - do not pick up this book close to mealtimes. It really made it stand out because of this. Not surprising for the book set in an all-girls school, but there was also a queer element to the story and I am always excited about that. In short, this is an entertaining and surprising novel that I definitely recommend.
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#queerliterature - 1 minute ago