In April of 2016, I started reading “The Last Girl” by Joe Hart https://amzn.to/31j4dUU . In September of that year, I read the sequel, “The Final Trade” https://amzn.to/2RMTnU5. I knew there would be a bit of a wait for the third installment and just now discovered it was out, “The First City” https://amzn.to/2RGON9A, which I just downloaded to my kindle.
“A mysterious worldwide epidemic reduces the birthrate of female infants from 50 percent to less than 1 percent. Medical science and governments around the world scramble in an effort to solve the problem, but twenty-five years later there is no cure, and an entire generation grows up with a population of fewer than a thousand women.”
“The Last Girl” is book one of the Dominion series by Joe Hart. It was offered to me on a Kindle monthly deal and I ordered simply by the name, knowing nothing more it than just the title. And I’m glad that I did order. From the very beginning, the story grabbed my attention.
It’s possible one of the reasons this book immediately appealed to me was due to reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood at the time. I read the Atwood book back in the 80’s when it first came out and after 30 years, I had only remembered the highlights, so I was reading it again. Both books have similar storylines and very strong female lead characters who are forced against their will into a life they didn’t want. Women, especially young women, are told how special they are, how much they need to be protected to fulfill their biological purpose, and are basically held prisoner in order to do so. They only have one official purpose and that’s to procreate in a world where the birth rate has dropped so drastically, that the future of “mankind” is at risk.
While reading both books and listening to the political rhetoric being spewed these days, I started to wonder if our own world was destined for the kind of world in these books. It seems if it was up to many religious and political men in this country, women should lose whatever rights they fought hard to get. First their own choices in reproductive rights down and then ultimately losing their right to vote. In these books, all women have lost both, as well as the opportunity to work and control their own money.
It seems to me, that if it was completely up to conservative Christian men, women would “not [be permitted] …. to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” ~ 1 Timothy 2: 12. “ They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:34. “… women will be saved through childbearing — if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” ~ 1 Timothy 2: 15.
The men in both of these books have these mentalities.
In both books, women are not allowed to read or write, although in The Last Girl, the women imprisoned are allowed to read approved textbooks in their brainwashing lessons. They are all told lies about the rest of the world. No enjoyment in their lives. Have no hope for the feature. But in both books, each lead character dreams of a better life and makes plans for a way to escape believing death is preferable to a life of nothing.
Both books intrigued me and terrified me. Both are futuristic but feel current like time is moving backward instead of forward. Some of the events happening right now feel like they are the evolution of both books. Neither book gave me a feeling of hope but felt more like a warning.