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Widowland by C. J. Carey []



In this alternate history, Germany and Great Britain are thirteen years into an alliance that began with the 1940 murder of George VI and his family in favor of the rule of Edward VIII, remorseless pawn of The Leader. Women are classified into six categories based on their usefulness to men and, by extension, the empire. Any sign of rebellion or resistance is punishable by interrogation, torture, and death. Rose Ransom is a Geli, the most elite class of women, and has a job with the culture ministry editing literature of the past to match the current values of the regime. When inflammatory quotes from forbidden texts begin to appear as graffiti, she is asked to infiltrate a Widowland community, where childless women over 50 are relegated and the insurgent messages appear to originate. The subversion must be stopped before The Leader arrives for the coronation of King Edward and Queen Wallis, and Rose is expected to act in the best interests of the Protectorate. Carey builds a chillingly believable setting and society that feels relevant now.

For fans of historical fiction, women’s stories, alternate history (it’s all three!) and readers looking for The Handmaid’s Tale by way of Fatherland.

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