Mindy McGinnis “The Female of the Species”

A thought provoking, painful but achingly honest novel from the Edgar Award-winning author, exposing aspects of the so called rape culture (a sociological concept for a setting in which rape is normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality; behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, slut-shaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by sexual violence, or some combination of these – Wikipedia) and all the many faces it manifests in everyday life.

The whole story revolves around Alex Craft, a senior high school student,  who has lost her sister Anna three years ago through brutal rape and murder. The story is told by three persons: Alex, her friend Peekay and Alex’s boy-friend Jack. These three perspectives somehow ease the atmosphere of the dark story, adding friendship, romance and belief into the goodness of human nature.

Talking honestly about severe themes, the novel is not meant for everybody, still this aspect makes the book so addicting to read. The story makes you contemplate about the nature of violence: how grief, pain and hopelessness find their way out through violence, where are the roots of violence or is it justified, where is the balance between love and hate, what about the notions „good“ and „bad“. The novel balances on the borderline of love and hatred, goodness and violence. And this borderline is fragile. This is an achingly honest exploration of human nature and things that happen in everyday life. The notions „good“ and „bad“ stop to exist after reading this novel. A novel you can´t forget easily, cutting deeply inside and leaving no illusions.

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New York, 2017

Check from the e-catalogue ESTER.



Eha Elmi
Department of Literature in Foreign Languages



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