The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
Publication date: October 1, 2015
Genres: Literary Fiction
She hears her own thick voice deep inside her ears when she says, ‘I need to know where I am.’ The man stands there, tall and narrow, hand still on the doorknob, surprised. He says, almost in sympathy, ‘Oh, sweetie. You need to know what you are.’
Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of nowhere. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a ‘nurse’. The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world? Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl’s past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue — but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves.
The Natural Way of Things is a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted. Most of all, it is the story of two friends, their sisterly love and courage.
*MY BOOK REVIEW*
DISCLAIMER: This book/eBook being reviewed was purchased independently and is a part of my private library. I have in no way been compensated for this review.
I picked up this book after having several people recommend it. All of them had said they couldn’t put the book down. Was this the case for me? Yes, it was.
While I couldn’t put The Natural Way of Things down, it was still a difficult read. The content matter is tough to digest, dealing with the abduction of several women and their subsequent horrendous treatment. however, it is certainly worth the read.
You never quite find out exactly why the women were abducted beyond the fact they were being punished for their discretions. However, there comes a point in this novel where the reader no longer cares why they were taken. Instead you become completely involved in their survival. It is not normal for me to not even care for the why leading up to a story’s events, but somehow Charlotte Wood managed to do it and for that I am eternally grateful as it adds a dimension to the story that is normally missing from these sorts of novels.
Overall, I am giving The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood 5 out of 5 stars.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels and a book of non-fiction, and for three years edited The Writer’s Room Interviews magazine. The Natural Way of Things won the 2016 Indie Book of the Year and Indie Fiction Book of the Year prizes, was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, and longlisted for the Miles Franklin. It will soon be published in the UK , North America and Europe.