Review

Review – Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

I have been a fan of Rivers Solomon’s work since I read The Unkindness of Ghosts back in 2017 (?). Seeing this on NetGalley got me really excited!

This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you.

Sorrowland

by Rivers Solomon

Vern – seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised – flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.

But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of, her body wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes.

To understand her metamorphosis and to protect her small family, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future – outside the woods. Finding the truth will mean uncovering the secrets of the compound she fled but also the violent history in America that produced it

Vern – seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised – flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.

But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of, her body wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes.

To understand her metamorphosis and to protect her small family, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future – outside the woods. Finding the truth will mean uncovering the secrets of the compound she fled but also the violent history in America that produced it

  • the mushrooms?
  • f/f relationships and smut

I enjoyed this a lot. I didn’t know what to expect going in, but with the experience I have from reading Rivers Solomon’s work, I expected it to be somewhat weird. And I got weird 🙂

The story follows Vern who in the beginning is running away from a cult but she is pregnant and she gives birth in the forest. We follow her as she tried to survive and figures out what the cult actually is.

It was a fascinating storyline and I never really questioned any of the twist and turns. Yes, they surprised me a bit but in a good way.

Also, the book was surprisingly smutty. Previous works I’ve read by the author always has some sort of sex scene but this one had 5 at least! All f/f smut apart from one scene which featured ghosts (I promise it makes perfect sense in the book lol). I’m one of those people who needs there to be a reason for any smut. For this book, I had no objection to the smut. Though can I even call it smut? Or is it more just a sex scene? I don’t know.

The world-building was a bit spar in the beginning. I struggled for a long time figuring out when we were. was it 2020? 1980? 1860?1780? I mean when? I would have liked a bit more information in the beginning about this but the confusion did little harm to my enjoyment and I figured it out eventually.

If you are confused too about this I can tell you it’s the present day. Or somewhere in the present day. There are laptops and mobiles etc.

or

I still don’t fully know what happened. But I would like to say it’s sci-fi more than magic.

I can’t say more because it’s a big spoiler and a big part of the story that she is struggling to figure it out.

Vern is the main character and the only narrator of the story. She is very strong and determined but also has flaws that she doesn’t like to admit pr say out loud. I liked her as a character. And I liked her as a narrator.

There were several other characters in this book the ones that stand most out to me are the children, Howling and Feral. Excellent names for wild kids lol!

Yes! the main character Vern is into women. But there is also debates about gender and Vern has always felt like she was “born … wrong” (her words). After that, there is a quick little section about names and naming things etc. very interesting to read.

As with the author’s previous work I loved the writing. It’s direct and to the point without much faff. Sometimes I felt there was a bit much of the telling instead but all in all the balance was good.

I loved the book and I can’t wait to see what the author does next.

Have you read this? What did you think?

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