Rating: 5/5 Converts to the First Sacrament
Give me the short version: Beverly has just lost her virginity and discovered something incredible about her vagina. Now she's off to fix the world.
Sometimes when you're feeling tired and jaded a story comes along that is so fresh and delightful that it really turns things around. Autumn Christian tackles immense topics from a bizarro fiction premise, but writes with tremendous grounded empathy for the messy, conflicted state of being human.
Even when critical of the foolishness of her characters: such as a young girl defining herself through sexuality, and a woman who thinks she can give and give tirelessly until the world is saved; Christian is never scornful, always bringing her reader back around to the vulnerable core of personhood. People make mistakes. They take the wrong path. They become things they never intended.
I have to admit (and I'm in no way claiming that this was the intent of the author) that when I read the premise about a young girl called Beverly it made me laugh about Beverly Marsh from Stephen King's IT, and that infamous scene with her magic vagina that saves the day. What WOULD a girl logically do once she discovered her vajayjay had secret reality bending powers?
"We're not beholden to our men and children. We don't have to be miserable. Or depressed. Or lost. We can take control. Be happy. Feel alive. In the new world we're going to create, you'll see that all of this is true."