Meh. There's an interesting idea at the heart of this book, a sort of Logan's Run
kind of idea, that asks "What if childless people were considered so worthless by society they just become living organ farms once they hit 50 (for women) or 60 (for men)?" The problem is the execution is so full of logical holes I kept wanting to throw the book at the wall. There are so many my head hurts just trying to think of them all for the purpose of a review.
I was also highly annoyed to be told 15 pages before the end that I had been with an unreliable narrator all along, which just made me shout "Oh, fuck you!" at the book.
And the pacing! My god. The pacing. The book is only 268 pages but it felt like twice that. If I ever read about another fictional person making or eating a cheese sandwich it will be too soon.
I find this all quite sad, because the book started with such promise. Dorrit really had me in the beginning, in those pages before she had to go to the reserve bank unit, when she was at least mentally fighting to stay in her own home with her beloved dog and the man who almost loved her, but didn't come close enough to save her. She was feisty in those first pages, and I identified with her because I can see a possible future for myself in which I'm 50 and I've never had children or a real relationship and I'm alone with no one to care for and no one to care for me. I can see that. So the parts when Dorrit recounts being almost loved by Nils, and when she has to give up her dog, Jock, got to me. I felt those parts. But then she went to the unit and all of the color drained out of the book. As soon as she walks through the doors of the unit, Dorrit seems to lose all of the fight that made her so interesting initially. Everyone in the unit was so
resigned to being "dispensable" that the narrative became like watching paint dry, and I couldn't manage to feel anything as each character gave his or her final donation. I get that it's a dystopia and it's supposed to be grim, but it bored me.
So, in sum: