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A piercing social commentary reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Octavia Butler—from the acclaimed author of Lakewood—about the unbreakable bond between a young woman and her


“Born of a radical imagination and executed with piercing elegance and skill, The Women Could Fly recalls legendary works of dystopian fiction but casts a spell all its own. Giddings is a rare and utterly original voice bridging the speculative and the all-too-real.”—Alexandra Kleeman, author of Something New Under the Sun


“It can be tempting to read The Women Could Fly, which comes in the shadow of the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, and call the book timely. But the relationship at the heart of this novel—between Jo and her mercurial mother—is much closer to timeless.”—New York Times


Josephine Thomas has heard every conceivable theory about her mother’s disappearance. That she’d been kidnapped; murdered; had taken on a new identity; started a new family. Most troubling of all was the charge that her mother had been a witch, for in a world where witches are real, peculiar behavior can raise suspicions and result in a woman—especially a Black woman—being put on trial for witchcraft.


But fourteen years have passed since her mother’s disappearance, and now Jo is finally ready to let go of the past. Yet her future is in doubt. The state mandates that all women marry by the age of thirty—or enroll in a registry that allows them to be monitored, effectively forfeiting their autonomy. At twenty-eight, Jo is ambivalent about marriage. With her ability to control her life on the line, she feels as if she has never understood her mother more. When she’s offered the opportunity to honor a request from her mother’s will, Jo leaves her regular life to feel connected to her mother one last time.


In this powerful and timely novel, Megan Giddings explores the limits women face—and the powers women have to transgress and transcend them.

Giddings, M. | The Women Could Fly

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