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Review: Brown Girl In The Ring

“Brown Girl in the Ring ” in great book by Nalo Hopkinson.  This book is unapologetically Toronto-centric (and very Canadian).

The best way to describe it is to say it is a complete mashup of dystopian “The Handmaid’s Tale” and the Afro-Caribbean “The Serpent and the Rainbow” with a little magical realism of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” thrown in.

I loved this book.  It takes place in the not-too-distant future where the central core of Toronto is closed off and let to fend for itself – meaning infrastructure such as water, sewer, power, 911 services and basic human needs are shut down.  The outer ring is wealthy and closed off the mostly Caribbean and easter European.

The main character is a young woman with a child who lives with her magical/healer/shaman/nurse grandmother.  She helps her grandmother care for the local sick with a combination of homeopathic and traditional medicine.  Her nemesis lives is a powerful man with a “zombie” for a maid and a posse of criminals.  He is tasked but the outside Premier of Ontario to get her a heart from some unwitting habitants of the Toronto core.

Through a lot of Vodou and spiritual incidents the book climaxes in the warlord’s lair, the CN Tower.  Very cool!


About Gordon

Gordon is a Consultant, Trainer, CAD/GIS Integration Specialist and Web Mapping Integrator for Arrow Geomatics Inc.

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