Friday, May 27, 2011
Gibbon's Decline and Fall
By Sheri S. Tepper
A group of girls become friends in college and form a club called the Decline and Fall Club in which they promise never to allow themselves to decline and fall. One of the girls, Sophy, seems mysterious and different but the other girls never figure out her secret.
Forty years passes. The women still get together for an annual Decline and Fall gathering. They have been successful, for the most part, in their lives. They have various professions: a doctor, a lawyer, a scientist, a society wife, and a nun. And Sophy, who fights for women's rights and to protect abused women.
Then the group gets word that Sophy has committed suicide. Of all of them, she was the least likely to do such a thing. But in the years after her death, she seems to be haunting the women. They hear her voice, they get glimpses of her. Maybe there is something she wants them to do for her.
Meanwhile, an ominous new political force is becoming a major player in the US political scene. Posing as a fundamentalist, moral majority, ultra-conservative group, they appeal to those who long for the good old days when men were men and women knew their place: barefoot and pregnant. Leading the group is a handsome, charismatic man who has come up with a solution for what he calls "the woman problem."
This was an OK story. I couldn't buy its main premise though. I just don't believe that men hate women enough to do to them what was posed as the solution to the "woman problem" in the story. Also, it just seemed to go on and on with too much of it about the young teen in prison for killing her baby. It is basically a feminist story with science fiction elements.