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A book by Lesley Hauge

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A very interesting concept

  • Jun 7, 2010
Keller lives a strict and controlled life with all women in Foundland. They are each assigned tasks, and are expected to carry them out in perfect order and with complete obedience in order to avoid the major pitfalls of women in the past that led to humanity's downfall. Keller is a novice Tracker, and spends her days learning how to hunt and kill the enemy: men. But when Keller the rest of the novices in her patrol find a dwelling from the Time Before, Keller's life is forever changed. In a bedroom of a teenage girl from long ago, the girls learn of beauty and dolls and make-up, and men who aren't the enemy. But these discoveries are dangerous...there are those in their world who would do anything to make sure that these discoveries are covered up, and the girls punished. For the first time in her life, Keller must decide where she stands, and if she is being told the truth.

Nomansland provides a very interesting concept with science fiction and dystopian elements, but at times Hauge's world is so shrouded in mystery that it is hard to get a grasp on what is really going on in Nomansland. Keller's world is roughly shaped: lessons, chores, and training leave little room for much else, and her movements are carefully monitored, yet she manages to sneak away and have quite a bit of freedom. Hauge does attempt to explain how the women continue to reproduce and what their childhoods are like, but the lack of details keeps Keller's world from being tangible to readers. Keller's discovery of the "traitors" in her midst and her feelings of confusion and distrust as she begins to understand her society and the sacrifices they make to maintain their life style is interesting, and the decisions she is forced to make are hard, but force her to stand on her own, which is gratifying to see. Though Hauge's world is thoughtful and emotional (despite how much the society would have the women smother their feelings), Nomansland feels lacking just a bit, and leaves readers with a lot of questions and an ending with just enough of a resolution to leave wondering, "Is this it?"

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September 09, 2010
Now that's a concept I've never heard of in a book! A world without men, hm, I'm not so sure I would like that - at all! ;) Thanks for the review!
More Nomansland reviews
review by . May 19, 2010
Nomansland is a pretty good story about a group of Amazon-type women who live in a postapocaliptic world. Their world is one which is tightly governed by rules and restrictions. Girls strictly are raised with specific tasks in mind. There are the Housekeepers, Librarians, Cooks, Mothers, etc. As many have mentioned, this is similar to Lois Lowry's book The Giver. But, I think this book is more reminiscent of Lowry's Gathering Blue, the second one in the 'series' and Ayn Rand's Anthem in its largely …
review by . April 28, 2010
Lesley Hauge's "Nomansland" delivers a post-apocalyptic punch meant to deliver a message to pre-teen and teenage girls regarding modern lifestyles.     Depicting a world where some global catastrophe has rendered the progression of what we now know and live impossible, the community called Nomansland formulated by extreme measures of survival consists of only women--man-hating/fearing horseback riders and archers that vaguely suggest the Amazons of Greek mythology. Ruled by a …
About the reviewer
Tirzah Price ()
Ranked #277
I have a blog called The Compulsive Reader on which I review Young Adult novels, interview authors, post book trailers, and hold contests. I'm interested in anything YA book related!
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Gr 7 Up–Keller is a teenage tracker-in-training in a future dystopia where no men are allowed. All vanity has been abolished, and even friendships are forbidden. Keller is alienated and, at first, mildly dissatisfied with her hardscrabble existence. She and her fellow novices find a buried tract house from the time before, and discover makeup, fashion magazines, and flattering clothing. Meanwhile, their elders are hot on the trail of this discovery, as objects from the time before are coveted as talismans of power. And that's about it–the plot is dry and eventless. Hauge is a fine writer and has a light hand with minor characters, and the nasty ones are especially well wrought. The sober, economical prose sets a steady pace and dismal mood. However, Keller's arc from discomfort to rebelliousness is more show than tell. Unfortunately, this stock combination of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale (Random, 1989) and Lois Lowry's The Giver (Houghton, 1993) isn't half as emotionally affecting as either novel. In fact, the dystopian stereotypes–bad weather, possible Others beyond the borders, colorless everything–dilute an otherwise fine narrative. No amount of solid prose can save this book from itself. Teens waiting for Suzanne Collins's Mockingjay (Scholastic, 2010) won't find much distraction here.Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
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ISBN-10: 0805090649
ISBN-13: 978-0805090642
Author: Lesley Hauge
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
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