Bingo Square: Bodies, Bodies (lots of talk about the female body and menopause, but also dead bodies)
Three middle aged women, tired of being ignored and facing hideous sexism, band together to take on a serial killer. Nessa hears the call of dead girls, coming from near the ocean. She was told she had this gift when she was a child, and it would surface when she was much older. Now she can’t rest until she helps these lost souls. Jo’s hot flashes are almost literally burning her up and bringing with them a strength she didn’t know she had. Harriett, recently cast aside by her husband, has taken to gardening, annoying the local homeowner’s association with her weeds. But lurking within the plants and bushes are those which can heal, and harm. Together the three use their new powers and friendship to take on men in the local rich area of town, who believe they can get away with anything. Danger will come very close to home, but they can handle it, right?
This is a really enjoyable revenge fantasy. Kinda wish it could happen. It’s a harsh look at our current world and how women and girls can be cast aside, especially if they aren’t white or come from a poorer class. How complicit law enforcement can be, even if they’re not actually involved in the crimes, but looking away and not helping those who need it most. There are awful but truthful feeling depictions of men, stealing women’s ideas and taking credit, to the point they’ve convinced themselves it’s all from them. Rudeness, bullying, objectifying, and ultimately killing women, because they can and know they’ll get away with it. It’s nice to see them held accountable, even if it’s only in fiction.
I also really enjoyed the friendship dynamic between the three women. Is Harriett maybe a little too powerful/knows it all? Sure. Do I think Jo’s eleven year old daughter would act the way she does to a seriously traumatising event? Not really. And it was clear to see who the ‘big bad’ was from early on, but none of that took away from my enjoyment of it as a whole.