tw: rape, sexual assault, abuse, drug use, professor-student relationship
Trigger warnings are required for this novel, because it is based on all of those things. That’s where the story comes from, so you can’t read them… don’t read this.
That being said, if you can read those things and want to try a very unique novel, give this one a try.
Raimo doesn’t give any of the characters names; and it is told from the perspective of Him and Her, i.e. the Professor and his Partner. They lived in what is meant to be a utopian sort of community after the rest of the world has crashed, but the community is as bland in it’s desire to have social equality as it is repressive in it’s desire to ensure that it remains a ‘utopia.’
Both Her and Him came from somewhere else with the desire to find a place among all the rules (there are rules about where furniture can be placed and there are rules about what you must contribute to the community) and away from the chaos of home.
The novel begins with a former student of the Professor turning up to tell his Partner that he raped her two years ago and that she is starting the process to have him expelled from the community.
From there, the story of why they wanted to fit in and how they don’t, why they don’t want to fit in and how the do is told as the Professor’s case goes through the self-proclaimed fair system of justice in the community. It’s stark and it’s not easy to read, because of what caused it all but…
…in the end it is a fascinating look at, simply put, how the grass is very rarely greener on the other side.
(Thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for the chance to read this book. I apologize for how long it took for me to get to it.)