Five words from the blurb: escape, repressive, world, women, remote
I loved Haweswater and How to Paint a Dead Man, so have been keen to try some of Sarah Hall’s other books. The Carhullan Army is a dystopian novel, set in the near future. Like her other novels it is set in Cumbria and follows a young women as she decides to leave her home town of Rith (Penrith) and seek out a group of women living outside the controls of the repressive government, on the Lake District Fells.
I loved the beginning of this book. As usual Sarah Hall’s writing was of a very high standard, creating a vivid world packed with oppressive atmosphere.
Unfortunately things went downhill as the book progressed. Once the women on the fells had been found the plot died and I lost interest in what was happening. The focus of the book turned to the relationships of the women, but they hadn’t been introduced in enough depth for me to care about them. Some sex scenes (both lesbian and straight) were thrown in, but they added nothing to the plot.
The ending of the book was very strange. Some fantastic plot elements were reduced to a single paragraph when they would have benefited from being developed into entire chapters. It all felt rushed and a bit of an anticlimax after all the build up.
I’m afraid that this book didn’t add any original ideas to the dystopian genre and although it contained a few fantastic scenes I’d recommend reading Sarah Hall’s other novels instead.
The thoughts of other bloggers:
…gripping from the beginning to the end. Vishy’s Blog
With a bit of a polish it would make a good TV series. The Marple Leaf
Carhullan Army is a quietly powerful novel that lives long in the mind. Follow the Thread