A review by brentay08
When Women Were Dragons, by Kelly Barnhill


3.5 ⭐️‘a

I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this book. However it wasn't quite what I was expecting. I found the first third of the book to be immensely engaging, whereas the latter half of the book or so I struggled to get through because it felt repetitive at times.

The novel centers around this phenomenon of women "dragoning" and addresses issues such as the patriarchy, misogyny, sexuality, and feminism. This metaphor of women turning into dragons represents the female rage these women are experiencing towards their oppressors. We see this through Alex's family and the way her aunt, mother and the other women around her are treated.

I love that we get to read about a girl who wants to be in academia and has no real dream of becoming a mother or a homemaker in a time where that was absolutely expected of her. She is resilient and the end of her story definitely made me emotional to see where she ended up considering all that she had to overcome. My favorite character was Beatrice hands down. She brought light into the darkness of Alex's life and made me laugh while reading!

When Women Were Dragons is a powerful coming of age story that explores messages and themes that are pertinent to women everywhere.