Title: Upright Women Wanted
Author: Sarah Gailey
Published: 4 February 2020
I’ve known about this book for a while and was super excited to read it. Yet, it wasn’t what I expected. Esther is a stowaway on a librarian’s book wagon, trying to escape a marriage arranged by her father — a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend, Beatriz. Esther was in love with Beatriz. Beatriz was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is vastly different from the current one, full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.
Esther continues on with the Librarians, who are going to drop her off in Utah. However, the cargo (the women) they are also transporting to Utah are not who they seem. And Esther may have bitten more off than she can chew.
When I picked up this book, I didn’t know it was a novella, which changed my expectation of the story. The story wasn’t bad, but I would’ve like to know more about what happened to get us to the point the character are living in now. Along with how did the librarians go from workers of the State to spies passing out resistance propaganda.
The main part I loved about this book was the representation. Not only is there the romance between Beatriz and Esther (we don’t see it but Esther mentions it), there’s also the relationship between Bet, the Head Librarian, and Leda, the Assistant Librarian, as well as the relationship that develops between Cye, an Apprentice Librarian, and Esther.
There’s not only lesbian relationships represented. Cye is a non-binary character, which is amazing! More non-binary characters, please!
I know there’s no sequel planned for this book, but I can hope that one day there will be. Mostly, I’d like to just know more about this dystopian world because the parts that Gailey creates in this story were so fascinating, I could definitely read more.
Happy Reading Darlings!