After her first bleed, Calla’s father drops her off in a nondescript building to receive her ticket. She doesn’t know what to expect other than she will receive a ticket as they keep people woefully ignorant. Calla’s is blue, and they send her out into the world after an unknown procedure with little more than what is on her back. We learn through time, as Calla does, that women who receive a blue ticket lose their right to give birth. In the group of girls on the day Calla receives her ticket, 1 in 4 of them receive a white ticket. A ticket to a more prosperous life that includes having a family.
Mackintosh has purposefully not given us Calla’s location, nor how far into the future this takes place, but we know that there are border countries that do not practice this ticket system. We see women shape their lives based on their ticket and women who want a life other than what their ticket dictates. We see how the ticket system has created a divide, and that a woman with a blue ticket is fair game for others.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, but it wasn’t what the reader was given. That’s not to say that the prose isn’t beautiful because it is stunning. It’s often hard to judge a book by the blurb. This one is accurate, but there is a depth of story, told in abridged sentences, that comes about only after reading it. Mackintosh focuses on the heartbreak of women caught in a situation where free will is stolen from them. It’s unsettling, and in that, the author has achieved her goal. Thank you Doubleday Books for sending this along.