For readers who like all of the answers, this might be a frustrating experience. Alex's own failed attempts as a child and young adult to get more information are interspersed with a scientist's reports as he tries to research the phenomenon of turning into a dragon and is thwarted at every turn by politicians and other scientists who want to keep everyone in the dark. But it rings very true to that experience of knowing that something bigger is going on and having your questions ignored because you're not old enough, or it doesn't concern you.
Kelly Barnhill's writing is excellent. She clearly depicts the anger of a girl and then a woman who is kept from answers, left without support, and then belittled as she tries to use her intellect and skills. This is obviously a book about feminism and female anger. In America in May 2022, when women are dealing with parenting during a multi-year pandemic, a formula shortage, multiple mass shootings, and the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade, many of us are very angry. Reading When Women Were Dragons can give readers hope that they are not the only ones who are angry; in fact, women have been angry for a very long time. But it also reminds us that we aren't alone, and that we can make bold choices to protect and defend ourselves and the women we love.
When Women Were Dragons
By Kelly Barnhill
Doubleday Books May 2022
Read via Netgalley