The Girl in the Road: A Novel (Audio) - Monica Byrne

 This was a really weird story set in the near future. I liked it, but it was really weird. The protagonist, Meena, is a woman on the run and quite disturbed. It's told in the first person with time jumps between Meena and another woman who predates her, Miriama. The narrative seems confusing at first, but the women are still mentally working through some complex problems and they are running into people and situations that help them work it out.

What makes the story truly mesmerizing is the writing and the story building. The world has already come to terms with all the things that people complain now. Transgender is totally normal and we find that Meena's main love interest is trans. She's not only totally cool with it but specifically attracted to her spot on the gender scale. She also introduces the idea of transracial in one of her ramblings and how it had been normalized. I think my favorite bit of world building, though, is the shift in power from the US to Africa and the entire concept of the Trail leading there.

By the time I started to put together what was going on with the women, I was pretty far into the story and it enable the climax to unfold gloriously before me. I knew what was going to happen in a general way and all the details were so tangible and I almost couldn't move.

When reflecting on the plot itself, the story is a solid three star but needed to bumped up for the inclusive world-building, the mesmerizing writing style, Meena's liberating connection to her sexuality and all the ways in which the world was otherwise progressive beyond anything I'd seen before. It's a bit of a wild ride, really.