Braided Lives is difficult to read as feminist canon. The women are more often frenemies than friends, and the main female friendship is full of jealousies and betrayals. They help each other survive, but help with survival is not enough to cite as positive female/female representation. Braided Lives is about as feminist as your average primetime soap, except for one pivotal factor: accounts of abortion in America during an era when it was illegal, and the social mores that enabled this dating hellscape. That is the political glue holding this novel together, and these glimpses into a society with only primitive access to abortion make the book well worth the read.
At the root of the abortion issue is the misogyny permeating every interaction between the women and the men they date. Read More