We Set the Dark on Fire
Tehlor Kay Mejia’s debut YA novel, We Set The Dark On Fire, is about how one woman resolves to crush the patriarchy in her dystopian society. In Medio, where the heroine Daniela is raised, each rich man weds two women: a primera, whose primary objective is to be a partner and “equal” to her husband, making decisions for the good of the household, and carrying out her husband’s vision in society, and a segunda, who is responsible for bearing children and being emotional.
The Medio School for Girls splits women into these two categories and trains them to be perfect wives. Dani is at the top of her class as a primera, with her cool resolve and keen political inclinations. When Dani and her rival at school, Carmen, marry an abusive, controlling husband, they do everything they can to undermine him, including participating in political espionage.
Mejia masterfully weaves an engaging story that is not terribly removed from reality. Notes of misogyny and oppression reign, with an underlying commentary on achievement and illegal immigration. It is an intoxicating concoction for adults and teens alike.
|Tehlor Kay Mejia
|Katherine Tegen Books
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