Pat Barker writes with such empathy. Imagine you are a high-born girl, married at 15 to some man of your father’s choosing. You become Queen of your husband’s dominion. Then the fortunes of war turn against your husband, and you find yourself under siege, huddled with other women and children, listening to the sounds of your city falling. Then the foreign men barge in and you brace yourself for the worst.
This is how Pat Barker’s THE SILENCE OF THE GIRLS begins. We witness the powerlessness of women against male aggression, very timely in the age of “Me too” and the unsavory revelations connected to Brett Kavanaugh, Jeffrey Epstein, Donald Trump and others. We like to think we have made progress. In many ways we have. But all too often, young women find themselves prey to greedy men.