To have a strain of disease that rocks the globe is always the stuff of horrors, the possibility of the beginning of the end for civilization. Yet each beginning of such illness seems to create a frenzy of those who search deep and find a solution, thereby relegating the apocalypse to the background of thoughts one more time.
In The Blondes by Emily Schultz, we are introduced to a funny tongue-in-cheek type of apocalyptic future where one after another horror and death or deaths are caused by blonde women throughout the world. Trying to stem the tide of killings, the research shows the only connection to be the color of the women’s hair. That the women generally die closely thereafter the episode makes for difficulty in finding the cause. The illness does not seem to differentiate between false blondes or the real thing; it also reaches out to light reds and highlights. Martial law is imposed and women rounded up and placed in camps for verification that the disease is not just dormant and ready to come to the surface and create more horror. Each is tested and held as the world turns crazy.
Hazel Hayes becomes the voice of the information, narrating though this crazy psychological conundrum as she tries to decipher if the disease will attack her as well. As the narrative moves further into a strange twisting tale of an epidemic causing women to go to great lengths to conceal their hair, even she is looking at making the change. As stores sell out all the darkest colors, pandemonium erupts, causing even more disaster.
As Hazel finds herself on the run, we find she is pregnant through one of her professors in college; she has very light red hair and is being hunted even as she updates the information. Her life is a bit like those around her but her pregnancy creates a strong sustainability for her, as most are not as afraid of her and are willing to help. While the pregnancy is unwanted, due to the circumstances she is hiding out herself and unwilling to seek an abortion. Yet when she goes in search of her baby’s father, she finds only his wife. Together through mutual dislike they form a bond over the child, moving away and in together for there is a small amount of safety in numbers. What will happen to them as the world begins persecuting blondes and blonde derivatives?
If you enjoy horror and mystery this is an interesting look at how beauty kills. If you enjoy humor you will find yourself at times incredulous at the depths the women will go, and all the way through you will find a story of hope and friendship, but also brutality and abuse.
This would be a fun work for a reading and discussion group. There are pockets of horror and humor that compete evenly or possibly not. Only you can decide.[amazon asin= 978-0385671057&template=iframe image]