VidaPosted: September 12, 2019
PM Press, 433 pages
Kindle edition $9.99
purchased on sale for $3.51
It had been many decades since I had read a Marge Piercy novel, and I thought I was due. Piercy is not a literary novelist by any means, but she has her niche and her following. While she has written historical fiction and speculative fiction she is best known and most appreciated by her followers for her contemporary fiction about feminism and political activism in the sixties and seventies.
Vida, originally published in 1980, is classic Piercy. The title character is an activist from the sixties who has had to go underground due to her bombing attacks on military-related targets. The novel moves back and forth between her activist years in the sixties and her fugitive years in the seventies. While the book describes her actions as a leader of an anti-war organization and chronicles her constant travels, requests for money, and pleas for shelter, the novel deftly portrays her many relationships. And she does have many: her ex-husband, her current lover, the many members of the Movement (always with a capital M), and especially her sister. The relationships resonate as real and believable and the plot is an effective page-turner.
In the end Piercy leaves one hanging. Loose ends are not tied up and much is left unresolved. But the journey to get there makes for engaging and entertaining reading.