Monday, September 5, 2011

Commune of Women by Suzan Still

Six women, on a normal morning at LAX airport, each have their own agendas and thoughts running through their minds when chaos erupts. Gunshots ring out and people are running everywhere, with many falling as they die. A obscure door, a breakroom for employees, becomes a sanctuary for some running for their lives.

After the initial pile-up of bodies at the door, a few women help sort them out and Sophia, a large woman, takes charge. They immediately move a vending machine in front of the door to barricade others from charging in, namely the terrorists. They then realize one of the women has been injured, and upon closer examination, shot. Her name is Erika and she is given the only couch in the room. Sophia begins treating her immediately while the other women introduce themselves.

Pearl is an old bag lady who had been panhandling at the airport. She watches everyone and thanks the good Lord for the roof over her head and endless coffee. Heddi is a Jungian analyst who was at the airport to pick up a client, Ondine. Ondine is a wealthy and neurotic artist and Betty is an overweight housewife with a lot of issues.

The women end up spending four days in the breakroom, hoping the FBI rescues them soon. They use toilet paper rolls as pillows, monitor the vending machine for meals and spend their days talking about themselves. They all have their secrets and revealing them also helps them heal themselves.

Meanwhile, in a control room, is Najat, a student who has been abandoned by The Brothers. They lead the terrorist group that she has become a member of. Their goals and beliefs have changed from the initial reason for the group. Najat begins to question her beliefs in those days, watching her name on the television as one of the terrorists keeping hostages at the airport.

Commune of Women is a riveting read. The characters are diverse and their stories will find a place in your heart. From Betty's fascination with fake flowers to Pearl's horrifying and tragic life, there is something uplifting in how they found the strength to carry on. A nightmare situation and how the women came out stronger than when it began, along with compassion and the will to survive, Commune of Women is a captivating read that I highly recommend!

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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