In a toxic society that dictates which women are allowed to raise children, one woman defiantly risks everything to become a mother in Sophie Mackintosh's brilliant and heartbreaking sophomore novel Blue Ticket.
There are two types of women: those with white tickets raise families, and those with blue tickets do not. Deemed unsuitable for motherhood, Calla, with a blue ticket, is encouraged to indulge in sexual promiscuity. But after a lifetime of being told she is flawed--"there was lack in my brain, my body, my soul"--the pull of motherhood becomes unbearable, and Calla becomes pregnant illegally, forcing her on the run. As a fugitive she is confronted not only with her own convoluted emotions, but also with the poisonous contradictions of a misogynistic society that simultaneously tells her to exploit herself and calls her a slut for doing so. "Motherhood was the last perversion.... It was the only one closed off to me." Calla leaves behind the known world for the dangers beyond, determined to protect her unborn child any way she can.
Blue Ticket is raw and painfully candid about the biology and emotions surrounding pregnancy and the often toxic modern perceptions about women, sexuality and motherhood. Mackintosh (The Water Cure) depicts Calla's psychological struggle to reconcile her supposed "badness" with a longing for a baby that "every cell in [her] body" tells her is right with an abrupt intimacy that is both beautiful and painful to witness. Blue Ticket is an eye-opening and powerful allegory of feminist choice and what it means to be a mother, a modern classic in the making. --Jennifer Oleinik, freelance writer and editor