Sorrowland: #bookreview


If you are ready for an LGBT Gothic Science Fiction novel, then Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon will be ready for you on May 4, 2021. It is like no other book that I have read before, which is saying something. I have read a lot of books.

The book begins as Vern has just escaped from Cainland, a religious and political commune. People may call it a Black Nationalist commune with a focus on religion. I don’t know if the Black Panther Party would approve of this commune or the leaders. Many of the children at the commune are named after leaders of the Black Panthers. If I remember correctly, Vern was named after Vernon Johns, a civil rights leader.

At the beginning of Sorrowland, Vern has just given birth to twins, Howling and Feral. She is also on the run from someone that has been sent to bring Vern back to Cainland. Vern isn’t sure who the person is so she calls him or her “The Fiend.” Vern would rather live in the woods with two newborns than return to Cainland. She manages to fend off the fiend and the wolves for a long time. Finally, she decides it is time to find her friend, Lucy, who also escaped from Cainland. Vern travels with her children and finds Lucy’s family, Aunt Bridget and cousin, Gogo. Bridget and Gogo take in Vern and the children.

Vern has noticed that her body is changing in unusual ways. She’s becoming stronger and faster. Is she turning into a supernatural being? Although the children are young, they notice the changes in their mother.

Vern suspects that the leaders at Cainland are behind the changes. It’s possible, isn’t it?!

Howling and Feral are interesting characters. I’m not sure if they are boys or girls. They are amazing humans. Both children are so smart and resourceful. Howling and Feral are growing so fast. I’m not sure if they are growing faster than usual or if it’s just the way the timeline works.

Sorrowland Recommendation

If you like science fiction or gothic fiction with nonbinary characters, then you might love Sorrowland as much as I did.

If you are not a fan of African-American history, social issues, or just a hater of people of color and the LBGT community, then you are not ready for this book yet.

Extra Info:

Side note: The following excerpt is from Wikipedia. I highly recommend learning about the Black Panther Party.

The Black Panther Party first publicized its original “What We Want Now!” Ten-Point program on May 15, 1967, following the Sacramento action, in the second issue of The Black Panther newspaper.[55]

  1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
  2. We want full employment for our people.
  3. We want an end to the robbery by the Capitalists of our Black Community.
  4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
  5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present day society.
  6. We want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
  7. We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people.
  8. We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
  9. We want all Black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black Communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.
  10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.
  • I received this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Obviously.
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3 responses to “Sorrowland: #bookreview”

  1. selizabryangmailcom Avatar

    Very, very interesting interweaving of important topics in this book!

    I can’t believe–but I can–that people were yelling about policy brutality in the ’60s…. and are STILL doing it today, and nothing has changed. Except that, I think, people’s eyes were opened for real, en masse, this past year…..

  2. […] Sorrowland is one of my favorite books. It is very unique. […]

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