"If everything women do is invisible, people have an excuse to erase them." Andrea Dunlop (We Came Here to Forget) weaves this theme across the stories of the three women, connected via the man they (used to, or maybe still) love, at the center of Women Are the Fiercest Creatures.
"This is what a feminist looks like?" writes a journalist in a scathing feature article about Jake Sarnoff, "a straight white male tech impresario longing to distance himself from any of the negative associations with those identity labels," and the social media app he's about to make public. She's right to question him. Jake's actions speak louder than his words: he's left Anna, his first wife and mother of his two teen sons, and married Jessica, a much younger Instagram influencer now expecting their child. Also in the mix is Sam, his college sweetheart, with whom he had a brief affair again somewhere in the midst of his marriage to Anna. It's not just Jake's interpersonal relationships that are messy but also the ways in which he draws these women into supporting him and his business: "For years, his selfishness had been burnished by the various people in his life... orbiting around him like planets, always subject to his pull." As the women in Jake's life break free of his pull, they discover, individually and as a collective, their fierceness. And while Jake's comeuppance at the end of the smart and provocative Women Are the Fiercest Creatures feels predictable and a little tidy, it is also immensely satisfying to see these nuanced, imperfect women thrive in a male-dominated world. --Kerry McHugh, freelance writer