A typical anti-motherhood and pro-euthanasia narrative, Weaver’s novel almost makes the reader happy that the godforsaken eponymous main character commits suicide at novel’s end.
Weaver’s novel traces the life of Billie Girl from babyhood to old age. Abandoned by her parents, raised by transgender “mothers”, manipulated by a boy who wanted her to masturbate him, and living with various men who use her as their sexual objects, one would hope that a woman who undergoes these abuses would realize that she has the opportunity to rise above her trauma, to love life, and to help others.
Unfortunately, Billie illustrates the opposite, and so the novel repeats a common plot of women with tragic lives who perpetuate tragedy in fellow human beings. Billie does not change her life’s trajectory from being a victim to overcoming bad influences in her life. She will continue to slither from one man to another, never considering that marriage is a sacrament. The sexual activity she engages in with the various men in her life is just something to do to occupy her time. Billie’s philosophy is succinctly offered in the ambiguous claim that “We do what we have to do” (132).
Most distressing, however, is Billie’s adoption of standard anti-life ideas. She never wanted her stillborn child because “I had never wanted to be a mother” (132). Moreover, like other novels with characters who deny motherhood or who support abortion, Billie’s attitude toward the elderly is explicitly anti-life. She calls the elderly in the nursing home where she resides “other old, useless, decomposing human beings—most of them not in their right minds” . The cavalier way in which she describes killing people is remarkable. The tortured syntax of saying that “The next two residents I sent on their way” (225) is brutal, yet a literary gem. Killing a nursing home resident because “She had pooped in the bed” (228) almost gives the reader delight, if not a sense of divine justice, in knowing that such an evil person as Billie eventually commits suicide.
Billie thus has a didactic function to perform for contemporary readers. Pro-life readers can use Weaver’s novel to be vigilant against those who disrespect human life, whether the life of others or their own.
This was the first of five novels I examined for a presentation before a scholarly audience on recent transgender literature and the right-to-life issues. My recommendation is that it is neither worthwhile nor necessary to purchase this novel (especially not from Amazon, which supports pro-abortion politicians), but pro-life readers may want to borrow it from their local libraries instead.