I thought The Blondes would be a different story when I started it. I thought it’d be some lighthearted comedy featuring a tough, fast talking character because of how the synopsis was written. While The Blondes was a different read from the expected, I still really enjoyed it. The story is a bit slow but I would recommend it if you can overlook that and enjoy Schultz’s beautiful writing.
The Blondes is about a grad student named Hazel Hayes who arrives fresh in New York City and discovers that she is pregnant. She’s not just pregnant, she’s pregnant with her professor’s child and her professor is married. Whoops. But that’s when an outbreak of Blonde Rabies starts. Blonde women across cities quickly become infected by a strange form of rabies and start attacking strangers. Hysteria ensues.
I loved the social commentary around the outbreak. Everyone reacts to it differently. Some characters are petrified, some move away to places with fewer blondes, others pretend it’s not happening at all – while the media plays it up to no end. I guess I was disappointed that Hazel doesn’t have much of a reaction but then, what is a pregnant single mother-to-be to do?
Hazel is no hero but I think her role in The Blondes says a lot about the complicated relationships between women. There is often sense of competition, jealousy and fear between us that makes us all seem a little rabid. But there’s always this underlying desire to belong – to have a sisterhood and that’s most apparent when Hazel finds a friend where she would least expect it.
The Blondes is available August 14, 2012.
Related Penguins: Waiting on Wednesday: The Blondes