Freiman, Lexi (Author)
Jul 2018. 368 p. Ecco, hardcover, $26.99. (9780062699732).
Freiman’s coming-of-age satire is a humorous and bawdy skewering of identity politics. Ziggy, 15, attends a prestigious Australian all-girls private school, where she struggles with having a flat chest, not being popular, and confusing sexual fantasies that often involve Nazis (her very personal way of working through her Jewish family’s Holocaust stories). She doesn’t really have friends until two of the school’s other outcasts take her under their radical-feminist wings, a fantastic alternative to her mother’s more traditional-gender-role feminist leanings. The girls’ firm grasp of PC language mixed with their privilege and lack of diversity exposure lead to ridiculous and hilarious conversations about who among them is the most oppressed. Ziggy is a wonderful character to lead the satirical charge, as she’s convincingly just trying to figure out who she is and how she belongs in the world. Her earnestness offsets the over-the top humor (aÌ la TV’s Kimmy Schmidt). Although the novel loses some steam at the halfway point, Freiman’s assured writing carries readers through to the surprisingly heartwarming end.