Dorrit Weger is turning fifty years old in this very unsettling, but well-written novel that takes place in the near future. Since Dorrit is childless and has no one who needs her, the government has deemed that she is dispensable and must go to what is called the Unit. I was expecting the Unit to be creepy and prison-like, but instead it is like a vacation spot offering each “dispensable” their own comfortable apartment. However, each apartment is Orwellian in nature since everyone, including Dorrit, is being watched at all times—even during those most intimate of times.
Click here to see the rest of this review
What we soon discover is that those who are considered dispensable are forced to give their body parts to those who are indispensable, people we don't get to meet. These people must give up any number of body parts and over time will be making the ultimate sacrifice.
Reading this book made me feel very sad since Dorrit becomes attached to a gentleman who eventually disappears without the opportunity for Dorrit to mourn his loss. She also makes other friends who leave the Unit one by one, some who return, but without a particular organ be it a cornea, kidney or some other organ, while others never return.
This novel begs the question, does the indispensable have a right to take what is not theirs from someone who is considered necessary. For instance, if a man has family who is reliant on him but he needs a lung transplant, instead of being put on a list and waiting for it, does the government have a right to take what is not theirs in order to save this man?
This novel, which has been translated from the Swedish, manages to make the reader care deeply about a woman whose demise is apparent, but we are still hoping beyond hope that she can escape her sentence.
Best part of story, including ending:
The drama about the "what if" kept me turning the pages, since it wasn't difficult to imagine that this could occur.
Best scene in story:
Dorrit's relationships and, especially when she deals with the loss of a specific gentleman who gave the ultimate sacrifice. It was sad, but so well-written.
Opinion about the main character:
I wanted Dorrit to fight more for her right to live and not just accept her circumstances, but it seemed so hopeless to her and, in turn, to the reader.