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This book was translated by Sasha Daucus, whose profession is that of midwife.  The book is focused on menstruation, which the author refers to as ‘Dragontime.’ It’s Ms. Francia’s premise that from ancient times, men were jealous of women’s menstruation because with it, women held the power of life. She refers to her own family as a ‘Dragon Family’ because there were no men in her family.

 

The book is a compilation of short stories, but the author is not a storyteller.  The stories are simply told in the manner of one relating facts and this reader always felt something was missing. What might have been interesting reading became simply information on the page.

 

After each story, Ms. Francia relates the events of the story to blood use or menstruation. At times, I think she reaches to make that connection.

 

For instance, she relates the story of Cinderella, equating the color of Cinderella’s dress, which the story says is “the color of fire”, to menstrual blood.  The part where Cinderella loses her shoe, the author equates to Cinderella losing her virginity to the Prince. When the Prince presents the shoes to Cinderella’s step-sisters and they cut their feet trying to fit them into the shoes, Ms. Francia states that it means the step-sisters were menstruating and since Cinderella’s foot fit the shoe without a drop of blood being shed, it shows she is pregnant. 

 

However, the book does contain information on rituals, journeys, dances, brews and exercises to be used during a woman’s menstrual period and many women might find these useful.

 

~review by Jae

Author: Luisa Francia

Ash Tree Publishing, 1991

pp.138, $9.95

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