While, yes, certainly Piercy's work is dated, its theories of a feminist utopia are firmly set in the perhaps more `idealistic' 70's, this is still by no means a worthless read. In fact there is much to celebrate in her feminist, cum social critique, cum science fiction drama. The story of Connie's abuse at the hands of a pimp, the state and the resultant removal of her daughter, Angelina, into care creates an insight into a world of forced hysterectomies, unequal sexual relationships and discrimination of the poor and ethnic minorities. These are issues still affecting many women in American (where the book is set) and the rest of the world, today, and are therefore still relevant and worthy of analysis. Connie's resultant decent into so called `insanity' forces the reader to question just how mad Connie really is. Is she deserving of a lobotomy that will ultimately erase her memory and her ability to do what she believes is time travel into the future, or is the state interrupting and enforcing control over what they classify as a `dissident', a `rebel'? For insight into the plight of the poor and the often despicable treatment of the mentally ill this book stands alone as an extremely important late 20th century novel, up there with `The Bell Jar', `Girl, Interrupted' and `Prozac Nation.' The sub-plot, set in the future world of a so-called feminist `utopia' equally calls the reader to question just how utopian and improved the conditions really are. Certainly in comparison to Connie's existence in a sexist, discriminatory America were gender and class are definers of social standing, the future Connie finds herself exploring offers many improvements. Ultimately however, in a society today, were we are so forcefully defined by gender and sexuality (and not always in a belittling or derogatory manner - why shouldn't women after all celebrate what they believe is their innate womanliness - what ever that may be?), Piercy's utopia will certainly be found to be wanting by many of its readers. The sexless society she creates has its pros and its cons. It forces the inhabitants to define one another as human beings rather than as men and women. The birthing machine certainly frees women from the pains of childbirth, but ultimately robs them of the sometimes innate desire to bear children in a similar way to Connie's forced hysterectomy. Furthermore for want of a better expression the `free-love' community of the utopian future is problematic. In the 70's this concept represented to some the possibility of freedom from so-called `Compulsory Heterosexuality' i.e. man and wife partnerships, thus allowing women more sexual freedom and opportunities to explore their sexualities. However in practice these concepts are proved to not be without their flaws, as they are certainly no barrier to falling in love with someone who ultimately one cannot have a life long relationship with in a community where everyone belongs to everyone else. The guide Luciente painfully expresses this to Connie on one of her latter visits. Not without its flaws, but perhaps more thought provoking for them, Marge Piercy's novel will not leave you untouched, or unshaken, and there is much to think about in her richly dense analysis of society, feminism, gender, mental illness and technology.