Saturday, October 27, 2018

Quick pick book review: Vox, by Christina Dalcher

  • Opening lines: If anyone told me I could bring down the president, and the Pure Movement, and that incompetent little shit Morgan LeBron in a week's time, I wouldn't believe them. But I wouldn't argue. I wouldn't say a thing.

    I've become a woman of few words.

    Tonight at supper, before I speak my final syllables of the day, Patrick reaches over and taps the silver-toned device around my left wrist. It's a light touch, as if he were sharing the pain, or perhaps reminding me to stay quiet until the counter resets itself at midnight. This magic will happen while I sleep, and I'll begin Tuesday with a virgin slate. My daughter, Sonia's, counter will do the same.

    My boys do not wear word counters.
  • Reason I picked up the book: I had heard about Vox when I saw another friend reading it, and it looked really good - I love dystopian literature. 
  • And what's this book about?
  • Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

    On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

    This is just the beginning.

    Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

    But this is not the end.

    For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

  • Recommended for: Anyone who enjoys dystopian lit, or who likes The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu - this reminded me of what life could have been like pre-Handmaid's Tale (same type of world).
    • Favorite paragraph: I stood in my kitchen, wanting to explain, careful not to, while he told me we'd marched one too many times, written one too many letters, screamed one too many words.

      "You women. You need to be taught a lesson," he said, and hung up.

      I didn't call her again to ask how they had silenced her, whether they had stormed into her practice or whether they had invaded her kitchen, if they had loaded her into a van along with her daughters and spelled out the future inside a dim gray room before fixing shiny wristbands on each of them and sending them home to cook and clean and be supportive Pure Women. To learn our lesson.
      • Something to know: I do think that the author borrowed a bit from Handmaid's Tale - LGBTQ women end up in work camps (same as on the show) and women that misbehave or engage in sex before they are married (or, if they cheat on their husbands) are sent to them as well. The story is also extremely timely for our current political atmosphere and administration.
      • What I would have changed: The beginning of the story was very interesting, but then it focuses more on the affair that Jean had with a work colleague, especially when she and him are on the same team for a project that they are helping the president with.
      • Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.
      • Where can I find this book? Click here to purchase on Amazon.
      *Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

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