Author: Christina Dalcher
Publish Date: August 21, 2018
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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.
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.
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."
My Two Cents:
"Vox" is the story of Dr. Jean McClellan, a linguist who has always loved her profession. When a new government comes to power in the United States, it seeks to regulate the unruly women. Women are now expected to be subservient to men and to right the evils of being too independent, too outspoken, too everything. All females, even young girls, will have to wear monitors to count how many words they speak in a day. They are only allotted 100 words a day and if they go past that, they will get a very painful electric shock. Women are no longer allowed to travel or to work or to vote. They must be devoted only to home, family, and their husbands.
Oh, the idea of this book was so frightening and I am so glad that it seems unrealistic at this point (thank goodness!!!). But the thing about speculative fiction is that it does make you think "what if" even if the action of the book thankfully seems far away. Being a fiercely independent woman, this book made me think a lot about how lucky we are that we have the rights we have but as this book shows, complacency should never, ever be an option.
Jean is a wife to Patrick, who works at the White House and seems content to follow orders even if it hurts his wife and his young daughter. Jean is also the mother to a teenaged son, tween twin sons, and a younger daughter. In this book, we get to see a full transformation of Jean. She starts out as someone who doesn't think voting is that important. She doesn't speak up when her rights first start getting rolled back. She only wants to speak up when it's too late and the power women has is restricted to a non-existent later. An opportunity presents itself that may allow Jean to reclaim some of her independence. I loved seeing this transformation throughout the book!
Jean hates the changes that she sees in her family and she has very little control over the turn her family has taken. Her eldest son, Steven, was one of the worst and most frustrating characters in this book. His character definitely seems to explore the idea of toxic masculinity when allowed government-permitted free reign.
I really enjoyed this book and know it is going to stick with me for a very long time after I close the book.
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