Thursday, 4 October 2018

" Imagine a world where you can only speak one hundred words a day but only if your a woman"

Vox by Christina Dalcher is a dystopian novel and I'm so glad I got to read this. A quick google search tells me that woman speak around 20,000 words per day, 7000 more than men.
This cautionary tale of women being restricted to only speaking 100 words a day is frightening and a little too close to current events with the #metoo movement and women's rights in general.

Neurolinguist Dr Jean McClellan, has become a woman of few words. One hundred words per day to be exact; any more and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins. She is not alone. Now that the new government is in power, no woman is able to speak over this limit without punishment. Books are forbidden, bank accounts transferred to the closest male relative and all female employment suspended, while young girls are no longer taught to read and write. But when the President’s brother suffers a stroke, Jean is temporarily given back her voice in order to work on the cure. But things are not as they seem and Jean soon discovers that she is part of a much larger plan, to silence voices around the world for good. 

Set in America, VOX follows Jean McClellan a Neurolinguist who will get an electric zap on the wrist if she speaks 100 words a day, a woman who is raising 3 children, 2 boys and 1 girl during the new government laws which sees all women reduced to housewives. Jean is trying to make her world a better place for her daughter, she doesn't want her growing up without voicing herself. Her older boys are capable of understanding what is expected in this new world. Jean's son even signs up to go around schools and show girls what will happen if they do speak 100 words and are even against women trying to learn sign language as a way to get around it. Women aren't even aloud to read books or have a passport. 

As a woman I could understand what Dalcher was trying to say. The plot of this book gripped me and took me in but further into the book, the reasons for this happening and who was to blame just didn't do it for me. It felt like it could have been executed better and in some parts it felt flat and characters uninteresting. But parts of this book made me so angry. Jean's Sons and Husband could have been more supportive and understanding. And it all got a bit frustrating.

I've never read the Handmaid's Tale so I can't comment on other's who have compared it to this. 

I'd give this 3/5.

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