I have read some really wonderful books this year but ‘Vox’ has topped them all.
It’s not too hard to envisage a world where America has a president who is seen a joke by the rest of the world,yet manages to systematically take away the rights of the female population.
It starts slowly with the focus on the main character,Jean, a well regarded scientist who was advancing disoveries into cures for a particular strain of dementia. Since the ‘Pure’ movement,however,women have been stripped of their jobs,their roles and their words.
Women ,and gay people have been held accountable for the ills of society and in a attempt to return it to a time when women knew their place and being gay was considered an abomination,the president has eroded their rights and gained the backing of American men and female handmaidens .
Inevitable comparison with the ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ aside,it is sadly all too plausible to buy into the future reality that Christina Dalcher depicts. Gay people are forced into work camps and to share cells with the opposite sex until they ‘see sense’.
Women and girls are made to wear wristbands that count off every word they speak and after 100 words are gone,they cannot speak until sun rise on the next day.
If they do,the punishment is instant and brutal.
So there is no more reading,writing,buying of envelopes,opening the postbox,magazines,nothing that encourages a woman to think freely.
Girls are seperated from.boys as there is no need to educate them
beyond preparing them for wifely duties and motherhood. They cannot leave the country as their passports are invalid. Women and girls are nothing more than commodities to be done with as men wish.
Until the President’s brother has a terrible skiing accident that results in the particular dysphasia that she had been experimenting on.
Suddenly the chance to raise a voice is in Jean’s power.
This is a prescient and timely book that is sadly all too believable.
Many thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this wonderful book.