Silence can be deafening.
Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins.
Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman. Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and seventy million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write.
For herself, her daughter, and for every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. This is only the beginning…
Perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale, don’t miss the thrilling debut that everyone is talking about!
Genre: Science Fiction – Dystopia; Feminism
Page count: 408 (Romanian version); 352 (English Paperback)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (3.45/5)
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
I think sometimes I am a bit of a masochist for reading books like this and I cannot help it. I do nothing about it though, so I’d better not complain.
I have a developed sense or rightfulness so when there is something that steps on the basic laws of universal right I grow a pair of horns and some sharp claws and start raging on.
I also love reading dystonia, even though I don’t do that very often. When I do, I make sure I choose the most outrageous ones.
An anti-women future you say? A future where the white man can have all the power he wants and the rest must, but must, comply or else? Oh my God yes, sign me up for this shit, I’m about to lose my mind.
Even though Vox is a well-written and smart book, it was too outrageous and at times, it made me roll my eyes (while reading it in public transport) so hard that I thought they were going to roll back in my head and stay there forever. I hated this sexist shit so much, but I still read the book. I was somehow waiting for something bomb to happen and everything to come back to at least a minimum of normal. And I think that’s what powered me to get through those miserable parts.
This is kind of a controversial book with a controversial topic and I will try to stay away from that as much as I can because I am not here to do politics or to play God. I am here to pour on electronic paper my thoughts and feelings about the books I read and annoy the hell out of you with my long rant (hehe).
So, what is the fuss all about?
Christina Dalcher created a not-so-hard-to-believe future, where the United States goes cuckoo and starts oppressing women as well as everyone who had a different point of view when it came to religion or sexuality. They basically sent those people in places where they worked until their arms and legs fell off on the ground and electrocuted them when they tried to say the tiniest word.
Women in all the country wore some sort of torturing devices like bracelets on their wrists (as well as young girls, no matter the age) that only allowed them to speak one hundred words per day. Say more and you’ll get a shock (literally).
“You can’t protest what you don’t see coming.”
I felt like this was a bit forced, but even so, I couldn’t help but shiver at the thought of such a world. A world where you have no rights; where you have no words to express; where your voice is taken away from you; where you have nothing to do but go brainless and blind because of someone’s idea of purity and egocentric desire to dominate. To be listened to. To be feared.
In a maniac’s mind, a world where women are nothing is a perfect world. But in reality, the world would be nothing without women. And this right here is a fact, I’ll take an amen for that.
I have nothing against men. I have nothing against church and religion. I have nothing against one’s beliefs. But I do have something against chronically sick maniacs who feel the need to share their twisted fantasies and fetishes with the world.
I have something to say about this: folks, it doesn’t work like that. You cannot force people into submission endlessly. You cannot make them part of things they don’t want to be part of. People aren’t made to be cancelled.
This whole book is based on a desire for greatness but in a negative way. Submission. Obedience. Selfishness.
That’s wrong. And unnecessary.
Why can’t we live in peace without one wanting to take over the world? We’re not cats, we don’t deserve to think of world domination.
“Everything lately seems to be a choice between degrees of hate.”
Jean is a woman who now, when everything went to hell around her, wants to fight. Fight against the system, fight against the purists and brain-washers, fight against her new status, fight against her own husband. Even though the latter one isn’t that necessary, she still does it.
Jean’s husband, Patrick, is a good and loving husband, but he’s weak. He doesn’t possess that kind of virility Jean needs in her life. He complies. He’s a coward. That’s why Jean starts loving him less and less every day. That’s why she chooses another man to protect her. To stand for her. Someone who, like her, is not afraid to speak his mind. To fight for normalcy.
Not approving of this – having an affair is not the best way to go against the system, but giving the fact that the world in which Jean lives is corrupted by its own forced morality, that’s not going to be a problem anymore. It’s still wrong though, but it’s in balance.
I love the creepy medical path this whole book drives towards. I find medical stuff quite paralysing so this tickled my fascination.
The big bad men are in the need of a couple of brilliant doctors in neurolinguistics (who happen to be women) in order to get on with a disgusting plan of world domination. In a country full of men brainwashed to oppress women, why couldn’t any of them be the brilliant doctor, I wonder? Hm. Because this book needed some hypocrites, right?
But this also shows that women are needed. They are smart and capable of great things and, basically, they can do anything they set in mind to do. I don’t say that all men should be executed for this, but let’s give a sister what she deserves and that’s praise. Ladies, we can do good.
This book was terrifying. And disturbing. And outrageous. And it wasn’t easy for me to read it because at times it felt absurd. But I truly appreciate its idea. Its very core. It was kind of a fascinating read for me. Gripping sometimes. So, of course, I disliked it because of its very essence. But of course, I liked it because of that very same essence.
I don’t know if I should tell people to go for it or not, but if you think you can stomach unfairness, then you are more than welcome to try this. Bonus, if you are a controversial spirit like I am, you’ll love-hate is as much as I did. But it’s your call.
“Monsters aren’t born, ever. They are made, piece by piece and limb by limb, artificial creations of madmen who, like the misguided Frankenstein, always think they know better.”