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Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

So, I'm not sure if it's because of how Dystopian novels have been utterly ruined for me in our current... predicament, but I was expecting to enjoy this Red Clocks much more than I actually did. Part of me thinks it was mis-marketed. There was a lot of talk surrounding the plot device of abortion being illegal and how that impacts the individual women in this story. However, in my opinion, this was such a small portion of the book and it ended up being more about the relationships in the story.

I feel like the Personhood Amendment could've been expanded on with a bigger impact and that this was a missed opportunity for a book that could've made a larger social impact.

With that being said, the writing was great and each character had a unique and strong internal voice. This book definitely hasn't turned me off from reading more from Leni Zumas... this book just didn't do it for me.


In this ferociously imaginative novel, abortion is once again illegal in America, in-vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. In a small Oregon fishing town, five very different women navigate these new barriers alongside age-old questions surrounding motherhood, identity, and freedom. Ro, a single high-school teacher, is trying to have a baby on her own, while also writing a biography of Eivør, a little-known 19th-century female polar explorer. Susan is a frustrated mother of two, trapped in a crumbling marriage. Mattie is the adopted daughter of doting parents and one of Ro's best students, who finds herself pregnant with nowhere to turn. And Ginis the gifted, forest-dwelling herbalist, or "mender," who brings all their fates together when she's arrested and put on trial in a frenzied modern-day witch hunt. RED CLOCKS is at once a riveting drama, whose mysteries unfold with magnetic energy, and a shattering novel of ideas. In the vein of Margaret Atwood and Eileen Myles, Leni Zumas fearlessly explores the contours of female experience, evoking THE HANDMAID'S TALE for a new millennium. This is a story of resilience, transformation, and hope in tumultuous-even frightening-times.

My rating:

2 cups.

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