Lots of friends had raved about Vox in our Facebook ‘book club’ – and when we had our inaugural real life book club (basically just a few of us in the pub, drinking gin and chatting about books!) I was lucky enough to be lent a copy. I’m always nervous when people have loved something, what if I don’t, and then they think I’m weird?! But one of my best friends said it was the first book she’d got truly invested in since Eleanor Oliphant, I had high hopes!
Here’s the blurb:
“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…
[100 WORD LIMIT REACHED]”
I need not have been concerned – I also really enjoyed Vox!
It’s set in the US and feels like it could be the present day. Whilst the premise is that society in America has changed and all women and girls can only speak 100 words a day – and initially that sounds ridiculous – but when you see the back story and how it’s developed, it is also worryingly possible………..
The link between the President and his team and religion is reminiscent of the current situation across the Atlantic. I usually steer clear of religion and politics on social media – but it’s intrinsically part of this book. The establishment believe that a woman’s place is solely in the home caring for her family – and consequently girls don’t need to be taught to read and write – and maths skills are only for weighing out cooking ingredients etc.
That is until the aforementioned establishment need Jean’s work skills from her previous life as a scientist!
The book follows what happens next and Jean’s relationships with her family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and those in power. It is BRILLIANT. So clever and intricate – but also so horribly, horribly plausible.
Jean was clearly a super intelligent, high achieving woman before these rules were put in place – and struggles massively with authority – but I don’t want to give away any spoilers…..
I found the relationship with her eldest son the most interesting – and also really disturbing……
I’ve read that the booked is a reworking of The Handmaid’s Tale – but I haven’t read that so can’t really comment – but as a standalone book, I really enjoyed it.