It was big when it came out – recommended for those who appreciate Margaret Atwood’s work. As speculative fiction which centres around the premise of a world where political conservatism leads to all women being fitted with electric shock devices, issued 100 words per day, and punished with the inevitable when that allocation is met, it’s not surprising the lines that are drawn between Vox and The Handmaid’s Tale.
When the rumblings and warning signs first started happening, and people took to the streets in protest, our protagonist Jean didn’t consider it a problem. Or to be fair to her, she was focused on her studies and didn’t consider it her problem. However, it is her studies, years later, which will get Jean and her daughter’s voice back: her and her neuroscience research team are the only ones who can help the government. Whether it’s something she’s willing to help with is a different story…
Albeit slightly less nuanced than The Handmaid’s Tale, this is still a powerful story that, like all fiction of this nature, shows just how dangerous apathy can be in what seems like a functioning society. In a world where many women remain silenced, books like this, which may seem unfathomable but don’t stray too far from the realm of possibility, are important.
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