Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: Five women. One question. What is a woman for?
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 Eivor, 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 fan. And Gin is the gifted, forest-dwelling homeopath, 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 so eerily similar to our world that it’s a bit scary. There’s no one cataclysmic event behind the “Personhood Amendment”. What allows this bill to be passed is a pro-life government and apathetic citizens who think this will never happen. Do you see any similarities? Are you starting to squirm yet?
This thought-provoking novel focuses on the lives of four women in a small Oregon town, whose lives converge in unexpected ways. Ro, the Biographer is desperate to have a child. Susan, the Wife wants to escape her failing marriage. Mattie, the Daughter wants to attend the Math Academy. And finally, Gin, the Mender, who provides medicinal herbs to women who have gynecological problems. She also helps those looking to have abortions. While I identified the most with the Biographer and the Mender, all the women are well-rounded and relatable. Like all of us they are flawed, yet filled with positive traits such as generosity, strength, and love.
The story itself doesn’t just explore the controversial topic of abortion. It thoroughly peels back the numerous layers of how a law like this would effect everyone’s lives. It’s suspenseful and mesmerizing, and I read it in two sittings because I simply found it impossible to put down. The only reason I’m not giving this a perfect 5 stars is because I thought the first few chapters a little disjointed. But this quickly smoothes out and I wound up loving the author’s writing style.
Red Clocks true message is abundantly clear: Every woman should have the right to choose her own path in life. If I were to classify the novel I’d put it in the speculative fiction or dystopian genres, but because of what’s happening in the world right now, it also reads a bit like a horror story. Red Clocks shows us a reality that is potentially right around the corner, and that scares the hell out of me. I would recommend this to everyone, especially if you’re a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. It’s a perfect choice for book discussion groups, and it’s a read that I guarantee you won’t forget any time soon.