Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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 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 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.
W. O. W. I finished this book a couple of weeks ago already and am still struggling to come up with a coherent and acceptable public reaction. I read it as part of a month-long buddy read with weekly discussions (feel free to search our hashtag on Instagram if you’d like to read through our discussions – #awesomeAFbuddyreads), and I couldn’t have chosen a better way to read it. There is SO MUCH to talk about within the covers of this book! I’m pretty sure my head would’ve exploded had I not talked it out as I read. (Ok, maybe not. But you get my point.)
Zumas gave this book four narrators. Sometimes multiple narrators can be a burden, especially when you’re trying to keep everyone’s storyline straight. That wasn’t the case with Red Clocks. Every chapter is labeled with its narrator, so that alone makes it easy to follow, but add to that the fact that each of these women have such unique, distinct, strong voices, and you’re easily and quickly drawn right back into each of their lives with each new chapter.
Despite the distinctions between each of their stories, there are some very notable similarities amongst them. The lives of every single one of these women has been negatively impacted by the Personhood Amendment, and they’re all struggling to make sense of their chaos. And they’re angry. Ro, Susan, Mattie, and Gin are all really mad about the fact that their rights have been rescinded and they’re now at the mercy of the whims of the new president.
As a woman, I was terrified, I was angry, and I was caught up in this story like a deer in headlights. I absolutely cannot fathom being in any of their shoes. But what if? I could babble on about this book for hours, but I’d spoil the whole thing for you. I know this won’t be a book for everyone, and it’s not an easy read, but if you’re even the slightest bit intrigued by the synopsis, I say go for it. And then let me know what you thought. Have you already read it? What kind of reaction did you have? I’d love to hear! ~Amber