- ISBN: 0316434817
- ISBN: 9780316434812
- Physical Description: 356 pages ; 22 cm
- Edition: First edition.
- Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2018.
- Top Holds Over Last 5 Years: 2 / 5.0
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Red Clocks : A Novel
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Imagine a world in which Roe v. Wade has been overturned, and you have the premise of Zumas' shattering new novel in which abortion seekers are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, and abortion providers with second-degree murder. The novel introduces four women whose interconnected lives are negatively impacted by the new law. There is Ro, an unmarried high-school teacher desperate to be a mother before a law forbidding single people to adopt goes into effect; her 15-year-old student Mattie, who is pregnant and equally desperate, but for an abortion; Gin, an herbalist, regarded locally as a witch, whose herbs are believed to have the power to terminate pregnancy; and Susan, who, with two children, is trapped in a loveless marriage but feels herself too weak to end it. With its strong point of view, the novel, in lesser hands, might have been reduced to agitprop, but Zumas has raised it, instead, to the level of literature, which readers will find deeply moving. The characters are beautifully realized, inviting empathy and understanding; the richly realized plot is compulsively readable, and the theme, with its echoes of Margaret Atwood, is never didactic but invites thought and discussion. The result is powerful and timely.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2017 Booklist
Library Journal Review
Red Clocks : A Novel
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Zumas's second novel (after The Listeners) presents a not-so-distant future where women's reproductive rights have been denied again. In this future, the passage of the Personhood Amendment has overturned Roe v. Wade, establishing every embryo or fetus as a person possessing all the rights (and thus protections) experienced by the rest of the U.S. citizenry. The narrative follows four women residing in a small coastal Oregon town, each struggling to forge an identity while facing pervasive misogyny. The author amplifies the debate about women's rights by referring to each woman by a noun rather than their proper names. The Mender, the Biographer, the Daughter, and the Wife alternately reveal their -intertwined stories. Ro, the Biographer, is also writing a book about the exploits of Eivor, a 19th-century female polar explorer who share these struggles for women's rights to be recognized as legitimate. In language both poetic and political, Zumas presents characters who are strong and determined; each is an individual in her own right. -VERDICT Inevitably, there will be comparisons to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, but Zumas's work is not nearly as dystopic or futuristic, only serving to make it that much more believable. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 7/31/17.]-Faye Chadwell, Oregon State Univ., Corvallis Â© Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Red Clocks : A Novel
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Zumas (The Listeners) imagines a palpable, powerful alternate reality in which the United States has passed the Personhood amendment, reversing Roe v. Wade and making abortion a crime. Four women whose futures changed overnight with the passage of the amendment struggle for equality in rural Oregon. Roberta Stephens has chosen to pursue a teaching career and faces an uphill battle to have a child in an oppressively gendered system while writing a biography of an obscure female polar explorer named Eivor Minervudottir. Roberta's star pupil is high school student Mattie Quarles, who, finding herself pregnant, makes a run for the Canadian border. Susan Korsmo, the wife of one of Roberta's colleagues, is quietly suffocating as an overburdened mother of two. Finally there is Gin Percival, a forest-dwelling "mender" providing illegal gynecological services until she is arrested for medical malpractice. As Gin's court proceedings devolve into a modern-day witch trial, the fates of these women converge-with parallels to the life of Eivor-as they are pushed into a series of bold challenges to the masculine power structures that stifle them. Zumas manages a loose yet consistently engaging tone as she illustrates the extent to which the self-image of modern women is shaped by marriage, career, or motherhood. Dark humor further enhances the novel, making this a thoroughly affecting and memorable political parable. (Jan.) Â© Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.