Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed to speak more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

An apt book at a time when women’s rights are being discussed more with movements like #meto. This is a fast paced and gripping dystopian read set in the near future where women have lost their rights to work, read and speak. A tracker band on the wrist of every woman and girl in America keeps them shackled in silence, only able to speak 100 words a day or be punished with increasingly severe electric shocks. 

This novel looks at the effect of this not only on women and girls but on the boys being raised in such an environment and how quickly they can become indoctrinated with the message that they a re superior. As a mother how do you react to being told you are a second class citizen by your own child, can you still love and respect a husband that you can’t communicate with even within your own home? 

There were some truly horrifying moments that made my heart leap, mostly involving Sonia the 6 year old daughter of our main protagonist Jean. 

It was a thought provoking and disturbing novel. Although I do have to wonder , would women really sit quietly by and let this happen, would most men roll over and let their partners, wives, mothers, daughters be silenced so completely. Having said that the pathway was so simple and well laid out by the author, the stealth removal of passports, removal of birth control etc that it felt very real and scarily possible. 

I felt that Jean’s 11 year old twins seemed to have been written as much younger than their stated age, which I found a bit jarring at points. apart from that, I liked the world building and the thought that had gone into the effect such a life would have on children and their parents.

I liked that Jean was a flawed character, she wasn’t shiny and innocent, she was real. Overall once I started I couldn’t put this down.