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Red Clocks: A Novel by Leni Zumas

Red Clocks: A Novel

by Leni Zumas

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4913831,226 (3.82)59

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» See also 59 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
I came for the arctic exploration. At first I was charmed, like "oh, red clocks, I get it!" but that was the one and only bell this book rang.
This book made me want to reread "My Year of Meats" by Ruth Ozeki. ( )
  rainierstranger | Mar 23, 2019 |
I expected this to be a plot-driven dystopian near future story, but quickly realized it is something much more meaningful than that - an extremely realistic look at how the implementation of law criminalizing abortion would play out for several different women. One thing I didn't think of was the idea that this one law would spur even more extreme corollary laws or ideas for laws, like preventing single parent adoptions and the death penalty for abortion providers.

This book felt so deftly written, I didn't hear a single jangly note to shake me out of the story. Brief chapters alternate between characters, but it's a small town so all the characters frequently appear in each other's chapters, so we see them all from the inside and the outside. I also liked the occasional rough notes the biographer writes about her subject, a Danish woman explorer in the late 19th century, and am still processing how it relates to the rest of the novel.

I loved this book on a word level too - such clear, unforced writing, and even little throw-away lines hit so close to home, I felt like she was reading my weird little mind:

"She's grown afraid of the toilet brush, damp and rusted in its cup."

And on a more universal level...

"Shut up, she tells her monkey mind. Please shut up, you picker of nits, presser of bruises, counter of losses, fearer of failures, collector of grievances future and past."

( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
This novel is set in an American that has started losing rights for women due to the Personhood Amendment that bans IVF, abortions and adoption to single parent homes. It follows the lives of five females and shows how different people can view things very differently and how what is right for one person may not be the right thing for someone else.
I seem to find dystopian novel in a world similar to ours more terrifying that ones that are so far gone from what we know now. I can't imagine living in a world where my rights to become a parent, or choose not to become a parent, are not within my rights to make that decision. This is something that could very well happen and scares the bejeebus out of me! ( )
  ChelleBearss | Jan 18, 2019 |
A worthy prequel to Atwood's Handmaiden, this dystopian novel does not seem to be either unlikely or futuristic. Set in a sodden Oregon oceanside village, Newville is home to four, really five, women: the Biographer, a teacher writing the life story of a pioneering female polar scientist; the Mother, struggling with rambunctious children and a lazyass partner; the Daughter, sixteen and vulnerable; and the Mender, despised and cherished by local women as a witch. They struggle for and against each other in a country where draconian laws have been passed that ban abortion, in vitro fertilization, adoption by single women, and procreation outside marriage. The "Personhood Amendment" uses the death penalty against abortion providers, prison for their patients, and all adoptions are subject to state approval. Canada is no refuge, as a "Pink Wall" with criminal penalties have been established to prevent women from crossing the border for purposes of gaining or losing progeny. The writing is a bit dense at first and it takes a while for the reader to get settled into the characters, but as each pursues her goals, it becomes a thriller and a race against time and the state. It's a very startling and urgent warning. ( )
1 vote froxgirl | Jan 15, 2019 |
I liked the premise -- the actualization of this situation is terrifyingly real. However, the writing style, the weird, shifting language, (why make the effort of saying 'human wind' just for that same character, chapters later, saying 'fart'? Weird example, but it's what sticks out to me), the corniness of the language (using bitch as an insult is severely outdated to me?), and the interaction between female characters all left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I think this all points to underdeveloped and/or stereotypical portrayals of characters, which for a character-driven novel, is a pretty substantial flaw. Also, I really disliked the fact that the one PoC character is, presumably, in jail, and the absolutely obnoxious names of the white characters -- it's pretentious and just plain weird. ( )
  phido | Jan 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leni Zumasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Harms, LaurenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"For nothing was simply one thing. The other Lighthouse was true too." --Virginia Woolf
For Luca and Nicholas per sempre
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By walking, she told her students, is how you make the road.
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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. Five very different women navigate these new barriers alongside age-old questions surrounding motherhood, identity, and freedom. In the vein of Margaret Atwood and Eileen Myles, Leni Zumas fearlessly explores the contours of female experience, evoking "The Handmaid's Tale" for a new millennium. This is a story of resilience, transformation, and hope in tumultuous - even frightening - times… (more)

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