Red Clocks

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

The theme of Red Clocks by Leni Zumas is women and the right to choose. This book is clear on which side of the question it stands on. I appreciate the premise of this book. The conversation is an important one. I also appreciate the surreal environment the book manages to create. However, for me, the book feels like it's trying too hard to be literary. I am left focusing on how the book is written rather than the story being told. 

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/04/red-clocks.html 

Reviewed for NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
This dystopian novel is told from the perspective of several characters. It is thought-provoking and would be perfect for a book club.
Was this review helpful?

I'm glad I hung in for this book. Since the chapters shift between four women's perspective and information on woman from Iceland the mid 1800s, it takes some patience to get the rhythm. The dystopian quality is subtle, frankly, because it feels like it could be reality at any moment. In Red Clocks, it is illegal for women to seek abortions. The "pink wall" stops US citizens from seeking abortions in Canada. Women have to bury their miscarried fetuses. Adopted children must be brought into two parent homes. But this is the world in which the women live.

These women's lives are interconnected, some more directly than others. A mother and a daughter. Someone adopted...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
An astounding novel that everyone should read. It is somewhat disjointed and hard to follow but if one can forget about that and just read, it all comes together. If one can get a bit out of one's brain and allow things to be not totally clear, the book hits one at a visceral level. The book has been labeled dystopian because all women's reproductive rights have been outlawed. Seems as though that is what many in this country want to happen and that future may be almost upon us. Read this book.
Was this review helpful?

Clocks are vaginas.

I personally thought that was pretty interesting, liguistically, but thought I should give fair warning to anyone who's wondering "what are red clocks?" Answer: they're vaginas. Or maybe "wombs" is more accurate.

In this refreshingly female-focused speculative fiction universe, the Personhood Amendment has been added to the Constitution, outlawing abortion and IVF. A new Every Child Needs Two law is on the horizon, which would prohibit singles from adopting.

The book stays in third person perspective, but rotates its lens among several women, focusing on one at a time. The Biographer is a single high-school teacher who desperately wants...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
Chilling book and more plausible than not. I didn't love/get the lagniappes (that isn't the right word; what is it?) before the biographer's chapters (I get what they were just not, really, why) but the rest incredibly powerful and a warning for what will happen if we aren't all vigilant.
Was this review helpful?

Yet another one of those female authored female centric dystopias. Not really my favorite and yet their sheer ubiquity, my love for dystopias and some other inexplicable reasons make me continue checking them out. In all fairness, this is barely a dystopia, in fact the setting seems frighteningly realistic in the modern political climate. Just an amendment or two to make an already conservative leaning country into one that uses religion to reinstate their narrow view of a family by controlling reproductive rights. So fetuses are given rights, women are deprived of rights and the world goes on spinning. And in this world there are several female characters who are all affected by these...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

3.5 stars
For the most part, I enjoyed reading this novel, but I don't think it lived up to the book jacket claims. It's Margaret Atwood-esque in conception, but not quite in execution. It certainly wasn't dystopian in the way it was removed from present day. It felt like we could be right around the corner from these legal restrictions, which I think worked to the novel's advantage thematically. It's also the reason the novel is notable.

I generally enjoy novels with multiple characters' perspectives, but there are always risks to writing this way, and for me, this was true of this text. Because there were 5 voices, and 5 plot arcs, I didn't feel like...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
I really wanted to love this book, it has everything I would want in a book. However, sadly I just couldn't get into it. I found myself confused at times with the names and people. I will take some time away from the book and hopefully, I will come back and revisit this read.
Was this review helpful?

Red Clocks, by Leni Zumas
Zumas interweaves the stories of five women throughout Red Clocks, revealing slowly, how they are connected. There will be much comparison to Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and The Power, but Zumas’s novel is set in a political climate much like today and is based on legislation actually proposed by many of our current politicians. There are no bizarre religious ceremonies, as found in the Handmaids Tale; no magical abilities like those found in Alderman’s The Power. Zumas’s future world feels very real and imminent. Congress has passed the Personhood Amendment establishing rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo; outlawed in-vitro fertilization; ‘Every...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

I struggled a bit with this rating – my feelings fall somewhere between 3 and 4 stars but I rounded up because I ultimately felt that it was an interesting exploration of women’s rights and the impact to life and liberty. Given our current political climate, the various pieces and parts of this novel are particularly scary as they constitute the hopes (and plans) of many conservatives in America. This is a dystopian novel that posits a world where abortion is illegal, in vitro fertilization is banned and a Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. The story is told through the experiences of five women in one community and how these new realities...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
What a wake=up call to women everywhere. This book shattered me, wrecked me, kept me riveted, and resonated with me as a woman on so many levels. Wonderful read!
Was this review helpful?

I picked this book up based on it being a Book of the Month recommendation. The blurb sounded interesting to me as it was a very female-centered book.

The world has changed a bit, and women are living in times where they have to travel out of the country if they want an abortion. They also have to be married if they want to adopt. These changes in the world affect the characters of the novel in different ways. The Biographer wants a baby so badly she can taste it. In her forties and unmarried, artificial insemination isn't working and she's running out of time to adopt. The Wife has two beautiful children with her husband, but she constantly feels like she wants to leave. Things...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited to read this and am so disappointed by it. I couldn't get into it enough to finish it and I can power through most books. I did not enjoy the writing style and thought it was just trying too hard to be the next Handmaid's Tale.
Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed Red Clocks. I was skeptical at first based on the description. I expected a kind of rip-off of "The Handmaid's Tale" with more value-signaling and allegory than plot and character development. After seeing great reviews, I started reading it. I was immediately drawn in by the writing style and the way the book is organized. The story is told by four different female narrators with the biography of an historical Arctic explorer (also a woman) interspersed between their chapters. Through the four women, we get a complete view of the paths women can choose to take in regards to childbearing and the impact the new Personhood Amendment (banning abortion and IVF)...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
After a month of struggling to get into the book, I am sadly putting this on my DNF "shelf". I found the formatting choppy and confusing - stopping ever few pages to wonder why the author chose to write it the way that she did. Perhaps I haven't gotten to the meat of it just yet? I put down the book after about 18% into the story (what my kindle said) but it was a whole month of stressing out about it (and falling asleep to it). It is unfortunate because I believe the book to be relevant to present day issues, but felt it could have been told in a more straightforward manner. Currently, not for me , but someday I may return to it.
Was this review helpful?
I don’t read much fiction at all but I made the exception for this book. It is incredible and in the same vein as Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, uses fiction as the landscape upon which to plant seeds that invite further discussion of key issues related to women’s rights and feminism. My hope is that this book makes its way into English Lit classes at post-secondary institutions and for the educators who dare, Writer’s Craft and English classrooms for Grade 12 students. Can’t recommend this enough!
Was this review helpful?
***Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review ***

3.5 stars Red Clocks is beautifully written and extremely relevant. I felt more of a connection with some voices than others. Although, I loved the writing and message, the book was a little too trippy/ artsy fartsy at times for more personal taste.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book. It didn’t seem as extreme as Handmaid’s Tale (which I also loved- I know there’s a lot of comparing between the two books). I wish The Wife had more of a tie to the story line and that we heard more from The Mender. They had the most interesting internal dialogue in my opinion.
Was this review helpful?

Fully formatted review on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2064184706?book_show_action=false

“If wrecked in this vessel, we wreck together.”

Four women navigate their lives while laws protecting reproductive rights are being dismantled. Their options are running out, both biologically and legally.

The scenario is realistic. Changes to the USA's laws didn't happen overnight; there was a slow creep of federal restrictions. Women’s health clinics close because they can’t afford to make federally-mandated renovations. Second-trimester abortions are banned in all cases. Doctors must attempt to convince women going in for first-trimester abortions to change their...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?