‘Red Clocks’ by Leni Zumas

Red Clocks is a delightful and harrowing read. In a not-so-distant future, if the incorrigible, trail-of-slime-leaving Mike Pence ever ascends to the presidency, we read about the goings on of a few women dealing with political machinations of those (read: men) who legislate reproductive-capable bodies. The believability and possibility of the plot is the scariest part. The likelihood of a 28th Amendment to scrap Roe v. Wade and anthropomorphize duplicating cells within wombs is as close to imminent as it is parodic.  

One of the narrative threads I really enjoyed was through Ro, who is writing a biography of Eivør Mínervudóttir, a little-known 19th-century Icelandic female polar explorer. Zumas wrote about Mínervudóttir so well that I didn’t realize she was fictional until I’d finished the book. Her story is one of the many macro ideas scaled down into micro glimpses the book provides.

The comparisons to Handmaid’s Tale are expected, but the character arcs in Red Clocks reflect those of many women I know, so it’s likely I’d recommend reading Red Clocks before Atwood’s masterpiece.

: : : : Although I eventually bought a copy myself, I was first given a galley courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review : : : :

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