Set in the future United States, a new backwards world. As a college student, Jean wasn’t interested in politics. Fast forward to her life as a Dr and mother and she lives in a world that she doesn’t recognise. First, they came for their passports, then their jobs and finally their voices. They can only speak 100 words a day, or they pay the prices.
This novel is deliciously dark. As soon as I’d heard about it, I knew I wanted to read it and so when I heard there were advance copies at YALC I rushed to the stand to grab one. If you’re looking for a novel that will really make you think, this is the one for you. I don’t think it’s for the faint hearted either, things feel a little too real at times.
The novel centres around Dr Jean McClellan, one of the worlds best scientists in her field. Or at least she was. With a tracker on her wrist, books and writing utensils taken and no way of escape – until they need something for her. While Jean has no interest in helping the monsters that have trapped her and are warping the mind of her firstborn son there is something bigger than them – her daughter who has never known more than 100 words a day.
Now, I’ll be honest as of writing this review I haven’t read The Handmaids Tale (nor have I watched the TV show and won’t until I’ve read the book!) but I know the premise. This is another novel with a dystopian future with the treatment of women at the centre. These novels are picking up speed, and this was an excellent debut.
I think what Dalcher has done here is tap into what we are already seeing in terms of restrictions on reproductive rights in the US as the beginning of a bigger problem. While there may be points that seem far-fetched, there are episodes in history where these kinds of limitations have happened to people. This could be real.
There are times when I thought the novel was going a little slow and there were some plot points that could have been a little tighter but overall I thought it was brilliant. I read this so quickly and stayed up until the early hours of the morning and then couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about it constantly.
This novel got a rating of 4 stars and I really enjoyed it and for a debut, it was very impressive. I have been recommending it to everyone because it needs to be read an appreciated. The only reason it’s not a 5 star is that it felt a little slow in the beginning and, actually, I would have loved the first quarter be longer – that was my favourite part! I really recommend this, an excellent read that you won’t forget in a hurry.