Updated: Aug 21, 2018
A highly significant and timely book exploring the question: What if women could only speak 100 words per day?
There’s a new President in the White House, Sam Myers was elected by the votes garnered by ultra conservative Southern Baptist Reverend Carl Corbin. A Presidential decree, written by Corbin, changed everything. Women are no longer allowed to speak more than 100 words daily. They must wear a bracelet, a word counter, and if 100 words are exceeded you receive an electric shock, which increases with intensity with the number of words over the limit. But that’s not all. Women can no longer hold jobs. Books and writing instruments are off limits. Passports have been revoked. Schools are segregated by sex and girls are taught only how to count, sew and cook. Nothing more is necessary to manage a home. Females no longer have a voice.
Dr. Jean McClellan had been in denial. And she was not alone. No one believed this could happen here, not the United States. She is married to Patrick and they have four children, the youngest is age 4, and her name is Sonia. Jean misses reading bedtime stories to Sonia and talking to her three sons about their day. Jean was a cognitive linguist in Washington DC, and before the decree she was researching reversing aphasia, the inability to speak, cause by brain damage. She was the foremost expert in her field until she was forced out. It’s been a year since she’s been gone. And now the President desperately needs her back.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
This captivating debut novel may just leave you speechless. Could this really happen? Never! That’s exactly what Jean thought. And yet, look where we find ourselves today. Our current puppet president has berated, abused and belittled every woman who gets in his way. It’s scary to think that VOX may not be to far off the mark as we would like to think. Think of all the women who have confronted him! He would love it if we would all just shut up and go away.
Vox is a first rate journey into the role of women in making a difference. Jean McClellans character is strong, amazing and she comes alive on the pages. You can’t help but feel her frustration, her anger and her fear for her children’s future. CHRISTINE DALCHER’s writing is robust, smart and haunting. She skillfully transports us to a place that no woman wants to go, but while we are there she helps teach us a few things about ourselves, just by asking one question—what would you do to be free?
DALCHER earned her doctorate degree in theoretical linguistics from Georgetown University. She specializes in the phonetics of sound change in Italian and British dialect and has taught at several universities. Her short stories in flash fiction appear in over one hundred journal’s worldwide. She teaches flash fiction as a member of the faculty at The Muse Writer Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Vox is her first novel.
Thanks to Netgalley, Berkley Publishing and Christine Dalcher for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Published August 21, 2018