A new government is in power and life has changed drastically, but only if you’re a woman. They’re no longer allowed to work, to own a passport, or even to have their own bank account. But most significantly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write, and all women are permitted to speak only 100 words a day. In this terrifying dystopian future, scientist Jean is determined to reclaim her voice. For herself, for her daughter and for all women.
I loved the concept of this book. It’s along the same vein as books like The Handmaid’s Tale, but from a different angle: language. It is a truly horrifying possibility, and the slow oppression of women in this book is disturbingly believable.
I did have two main issues that hindered my full enjoyment of this book. Firstly, the main character: Jean. She was just so unlikable. She was annoying and quite aggressively opinionated, but incapable of making much of a stand, which leads on to my second issue. The author obviously finds language fascinating and has extensive knowledge on the subject, but at times this came through too heavily via the main character, making her seem like a know-it-all. I don’t begrudge her interest in language or her knowledge (I also studied English Language at university and find it fascinating), but I didn’t enjoy the preachy way it came out in her writing.
It’s difficult not to find flaws in dystopian books of this nature, and even more difficult to pick out the aspects I did enjoy. However, I got though this book in quite a short space of time because it was certainly very readable and puts forward a disturbing and thought-provoking idea.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.