Five women one question. What is woman for?


A stunning depiction of a dystopian future where abortion is once again illegal in America. A journey seen through the eyes of different women and their back stories. If you think Margaret Atwood’s Handmaids tale and you can’t go far wrong from this disturbing storyline repressing women. Only the difference between Atwood’s and Zuma’s is this seems relatable, these events could happen, the social context. There is no mention of wars or terror to suggest the reasons for this oppression of rights, it just simply ‘is’.

The novel Red Clocks follows a snapshot of five women in the small coastal town of Oregon where without naming each we come to learn of the intertwining lives of these women and how behind each façade there is a deeper and more complex position on the laws around abortion. Referred to and introduced by their means not names further impacts how society perceives women and how each can be segregated into their own ‘box’ through the choices (or in some cases not) and how this impacts their status and label. We see these box walls ebb and flow. They are not rigid walls, they touch and open into one another. Each of these scenarios drastically differ to one another yet the linking thread of procreation entwines all characters whether be it with completely different viewpoints and social pressures we see the flow and impact on this small town.

A really interesting read and genuinely one of those hard to put down if that is because of the connections with the characters I am not sure. The snippets of the 19th centru explorer biography one character is writing further suggest how little women have actually progressed. Social perceptions and how when women have an opposing opinion to the norm are shunned as an anomaly. With no more than a few lines this story is a strong voice throughout the novel and even when complete the last chapter I wonder what is woman for? Forcefully a baby making machine, forcefully shunned behind others and forcefully oppressed but equally strong willed and responsive never faltering.

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