I will be honest, I disliked this book so much that I almost feel like I can’t even begin to write a fair review of it. That said.
I thought this book was so shamelessly bad, I am made worse by having read it. This book is about a not-too-distant version of the world in which a Conservative Christian government has taken over and installed tech on women to keep them from reading, writing, or speaking more than 100 words per day, including children. The narrator is a former cognitive neuroscientist whose husband works high up in the government and has recently been asked to help heal the president’s brother who has recently suffered a stroke.
So why is this book so bad? It’s the most artless and on-the-nose and obvious and non-subtle dystopia I have ever read. There’s nothing in this book, other than the central conceit, that doesn’t feel like it was directly pulled from the comment section of any relatively prolific comment section discussing feminist issues online and then directly put into the mouths (so to speak) of characters having a direct conversation with each other.
It reads like bad 1950s sci fi, updated for 2018 politics, but completely devoid of actual human beings. It reads like bad didactic catechisms in novel form. Not only that, the politics of this book are so self-serving. I don’t mean the actual views on feminism and how patriarchy functions, but in the terms of “Hey ladies! This white woman finally gets it!” It’s so bad I figured either it was a kind of cynical cashgrab or perhaps written by trolls. It’s not though. It’s just a bland and bad novel written without hint of human complexity.