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Book of the Month: Vox by Christina Dalcher. Post your question for Christina ahead of the author webchat on Tuesday 16 April at 9pm

(63 Posts)
SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 14-Mar-19 12:22:51

Our bookclub read for March is Christina Dalcher's debut novel, Vox - a riveting but terrifying glimpse into a world in which women have literally lost their voice.

Find out more and read or listen to an extract. And then grab a copy and join us in reading the book ahead of our webchat on Tuesday 16 April at 9pm.

Buy the paperback now for £5.99

MollysLips Mon 01-Apr-19 12:54:58

The "read or listen to an extract" link doesn't work. (I don't think you've added a URL.)

beeyourself Mon 01-Apr-19 12:56:45

I missed this before. It's £2.99 on kindle.

beeyourself Mon 01-Apr-19 13:21:44

I've just started it - so far, so good

raffle Tue 02-Apr-19 00:21:11

The ending is poor, it’s rushed and all tied up neatly in a sparkling bow.

CMOTDibbler Tue 02-Apr-19 11:31:24

I loved this book - till the end. As pp said, it just feels rushed

SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 03-Apr-19 12:31:41

@MollysLips thanks, we've fixed now!

Glad to hear people are enjoying Vox. Don't forget to post a question for Christina ahead of the webchat star

lotusbell Wed 03-Apr-19 13:11:03

I'm halfway through, enjoying it but can't warm to Jean much and it feels a bit contrived. I don't feel that stark, harsh shock about the 100 word count!

beeyourself Wed 03-Apr-19 15:55:35

Finished! I enjoyed it, but the ending seemed all a bit convenient.

There are obviously lots of parallels with the handmaid's tale- I'd be interested to know if the author was tempted to kill off or radicalise some of the more sympathetic characters (the children, Lin etc).

lotusbell Fri 05-Apr-19 19:29:26

I'm determined to finish it but I cant get on with it at all. Don't like the style of writing, the way she talks of her 'sex' and his 'hardness' in the sex "scenes", don't really care for any of the characters, think it could be so much more than it is. I hate it when you've been looking forward to reading a book and it turns out to be a bit pants.

buttyblahblah Thu 11-Apr-19 14:24:56

I quite liked it but agree the ending was rushed and a bit too neat. I don't think you can really compare it to The Handmaid's Tale.

Forgotmykeys Thu 11-Apr-19 16:57:22

Just ordered. Thanks.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Thu 11-Apr-19 17:25:03

I enjoyed it. I think the storytelling is very good, though I agree about the end.
However, the more I think about it the less plausible I find it that men would agree in large numbers to a method of control that renders their wives unable not only to earn money but also to fulfil the vast majority of their job as sahms and wives.
It might have been more plausible in a world where women spent the vast majority of their day performing physical labour, but that's not what our world, where this book is set, is like.
I am a SAHM. My life is mostly not spent cleaning and cooking, though obviously I do some of that. If I am going to have a speech limiting bracelet thingy put on then sorry dh, you're taking ds1 to his hospital appointment for his broken arm. You're sorting out the bin collection issues with the council. You're trying to find a new garden bench online and reading all the reviews and then buying it and putting it together because soz, I can't read the instructions. You're sorting out the kids' food tech ingredients. Oh, and I won't be doing any emotional labour other than smiling and nodding so if you have had a bad day at work I am not going to be able to reassure you about it, and you will also have to deal with the boys' friendship and other school issues and help with all the homework.
Luckily our boys are old enough to have already learned to talk and read but all that chatting mothers and other carers do to young kids won't be happening so the language development of the next generation is going to be pretty fucked.

In sum, despite its aims, this seemed to me to be a profoundly anti-feminist book because the author seemed to have no comprehension of or interest in what women actually do.

The concept was brilliant - but I think she needed to work backwards from the concept and build a world in which it would have been plausible. Eg a world without companionate marriage, without labour saving devices, with different patterns of consumption, with a different system of child rearing.

Even if we accept (which I don't) that it is plausible so many men would agree to torture their wives, it felt like a massive plot hole to me that they would be prepared to do it when it would make their own lives so much harder.

Jenniferturkington Thu 11-Apr-19 18:22:24

I’ve just read this and quite enjoyed it, although as others have said, it should’ve been a lot better.
The idea was good but there were too many plot holes. No way would so many men allow it to happen as it would inconvenience their lives too much (aside from them not agreeing with the oppression of women).
A little convenient that her long lost feminist friend suddenly appeared.
When Sharon and Del were ‘captured’, she didn’t seem at all concerned about her daughter who was being looked after by them.
And the Italian - seemed a tad unlikely that she would immediately move in with him, along with her four kids, just after witnessing her husband’s death.
Like I said, a decent page turner but when you actually look back at it there are too many ‘well that was a coincidence’ moments.

As an aside, The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist is quite a good read if you like dystopian books.

Ratatouille76 Thu 11-Apr-19 23:00:29

Started so well then by the end I just thought what the fuck is actually happening? Then it ended abruptly. Plus too much science stuff. Very disappointing after such a promising start.

Ratatouille76 Thu 11-Apr-19 23:04:10

And it was all about Jean. Who wasnt likeable.

HotSauceCommittee Thu 11-Apr-19 23:50:20

I read this and enjoyed it in a state of “willing suspension of disbelief”.
Jean was not some simpering victim wanting people to like her, she was fucking furious, hated the system which in turn set her and her husband against one another. We need more protagonists like Jean. For this reason, I’m a big fan of the works of Lionel Shriver; her female characters are not out there to be nice and liked, as whole generations of women and girls have been raised to do; why would you need to like Jean? Why would you need to like any female lead in a book? Can we not just admire her fortitude and spirit in a desperate situation. Do we not sympathise? I certainly placed myself in that narrative while reading, and I wouldn’t have survived that long like she did.

Pumpkintopf Fri 12-Apr-19 00:33:17

I liked the concept but as pp have said the ending all became a bit 'action movie' and convenient. IMO The Power is far better and doesn't end in such a rushed, rather unbelievable way.

Nousernameforme Fri 12-Apr-19 08:52:35

I did like it mostly. Like pp said i could see myself reacting in the same ways.
I can imagine getting furious with my sons and their lack of awareness when they kept asking their sister questions about her day at school and she had to give one word answers. I would have resented my husband and in fact all men for going along with it I think i would have become bitter very fucking quickly.

Yes the ending wasn't brilliant and was rushed. I might still reread this though

pinkcardi Fri 12-Apr-19 14:09:54

I was so disappointed by this book. The idea was great, the execution so poor.

The characters were hard to connect with, the narrative weak, the ending really awful - so rushed and predictable. I found the writing mediocre at very best. You can tell from the first 3 sentences that it isn't going to be a book which is going to be enjoyable to read.

To anyone who hasn't read it yet, I really wouldn't bother.

Tunnockswafer Fri 12-Apr-19 22:09:22

It scared the shit out of me, the thought of being silenced like that and how easily imaginable it was really.

Bezalelle Sun 14-Apr-19 07:44:14

Feels like rip off of Naomi Alderman's "The Power", to be honest.

fruitpastille Sun 14-Apr-19 08:33:24

It started well - the relationship between Jean and her family members when she and her daughter couldn't speak was really well described. Once it got on to all the lab/serum stuff it lost a lot of atmosphere. And the end section was pretty poor.

SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Apr-19 11:39:29

Thanks for your feedback so far. Don't forget to post any questions you have for Christina ahead of the webchat tomorrow!

Tunnockswafer Mon 15-Apr-19 11:42:30

Why did you decide not to show the scene where the poisoning took place? Must admit I was looking forward to seeing the bastards realise what was happening to them!

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