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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Book Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

As a woman, I feel like I should stick with this one – as a reader and a mother and a woman, I am finding it too emotionally charged and disturbing and am putting it down…

Before I take grief for that decision, let me explain something – I am not AT ALL knocking the quality of the writing, the importance of the issues raised, or the need for books that upset their readers. Dalcher is a strong writer; her prose is clear and concise and powerful. Her topic – the very real threat of extremism (be it from the left or the right) – is, unfortunately, all too timely and an exceptionally potent one in the current political and social environment. I was viscerally upset reading this from the beginning – my stomach hurt (literally) as I read Jean’s thoughts and fears for her daughter, as I imagined living and raising my own daughter in such a world. I was so drawn into this world that I could not help but feel it in my bones. And that’s when I put the book down.

Call me weak-willed if you like, but I read fiction to be entertained – aching feelings of distress aren’t what I sign up for in my fiction, thank you very much… They’re a testament to the power of the author’s words, and I can recognize the value of the book while still not being able to bring myself to read it. It is possible that I feel too close to the situation of the protagonist and her family at this time in my life, that it feels too possible that one could wind up in this type of ultra-repressive environment, given the current state of the world. I am not calling this one a poor fit for me so much as a book that I cannot read right now. Distance – either due to a culture shift in sexual politics or the aging of my own daughter – may provide the separation I feel like I need to be able to really dig into this one. But for me, for now – it was too difficult a read and I was not able to finish it.

My review copy was provided by the Penguin First to Read program.

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