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Red Clocks
Red ClocksEdwin (1)
Thought it was compelling

Well I read the other discussion posts, and I'm fairly surprised Red Clocks got so many negative responses. I liked the story quite a lot. The thoughts of the characters were so dynamic, so everywhere but concise. I do agree that the whole remembering-the-characters'-names thing was needless, or that the writing style was a bit choppy/jumpy, but I didn't think it necessarily discounted the book's worth.

I friggin loved Susan (the Wife). I loved hating Susan, rather. She was depressed and wanted out. She was disgusted by her own disgusting thoughts, which I know I've been there all too often. I was proud of her in the end, finally getting out.

I liked Gin's (the Mender's) personality, felt so real, alive, and her terse dialogue complimented it. I didn't like the whole court thing though. Seemed too recycled. Especially when Susan was the key.

Mattie--Matilda (the Daughter) was one of my favorites, or I was always relieved upon turning to her section. I kinda wanted her to have it, though not for the biographer, but I was also happy she got to continue her rather honorary high school career. I loved the weight of animal hearts thing, for I thought: What's the weight of a human fetus' heart?

Ro (the Biographer) I admired. Poor Ro. She knew her odds, questioned her own beliefs, and her red clock let her down. I didn't feel bad for her in the end either because she was such a strong, if maybe imbalanced, character.

For how screwy the story was I laughed quite a lot, typically at the crude thoughts of the characters. "Shut the shit up." I think I've literally said that verbatim to a fire alarm before.

As far as the polar explorer, I thought it spoke to the fact that women've come a long way, only still to battle oppression. I mean, I'm a white male so I needn't have a say in it. Just saying, I liked the explorer. She wasn't really supposed to be on the first boat, and she wasn't allowed to be published, etc. Ro thought otherwise.

I don't know. It was a crazy, fun story.

Red ClocksMamaZimmy (1)
trouble getting into it

I am around page 130 and i am having a hard time getting into this. I find the writing difficult to follow at times and the way its presented sometimes confusing. Anyone else? I hate to abandon books... i hate considering it with this one... does it get better? keep going?

Kayla (110)
I say keep going! In my opinion, the book really picked up about halfway through. It took me a while to situate all the characters and their histories in my heads. I would encourage you to get to the ending!
Red ClocksBrandiLawson (2)
The book all women need to read

So relevant to today’s political climate. What would happen in a world where abortions were outlawed?

Red ClocksKayla (110)
An Interesting Thought Experiment

This book is definitely out of my "comfort zone". Usually, I do not like to read books that have a futuristic slant to them. Unfortunately, this book feels like it could be describing reality given the current political administration. Overall, I enjoyed this book's commentary and would recommend it to other readings.

Things I liked about this book:

  1. Not all of the women were likable. I think it is okay to read about characters and be able to empathize with them even if you hate their choices. I really enjoyed the honest portrayal of four different women and their thought-tendencies and behaviors.
  2. The ending was not "clean". In my head, I almost imagined that the Biographer was going to adopt the baby of the Daughter - and this would have been too easy of an ending. Instead, the author provides the ultimate dilemma for the Biographer - and in the end, she was willing to give up her one last hope for a baby in return for helping her student. Wow. I kept asking myself what I would do in that situation and it was hard to find an answer, even despite my beliefs that women should have a choice over their reproductive rights.
  3. The different perspectives of the characters - I liked that the narration shifted throughout the book and the chapters were fairly short.

Things I did not like about this book:

  1. The explorer journal sections - I REALLY REALLY looked for meaning in these sections. I wanted to be able to connect the explorer's experiences back to those experiences of the women in the book. I wanted the journal entries to be a metaphor for the struggles women have faced from the beginning of time. And yet, I had a hard time finding meaning in them. I do not think it would have hurt the storyline if these had been removed.
  2. As others have mentioned, the writing style was a bit odd and it took me several chapters to get all of the characters and their histories situated in my brain. Once I had a good grasp of the characters, I felt like the book picked up in terms of pace.

Overall, I am really pleased BOTM selected this one! It may not be in everyone's taste, but it was a provoking book on the dangers of losing reproductive freedoms.

Red ClocksChloeClark (1)
Loved it.

I'll start this discussion post off by saying, by the middle of the book, I could not put it down. I felt the beginning was a bit slow and could use more of an introduction. I also was somewhat confused by the inserts between the chapters-on account of my own deficit-I tend to be a bit ADHD. However, the book as a whole was totally addicting. The author paints the stories of individual Oregonians with such personality and uniqueness, then paints them beautifully together. This book includes different sides of how certain political implications can impact so many situations and it's truly eye opening. I really loved it and look forward to reading it again, soon.

Red ClocksTaylorTessler (1)
Red Clocks Intriguing

So I ended up really liking this book. The beginning is really slow and I thought I would end up hating it. But after the first 80 or so pages I was sucked in and finished it in one sitting. It is really eye opening to what could possibly (scarily) happen in our own countries political future. I love how all four woman end up being connected in some way. However I am still slightly confused on how the polar explore fits into the story. If anyone can enlighten me on this that would be great! But all in all I gave this book 4 stars and would definitely recommend to my friends and family who are politically charged.

Kelsey (28)
Also very confused about how the polar explorer fit into the story... I think I missed something.
Red ClocksKelsey (28)
WTF DID I JUST READ

Oh Lord. I did not like this book on any level - I seem to be the minority here! Major things I disliked about this book:

  1. Writing style. I could not get over the choppy sentences. I was especially annoyed with the opening sentences of each chapter that seemed to just start in the middle of a sentence. It really just felt like a platform to throw out some experimental writing, which is cool, just not my thing.

  2. Characters - I did not like any of them and felt there was no character development. I didn't care about them in the slightest and rolled my eyes so many times as I read their stories. When I finished and was reflecting back on it, I felt like huge chunks of their stories could have been omitted and I would have read the same book.

  3. I struggled to find how the book even worked. The characters tied in together yes, and there were definitely some political feelings being expressed - but what was the purpose of this book? The synopsis totally intrigued me, especially in our current political climate, but I felt like the book was such a let down. I didn't feel like it really had a purpose other than making me gag on certain occasions.

I'm a woman, with woman parts and identify as a feminist. That does not mean I want to read about smelly vaginas or clapping labias...page after page.

Yum.

Oy vey, this book almost made me mad to read. I'm glad others have enjoyed it, but I think I'm done selecting the BOTM 'feminist' selections after choosing this, and The Power and strongly disliking both.

ArifaGir (1)
I felt like there were some questions unanswered and the book kind of just ended. I liked this book and it was a quick read but I definitely did not love it. I also had a hard time finding a connection between the polar explorer and the other characters.
BrittanyClark (1)
Absolutely hated this book. I couldn't finish it. Made it in about 50 pages or so and put it down. Disappointed with my choice this month. Just not my writing style. The synopsis sounded so interesting, I just couldn't do it!
Kaitlin (22)
You perfectly described how I felt about this book... (Except I actually really liked The Power).
CerebroCaro (49)
I HATE the writing style as well and agree that it seems all jumbled up and difficult to follow.
Kelsey (28)
AMEN
Amanda (18)
I'm glad I'm not the only one finding the writing style very hard to read and follow... I haven't finished yet and really want to connect with the characters but am constantly confused and considering giving up halfway through...
Kelsey (28)
I almost gave up as well because I had a hard time with the writing style. I would suggest finishing it so you have some resolution about the story...sort of.
SoItGoes (1)
Kelsey, I'm with you. Although I liked the experimental sections, the novel I felt it was heavy handed and the characters weren't as deep as the author intended. I was also put off by how unsavory every male and child character (other than Maddie) was.
Kelsey (28)
You know, now that you mention it, I totally agree about all the male and children characters. Really, I felt that way about most of the characters though if we're being honest.
Red ClocksLClark (1)
Mender

No spoilers...just here to say I NEED more about the Mender in my life. Anyone else dying to get more of her story? I both desperately want a spin off and yet don’t want the magic that’s already there to be tampered with.

HannahPoferl (1)
I agree — I could use a "spin-off" story entirely about the Mender.
Red ClocksAlyssa (2)
Eh.

It took me quite a while to get in to this book. I even told my husband that I felt like it had promise, but I was running out of patience waiting for it to appear. Right about when I was going to give up (around page 50, of a 350 page book, I know that seems early - but that's how much I was struggling!) I started getting in to it.

I really didn't enjoy the writing style. That took some getting used to, and I'm not sure I ever did. I just kind of... dealt with it. Also, the journal/story the Biographer was writing being tossed in to every few pages didn't do anything for me. I thought it would all make sense at the end, but it didn't. Did I miss something?

I enjoyed how all three stories intertwined, and I really enjoyed how this book really isn't that far from being a true story (considering where the world is in politics, and where we are on the topic of Planned Parenthood, and what's considered to be the 'right' home to raise a child in). I enjoyed the Wife's story the most, probably. I could connect with some of the feelings she had (not wishing ill towards someone else, but also not wanting them to do well), and empathized with how she wanted to be left, not be the one who was leaving (as I think we've all been in relationships before where we didn't want to be the 'bad guy').

So, while in the end, I enjoyed the book, it's not really one I would recommend. The story started at a slugs pace, and the writing style didn't make it very enjoyable.

Red ClocksChelsea (21)
A surprisingly delightful book!

I ordered 2 books for January. I was wary about this one, since it's a similar theme to Future Home of the Living God, which I enjoyed, and the market is becoming a bit over-saturated with books about women's reproductive rights. I decided to read this first of the 2 books because I figured I had a higher chance of not liking it.

I was wrong! I loved it.

What's unique about this (for me, based on similar books I've ready) is that this is the most grounded in our current reality. The world isn't on the verge of collapse because of these laws, or has not changed drastically. For the most part, none of the characters are referenced by name (unless by other characters) which makes them women anyone can relate to. The writing style is a bit frenzied, but it works with the rush of emotions and experiences these women are going through.

I knew after a while that the Mender/Gin was the biological mother of the Daughter/Mattie/Matilda, but I didn't know where Zumas was going to take that relationship. And I was so convinced that the Wife/Susan was going to have an affair with Bryan AND get pregnant from it! I was probably being too dramatic in that regard, and I'm glad that didn't happen. What was enjoyable about Susan (though she herself was insufferable) as a character is that she represented the woman who feels children are not/should not be the end all, be all of a woman's life. I felt myself crossing my fingers that the Biographer/Ro/Miss would finally get pregnant and I hurt for her that she never got what she wanted. I was relieved the Daughter/Mattie/Matilda was able to get a safe abortion, and I never suspected that it was she who ratted out Yasmine for the same thing she ended up needing to do herself.

For most of the book, I actually couldn't stand reading about Eivor, but her importance to the Biographer all came together in the end. She was a representation of what the Biographer could mean and did mean to so many others, and that she did not need to have a baby to carry on her legacy.

Bonus: Plenty passages had me chuckle.