Book Review: Red Clocks by Leni Zumas


My Rating: 3

Title: Red Clocks

Author: Leni Zumas

Pub Date: January 16, 2018

Pages: 356

For People Who Like: Feminist Dystopia, Alternating Perspectives, Creative Writing Styles

Bri’s Thoughts:

I finished this book a while ago and it took me such a long time to finally write a review of it because I still feel a little conflicted on how I liked it. On one hand, it was a very creatively written book that had a writing style which kept me engaged and wanting to keep turning the page. However, on the other hand, I don’t feel like I learned much from it or came away with anything substantial.

Each chapter of the book follows 4 different women and their lifestyles during a dystopian America where abortion is illegal. I found all four women’s perspectives to be interesting and odd (I never got bored). This made me want to continue reading and get to the part when their stories would lead to some sort of cohesive idea, but that never happened. I think the author was trying to prove a point through their stories, but was just a bit too vague.

I went into this book hoping to gain some new insight into the controversy over abortion and was fairly excited seeing as I haven’t read many feminist dystopian novels that seem to be popular right now. However, I came away feeling a bit lacking on the insight. I would have liked to have had the novel be from the perspectives of a more diverse group of characters. This would have helped me better understand the issue through the eyes of minority populations, different socioeconomic statuses, different religions, different ethnicities, etc. and not just from a white population in Oregon.

Nonetheless, I gave it 3 stars because it was very creative and did keep me engaged. The writing style was unique and I never thought about not finishing it. I can appreciate this book for how it was written, even if I didn’t walk away with much from it.


Five women. One question. What is a woman for?

In this ferociously imaginative novel, abortion is once again illegal in America, in-vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. In a small Oregon fishing town, five very different women navigate these new barriers alongside age-old questions surrounding motherhood, identity, and freedom.

Ro, a single high-school teacher, is trying to have a baby on her own, while also writing a biography of Eivør, a little-known 19th-century female polar explorer. Susan is a frustrated mother of two, trapped in a crumbling marriage. Mattie is the adopted daughter of doting parents and one of Ro’s best students, who finds herself pregnant with nowhere to turn. And Gin is the gifted, forest-dwelling homeopath, or “mender,” who brings all their fates together when she’s arrested and put on trial in a frenzied modern-day witch hunt.