Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza
Simon and Schuster
July 24, 2018
Charlotte Walsh is running for a Senate seat in a district that could change the balance of power. Leaving her high powered job, she drags her husband and kids to her PA hometown and prepares for her campaign. Only, she wasn’t prepared for just how far her opponent will go to defeat her. Or how living in a glass house would affect her marriage, her career, and her family. When the opposition discovers a juicy piece of news that could destroy everything Charlotte holds dear, she will have to decide just how badly she wants to win.
Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win is an evocative look at today’s political arena from the eyes of one woman determined to conquer it. Rich in dark humor and savvy political insight, Piazzo’s writing is strong and compelling as she examines the many hats women wear in the workforce and the double standards that apply. Though the story follows Charlotte through her campaign, the focus is more on her personal life and the obstacles she faces trying to be what everyone wants. I love how Piazza gives a voice to Charlotte’s ambition, fears, and resentment. The fear of losing her family, the ambition of wanting to better the lives of those in her hometown, and the resentment of her life being on constant display and ripped apart by the county. Fan of Piazzo and politics are sure to enjoy her latest release.
Vox by Christina Dalcher
August 21, 2018
What if women were only given 100 words to speak a day?
What would you do?
A religious movement has swept the country, resulting in the stripping of women’s rights and freedoms. One woman is shocked when it happens and powerless to stop it. That is until she realizes that her denial of what has happened is not only affecting her but also her children. Now she Jean will have to fight…not only for her voice but the voices of all.
Vox is a dystopian fantasy that doesn’t seem all that fantastical. Taking liberties with our current government and the recent surge of the religious far right, Dalcher weaves a dark cautionary tale that hit this reader close to home. Set in the present, we are given a crash course in how the country is overtaken by “pure” religion and various groups’ freedoms are slowly stripped away. Dalcher shows us how easy it is to deny what is happening right before our eyes until it’s too late to do anything. Silence can be deadly. I found myself alternating between sadness and anger as the protagonist, Dr. Jean McClellan, tells her story. At times uncomfortably honest, she addresses her apathy in the face of the danger coming and her initial acceptance of what has passed. She draws a bleak picture of the future, showing us how life has changed for her and others; from the classroom to the bedroom. The story moves along at a steady pace with an edgy atmosphere that tightens around you like a noose. My slappy hands were on high alert all through the book. The ending was a bit off-kilter though. I had issues with the catalyst and the subsequent results. While I honestly don’t believe this could happen, I do believe we have to remain ever vigilant. Regardless, Vox is a compelling read along the lines of Atwood’s The Handmaids Tale; giving readers a glimpse at a future determined to erase them and their voice.