As soon as I discovered ‘XX’ I knew it was my type of book. Provocative, controversial and thought-provoking, this is a timely and topical tale that addresses many of the issues that are playing out at the moment, such as the me too movement where women are no longer afraid to call out men’s behaviour. The central concept of the story is that due to recent medical advancements two women are now able to produce a female baby without the need for a male through ovum-to-ovum technology. A public outcry follows with religious types, advocates for men’s rights and many others speaking out against the use of this methodology. Lesbian couple Jules and Rosie are one of the first couples to try this new method of fertilisation, but when their details are leaked to the media, they come under intense scrutiny Suddenly everywhere they go they are followed by photographers and media personalities who are looking for a story and a payday.
This is a book of substance which may seem far-fetched to some, but this is not unthinkable. The probability of this happening in the near future is pretty high. Chadwick addresses some extremely important issues here including misogyny, medical ethics, press intrusion vs public interest, sexism, inequality, homophobia, social media, betrayal and class war. All of the issues were dealt with sensitively and with respect, and everything comes across as believable and realistic. Although ‘XX’ brings up some intriguing moral dilemmas, Chadwick refrains from coming across as preachy or instructing the reader on what to think, and readers are given the opportunity to think about where they stand on the matters she explores. The story held my attention for the duration, and if I’m honest I am still thinking about it weeks after finishing it! An unforgettable read! I hope this receives the critical acclaim it deserves – it’s truly difficult to believe that this is her debut novel!
Many thanks to Dialogue Books for an ARC. I was not required to post a review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.