Like all of Jones's work,
Life demands -- and amply repays -- close reading. In addition to writing
well about the thrills and tedium of scientific research, she manages
to be both clinical and lyrical in describing her characters' exploration
of their sensuality.
The lives of biologist
Anna Senoz; her husband, Spence; and their university friends intertwine
as they evolve from idealistic students into adults with concerns that
may affect their world. When Anna discovers a curious genetic trend
with implications for the human sexual identity and gender relations,
she finds herself a pariah among her colleagues. This latest novel from
British author Jones (Divine Endurance) portrays a near future of commercial
globalization in which gender discrimination persists in subtle ways,
forcing biology to find a way to fight back to equalize the sexes. Beautifully
written and elegantly paced, this story conveys bold speculative concepts
through intensely human characters. Deserving a wide crossover readership,
it is highly recommended for both sf and general fiction collections.
Jones' prose is deeply
engaging, drawing readers fully into her near-future setting. Anna is
a well-drawn protagonist, one who inhabits a role usually reserved for
male characters in SF: the obsessed scientist, willing to make big sacrifices
to unlock the mysteries of life.
If you are ready for something
beyond ray guns and rockets, with a taste of the real world and a touch
of science fiction, try Life; it will take you to a world you thought
Life is a novel that poses
the quintessential question: what does it mean to be human in the twenty-first
century? Sex, science, the limits of love, and the struggles of individuals
seeking to find meaning in their own lives, in a future world so close
to our own, set the stage for a dramatic play of human emotions and
the crushing press of ruthless events. Highly recommended.
a strong and serious exploration, with convincing people you come to
care about and high, very high stakes..."
"Violence manifests itself in a multitude of forms leaving survivors with psychological damage. Gwyneth Joness Life (2004) portrays myriad acts of violence against women in science with a specific critique of patriarchy that devalues womens place in science as the second sex. The novel depicts genderization of science, questioning whether there are essential biological sexual differences through the psychology of a haunted woman bioscientist who discovers the Transferred Y chromosome that will change the future of gender with the death of male chromosome and birth of many diverse sexes. This article discusses how gender becomes a visible barrier to advancement in almost any field, but most importantly in the sciences due to gender stereotypes and gendered professional culture. This is achieved by exploring the threshold of madness the woman scientist is driven to as a response to the strain of ongoing patriarchal violence, in addition to the consequences of her psychological dilemma of balancing her multiple roles in professional career and personal life . . .
Sumeyra Buran, 2020