Chris Limb's Reviews > The Testament of Jessie Lamb

The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers
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's review
May 09, 2012

really liked it
Read from April 26 to May 09, 2012

We get to know Jessie Lamb against the background of a slow apocalypse, one which despite the death knell it may be sounding for the human race allows people to get on with the trivia of their lives for the time being.

This sounds like a familiar concept but this is not the climate armageddon we're sleepwalking into. Jessie has been born into a time where Maternal Death Syndrome (MDS) kills anyone who becomes pregnant long before they can give birth. Within a generation the human race will be extinct.

Jessie is an ordinary teenage with all this entails which makes for a compelling read. She is idealistic in the face of the way the world has been screwed up by the older generation. In a country where rival factions of varying degrees of sanity are springing up in response to the looming crisis, Jessie seems to keep her head and see things for how she believes they really are.

The only problem is that the one thing she feels she really can do to make a difference is the one her parents cannot countenance.

A thoughtful and melancholic read this is all the more effective for being set on such a small scale. Despite the world shaking events this is a story of a teenage girl in Manchester, her friends, her family. At the heart of the book is the fact that both Jessie and her parents are behaving in the only way they can. The fact that they want different things is unavoidable.

Children will always rebel and leave home, whatever form that rebellion takes.

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