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Preview — When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
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When She Woke
Bellwether Prize winner Hillary Jordan’s provocative new novel, When She Woke, tells the story of a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated but chromed—their skin color is genetically altered to match the class...more
( http://popcornreads.com/fiction/when-... ) where she indicates purple's crime are rape but…moreHillary Jordan answers your question in this interview
( http://popcornreads.com/fiction/when-... ) where she indicates purple's crime are rape but she points out she never mentioned it in the novel.(less)
I wish I could write two reviews for When She Woke, one for the first half of the book and another for the second. Unfortunately, this is not one of those books that I can say starts off not so good but finishes on a high note; on the contrary, the first half was one of the strongest dystopian openings I've read in a long while and the second was just, well... a mess.
The first half of this book was at least a solid four stars. It was well-paced, fast without feeling rushed, and it was very cle ...more
The novel starts off strong with a tale of private shame made very public, and gleeful cruelty masquerading as religious piety. I saw some spooky parallels with the way Warren Jeffs was controlling the FLDS Church a few years ago.
Jordan takes the basic themes from Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and brings them into the future with the addition of abortion and extreme fundamentalist rule. Hanna ...more
Some books disturb you psychologically. For authors like King and Koontz and Barker, that psychological fear is their bread and butter, and many of us will pay good money to be frightened. But then there are the books that disturb you on a moral level. A spirit ...more
I'm not a big fan of "How to write" checklists; they're usually far too prescriptive, and very negative (a list of don'ts). However, I found myself wanting to shriek "Show, don't tell" every few pages. I kept reading only because I had time on my hands and thought it could only get better (it didn't).
PLOT BY NUMBERS
Hannah is a good(ish), 26 ...more
You know, up until the last, what, hour of this audiobook, I was fully intending to give it 3 stars. It has its faults, but you know, it tries. It's no "The Handmaid's Tale", but it tries.
And then we have to go and have that *censored* scene! And gorrammit, that ruined the message of the book for me. RUINED.
Message: 4 stars
Characters: 2 stars
Book up until last hour: 3 stars
Book after THAT SCENE: 1 star
Final Rating: 1 star
Maybe if you haven't read 1984 or ...more
The author also did a fantastic job creating complex, believable, intensely human characters. Hannah's personal development through the course of the novel in particular was well done.
Great read, highly recommended.
So begins When She Woke, the gripping near-future story of Hannah Payne who pays for her crime of aborting the foetus in her womb by being sentenced to sixteen years as a Chrome. Blending the religious fervour and moralising of The Scarlet Letter with the chilling dystopian repression and tight control of The Handmaid's Tale, Jordan has created a very human story, one about love and loyalty, b ...more
Other criminals of the s ...more
Quickly, it became apparent to me that this wa ...more
Every now and again I love to read dystopian literature that is well written and interesting.
When She Woke, tells the story of a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated but chromed—their skin colour is genetically altered to match the clas ...more
This is a modern reworking of The Scarlet Letter, which is a book I started but didn't finish. I think I need to get an audiobook version, as Hawthorne is one of those writers I find much more acceptable in narration (Thackeray is another). But I digress.
This dystopian is set in a future Texas where the religious right have absolute control, women are forced to be good little wifies and abortion = murder in the legal arena. Hannah, up t ...more
I don't really appreciate a modern book telling me that life is an empty void without God. Whether or not she's echoing Nathanial Hawthorne I'm not sure (it's been about a decade since I read the Scarlet Letter), but I was pretty sure this was all the author's opinions too.
Also (view spoiler)[Aidan should have died. Kill that fucker. Nathanial kill ...more
”When she woke, she was red.”
Forget The Handmaid’s Tale and even Stephen King’s books, this was one of the scariest books I’ve ever read.
This should in of itself be hilarious, because I don’t usually get scared by dystopian books. So why should this be any different? Because the world the author created was so freakishly realistic in where America is headed in terms of politics, especially with the arrival of the new president (that shall not be named). It’s basically what would happen if the ...more
Melachroming had great potenti ...more
Although I had quibbles at the end where I found myself skimming travel log type descriptions which added nothing ...more
This alternative Texas is a patriarchal Big Brotherish society where church and state is indistinguishable. Abortion, homosexuality, the theory of evolution, even colourful clothes are forbidden by the church and executed by the law. But for all their pious preaching, forgiveness and compassion are two things completely out of reach for these Christian fundamentalists.
Hanna is a 26 ...more
As for the ...more
By Hillary Jordan
If THE HANDMAIDS TALE and THE SCARLET LETTER were to have a child it most certainly would be this wonderful book, WHEN SHE WOKE. This well written book captures you with the opening scene of a young woman lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown while being televised to millions of homes.
Hannah Payne’s life had been devoted to church and family all her life until she shared a fierce and forbidden love with a very public figure. When she became ...more
|What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Dystopia, Teen Girl, maybe in a nunnery/institution, Gov't sci-fi type involvement? Read around 2010-2012? [s]||15||29||Apr 04, 2019 01:59PM|
|Play Book Tag: When She Woke - Hillary Jordan - 3 stars||5||16||Jul 31, 2018 11:44AM|
|What's the Name o...: SOLVED. People are colored according to their crime. [s]||7||44||Mar 18, 2018 06:32PM|
|Fiction Fanatics: June 2016 - When She Woke||9||30||Jul 11, 2016 10:28AM|
|The Great County ...: Read between the Wines||1||9||Jun 18, 2015 06:46AM|
MUDBOUND won the 2006 Bellwether Prize for fiction, founded by Barbara Kingsolver to recognize debut novels of social justice, and an Alex Award from the American Library Association. PASTE Magazine named it one of the Top 10 Debut Novel ...more