Scruffy's Reviews > The Testament of Jessie Lamb

The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Apr 07, 2012

it was amazing

In the very near future biological terrorists release a virus called MDS which kills women when they get pregnant. Jessie Lamb is a sixteen year old girl trying to make sense of the changed world she finds herself in. It's quite a terrifying set-up for a novel, a world where we can no longer produce children. For the first time the human race can finally see it's end.

The story is told from the first person perspective of Jessie Lamb. She is frightened by the future and angry at adults for leaving the world in such a mess. Jessie is very much a child, in fact sometimes the book reads in a similar way to Young Adult fiction, with a young protagonist dealing with the problems of being a teenager. It's written with quite simple language making it a very easygoing read.

Your opinion the book will probably depend on your reaction to Jessie. She is a very typical teenage girl, sometimes I was frustrated with her because her opinions seemed short-sighted and naive. However once I reminded myself that she was a teenager her outlook made perfect sense to me. She is essentially still a child, her thoughts and opinions are not fully formed or well thought out and in this way I found her to be convincing as a teenager.

I think having a young girl as a protagonist was a very good choice. She looks at the world around her and is able to see things in a much more black and white way than an adult would, really cutting to the heart of the matter. Jessie and her friends come to believe that it's the adults fault for getting them into this situation and that the human race is being punished for all the ways that they have been polluting the world and their over reliance on science. It's a very childish and naive view of things and if Jessie's character was an adult then the book would have come across as very preachy, however these opinions are easier to swallow coming from a teenager. Jessie has plenty of opinions but she never thinks that she has all the answers, I thought this process of questioning her own opinions and looking for meaning to be the most interesting part of the book.

I found the world of this book to be a little hard to buy into, the MDS virus is a huge thing which would have a great impact on society as a whole. While individual people were affected by the reality of their situation in a variety of different ways I didn't feel like the world at large really changed much at all. For the most part life carried on as normal and I found that quite hard to believe. There were some interesting ideas about how young men would start to act differently around women when they knew what would happen if they got pregnant. I thought that aspect of the world was very well thought out.

Eventually scientists come up with a way to combat MDS, it's not an easy solution and it throws up quite a moral conundrum. The book doesn't make any statements on whether this is right or wrong it just presents us with a variety of different view points on the problem and leaves us to decide for ourself's what we think. Jessie's ultimate decision is a difficult one and left me feeling very uneasy, it's certainly a book which will be staying with me for a while. From early on it's quite obvious where the story is heading, some people might criticize the book for this but I think that the knowledge of where all this is going gives everything a real weight and a lot of the smaller moments feel much more important and bitter-sweet because of it. I don't think that the book could have ended in any other way, anything else would have felt like a cop-out. At the end I was left feeling very satisfied and affected by Jessie's journey.

For more of my reviews please visit
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Testament of Jessie Lamb.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.