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When She Woke
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Previous BRs - Authors; I - L > Jordan, Hillary - When She Woke (Adult Para/UF/SciFi/Fan) - Start July 2nd

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This thread is now open for discussion about When She Woke by Hillary Jordan. Expect Spoilers!

Synopsis:

I am red now. It was her first thought of the day, every day, surfacing after a few seconds of fogged, blessed ignorance and sweeping through her like a wave, breaking in her breast with a soundless roar. Hard on its heels came the second wave, crashing into the wreckage left by the first: he is gone.

Hannah Payne’s life has been devoted to church and family. But after she’s convicted of murder, she awakens to a nightmarish new life. She finds herself lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes—criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime—is a sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red for the crime of murder. The victim, says the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she shared a fierce and forbidden love.

A powerful reimagining of The Scarlet Letter, When She Woke is a timely fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of the not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated, and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned but chromed and released back into the population to survive as best they can. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith and love.


READING SCHEDULE

Date Pages/Start/Stop PPDQs*

July 2 Pages 1-63 Part One "The Scaffold". Karen

July 3 Pages 64-105
Start: Part Two "Pentinence";
Stop: "Hannah stood looking after her,
knowing she had no choice but
to follow."
Karen

*NOTE: July 4 is a break as many members will be
celebrating Independence Day

July 5 Pages 106-148
Start: "Exhaustion trumped the strangeness"...;
Stop: Part Three. The Magic Circle Karen

July 6 Pages 149 - 202
Start: Part Three. The Magic Circle; "Hannah's
Ebullience dwindled"
...
Stop: ""I'll take some of that coffee,"
she said."
Kaleen

July 7 Pages 203-270
Start: "They asked her to tell them about
herself,"
...
Stop: ""I'm not positive," Kayla said,
"but I think I've started fragging out."
Karen

July 8 Pages 271-341 (end)
Start: "The briny tang of the sea was the
first thing"...
Karen

*PPDQs = Person Posting Discussion Questions



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Reserved


Ashley Marie (darlingdoor) | 1733 comments I've started this book about 300 times...other people encouraging me to read it in small bites might be just the thing!


message 4: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14257 comments Mod
Sometimes that helps! It go me through The Diviners :)


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Christine (inhalesbookslikepopcorn) | 1050 comments I'm in.


Shawna Britton | 18 comments ill give it a go!


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Sandra Heinzman (vasandra) | 19 comments I'm in!


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Reading schedule posted above.


Steven (gallifreyan1218) | 4756 comments This looks intriguing and it isn't too long. I think I'll jump in, since it was available at my digital NC library.


Kristin | 840 comments Got my book in the mail today and I am pretty excited to read this. I loveThe Scarlet Letter so I hope this is good.


Kaleen | 60 comments Really excited about this one! It's been on my list for awhile :) I can do a set of DQs after July 4th, if you need.


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Sandra Heinzman (vasandra) | 19 comments I got the ebook from my library already!


message 13: by Pamela (last edited Jul 01, 2013 08:11PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pamela Marie | 39 comments I would love to join you all! I picked up the ebook.


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) Alrighty, library has this and I have been wanting to read it. I need to return something that I'm not into right now so I can go check this one out!


message 15: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14257 comments Mod
Thanks Kaleen - would you like to do the questions on the 6th July?

Welcome everyone!


message 16: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14257 comments Mod
Questions and comments
July 2, Pages 1-63, Part One "The Scaffold".

1.We know from the synopsis this book is a "reimagining" of The Scarlet Letter. It has been over 20 years since I read that book! If you need to refresh your memory, here is the wikipedia link. Have you read The Scarlet Letter? Did that impact your decision to read this book?

2. Hannah is now "red" and will be left in that cell in solitary confinement, although broadcast on TV for the public's viewing entertainment, for 30 days. It seems there is absolutely no human contact as even the food is automatically deposited. Can you imagine the impact that would have on someone? Do you agree with this form of punishment?

3. We learn that "red" is the colour for murder, "yellow" for misdemeanours and "blue" for child molesters. Do you think it is a good idea to semi-permanently mark criminals this way?

4.Hannah is 26 and will be "red" for 16 years (and sterile for that time). Do you agree with her decision to not name Raphael and Aidan to reduce her sentence?

5. Hannah has not always blindly followed her faith as she questioned her parents and made dresses. Gabrielle also says abortion is "against your religion". Do you think in this society there is open opposition to religion? Or is it more of an "underbelly"?

6. Cole is an interesting character! What did you think of him? Will his character be important to the ongoing story?

7. Alyssa seemed to know what her husband was doing (or about to do) with Hannah. Do you think it is probable that he has done this with young women before? I got the impression he was a bit of a predator and "cult leader" the way he brought her in, made it possible for them to be alone, and didn't come forward with the truth. Or am I being too harsh and Hannah was right to protect him?

8. All chromes need to get renewal shots every 4 months. Do you think there is the possibility of escape for Hannah?

9. Thoughts on the book so far? How do you find the writing style?



Steven (gallifreyan1218) | 4756 comments Started this morning. Intrigued!


Steven (gallifreyan1218) | 4756 comments (PS- I'll be out of town Thursday to Sunday, so I'll catch up questions when I get back!)


Ashley Marie (darlingdoor) | 1733 comments 1.We know from the synopsis this book is a "reimagining" of The Scarlet Letter. It has been over 20 years since I read that book! If you need to refresh your memory, here is the wikipedia link. Have you read The Scarlet Letter? Did that impact your decision to read this book?

I read the Scarlet Letter about 20 years ago, and have hazy recollections of it. My parents were super bad at helping me pick age appropriate books lol. I'm as much reminded of The Handmaid's Tale as I am of the Scarlet Letter. I was influenced by the references to older literary works in wanting to read this, but just because it's billed as feminist lit in a certain tradition, not so much because of the specific references.

2. Hannah is now "red" and will be left in that cell in solitary confinement, although broadcast on TV for the public's viewing entertainment, for 30 days. It seems there is absolutely no human contact as even the food is automatically deposited. Can you imagine the impact that would have on someone? Do you agree with this form of punishment?

This seems horrible. I can't imagine having nothing to do but take a daily shower for 30 days - I bet people go mad. I think Hannah references "screamers" at one point. I definitely think I'd end up like that if I were put into such a cruel situation. Solitary confinement for that long just seems really awful.

3. We learn that "red" is the colour for murder, "yellow" for misdemeanours and "blue" for child molesters. Do you think it is a good idea to semi-permanently mark criminals this way?

Shame doesn't usually work that well in my experience, and I imagine many of the reds and blues end up murdered by vigilantes. I'm curious to see if we'll learn more about the trial system in general. What if someone is innocent and still chromed? What about access to mental health care - sometimes people really do need help :/

4.Hannah is 26 and will be "red" for 16 years (and sterile for that time). Do you agree with her decision to not name Raphael and Aidan to reduce her sentence?

I agree with her decision to not name Raphael, but not with her decision to not name Aidan. He's as much to blame for this situation as she is, and he's certainly not worried about protecting her.

5. Hannah has not always blindly followed her faith as she questioned her parents and made dresses. Gabrielle also says abortion is "against your religion". Do you think in this society there is open opposition to religion? Or is it more of an "underbelly"?

I think it's probably more of an underbelly. This is part of what makes me think of the Handmaid's Tale. If there really is a fundamentalist regime in place, I don't imagine there's much room for open dissent.

6. Cole is an interesting character! What did you think of him? Will his character be important to the ongoing story?

He seems like a real twerp >:(. I can't stand men that are overbearing to their wives or sisters like that. I think he'll play a role in the ongoing story, especially since he's been set up as Hannah's enemy.

7. Alyssa seemed to know what her husband was doing (or about to do) with Hannah. Do you think it is probable that he has done this with young women before? I got the impression he was a bit of a predator and "cult leader" the way he brought her in, made it possible for them to be alone, and didn't come forward with the truth. Or am I being too harsh and Hannah was right to protect him?

I definitely think Alyssa had an idea about what was about to happen. I'm not sure if he's ever done this before, but there's definitely something up with his marriage.

8. All chromes need to get renewal shots every 4 months. Do you think there is the possibility of escape for Hannah?

I think this is where the story is going. I think she'll end up a fugitive.

9. Thoughts on the book so far? How do you find the writing style?

I really like it so far. I usually have a hard time getting into a new book, but this one has really grabbed my attention.


Kaleen | 60 comments June 6th sounds great :)


message 21: by Imke (new) - rated it 3 stars

Imke (immie75) | 1642 comments Questions and comments
July 2, Pages 1-63, Part One "The Scaffold".


1.We know from the synopsis this book is a "reimagining" of The Scarlet Letter. It has been over 20 years since I read that book! If you need to refresh your memory,here is the wikipedia link. Have you read The Scarlet Letter? Did that impact your decision to read this book?
I haven’t read the Scarlet Letter, I do know of the the book and the story. The synopsis of when she woke attracted me to the book and made me decide to vote for this book of the month and read it.

2. Hannah is now "red" and will be left in that cell in solitary confinement, although broadcast on TV for the public's viewing entertainment, for 30 days. It seems there is absolutely no human contact as even the food is automatically deposited. Can you imagine the impact that would have on someone? Do you agree with this form of punishment?
Yes I can imagine the impact. Humans aren’t meant to spent their time in isolation, disconnected from others. It looks as if this isolation is not only isolation from humans but from everything. She has nothing to distract her. This is of course to make them think/reflect on their crime. I don’t agree with this punishment . I really don’t like the reality TV aspect of this punishment and the complete isolation of the chromes.

3. We learn that "red" is the colour for murder, "yellow" for misdemeanours and "blue" for child molesters. Do you think it is a good idea to semi-permanently mark criminals this way?
No. I think it encourages others to take matters in their own hands when chromes are released into society.

4.Hannah is 26 and will be "red" for 16 years (and sterile for that time). Do you agree with her decision to not name Raphael and Aidan to reduce her sentence?
Yes, she has already pronounced herself guilty of murder and I think she feels she deserves what she gets. She wants to protect Raphael and Aidan for the decisions she made.

5. Hannah has not always blindly followed her faith as she questioned her parents and made dresses. Gabrielle also says abortion is "against your religion". Do you think in this society there is open opposition to religion? Or is it more of an "underbelly"?
It feels to me more like an “underbelly” . I haven’t got a feeling about how this society Works and what it is about. We get bits and pieces, sof ar it’s only Hannah’s story.

6. Cole is an interesting character! What did you think of him? Will his character be important to the ongoing story?
Don’t like him and the way he treats Rebecca, but we only have Hannah’s point of view. He may have a larger role to play, maybe in how Hannah got arrested in the First place.

7. Alyssa seemed to know what her husband was doing (or about to do) with Hannah. Do you think it is probable that he has done this with young women before? I got the impression he was a bit of a predator and "cult leader" the way he brought her in, made it possible for them to be alone, and didn't come forward with the truth. Or am I being too harsh and Hannah was right to protect him?
I didn’t get the feeling Aidan had done this before and I think Alyssa is a very perceptive woman. Also Hannah is an adult (she was 25 when the affair started.

8. All chromes need to get renewal shots every 4 months. Do you think there is the possibility of escape for Hannah?
Maybe, but she is very red and therefore visible, so escape will be a challenge.

9. Thoughts on the book so far? How do you find the writing style?
I like the book very much eventhough it is a very one sided story so far. I keep asking myself what would I do, how I would react.


Sheila (sheilalynn) | 206 comments Questions and comments
July 2, Pages 1-63, Part One "The Scaffold".

1.We know from the synopsis this book is a "reimagining" of The Scarlet Letter. It has been over 20 years since I read that book! If you need to refresh your memory, here is the wikipedia link. Have you read The Scarlet Letter? Did that impact your decision to read this book?

I have not read The Scarlet Letter, but I know the synopsis and have always wanted to read it. I am just really interested in the subject matter and how society deals with these divisive issues and the social policing that these books explore.

2. Hannah is now "red" and will be left in that cell in solitary confinement, although broadcast on TV for the public's viewing entertainment, for 30 days. It seems there is absolutely no human contact as even the food is automatically deposited. Can you imagine the impact that would have on someone? Do you agree with this form of punishment?

To me, all of that is cruel and unusual punishment. The solitary confinement, the mirrors, BEING ON TV...I am really curious how society evolved to think it was ok for reality tv to be a form of punishment. However, there are numerous books that explore the future of reality tv and some of them use it as punishment.

3. We learn that "red" is the colour for murder, "yellow" for misdemeanours and "blue" for child molesters. Do you think it is a good idea to semi-permanently mark criminals this way?

I think it is horrible. Being a criminal is already a really heavy burden that people have to carry. Marking people is such a public way so that random passersby know your business is beyond reprehensible.

4.Hannah is 26 and will be "red" for 16 years (and sterile for that time). Do you agree with her decision to not name Raphael and Aidan to reduce her sentence?

I agree with her decision to not name Raphael. However, I don't understand not naming Aidan. And I don't understand why she is taking such a huge hit for him. I get the loving him. But I can't help thinking that she is not the first girl Aidan has cheated on Alyssa with and that makes me wonder how many girls he has left in this predicament.

5. Hannah has not always blindly followed her faith as she questioned her parents and made dresses. Gabrielle also says abortion is "against your religion". Do you think in this society there is open opposition to religion? Or is it more of an "underbelly"?

It sounds to me that there is not open opposition to religion in this society. The warden only offering her a Bible makes me feel that way. However, Hannah has a limited perspective, so we might be getting a skewed view.

6. Cole is an interesting character! What did you think of him? Will his character be important to the ongoing story?

I dislike Cole. I think we are suppose to dislike Cole though. I doubt that he will do anything that I will agree with or like. I also feel that he is going to make life as difficult as he can for Hannah.

7. Alyssa seemed to know what her husband was doing (or about to do) with Hannah. Do you think it is probable that he has done this with young women before? I got the impression he was a bit of a predator and "cult leader" the way he brought her in, made it possible for them to be alone, and didn't come forward with the truth. Or am I being too harsh and Hannah was right to protect him?

I agree with you right now. I am sure he has done this before.

8. All chromes need to get renewal shots every 4 months. Do you think there is the possibility of escape for Hannah?

Maybe...it doesn't look good for her. But who knows?

9. Thoughts on the book so far? How do you find the writing style?

I am enjoying the book so far. I am very interested to see where it goes.


Ashley Marie (darlingdoor) | 1733 comments Did some more thinking about the TV aspect of her punishment, and I think it might be a reference to the panopticon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon


Sheila (sheilalynn) | 206 comments Ashley Marie wrote: "Did some more thinking about the TV aspect of her punishment, and I think it might be a reference to the panopticon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon"


I had not thought of the panopticon, but that makes total sense. And is really scary. Because with the panopticon it is just the guards who see you. But not with TV. I will have to think about that some more.


Linda | 39 comments 1 –I haven’t read the Scarlet Letter, but I do know the story. That didn’t impact my decision at all since I didn’t know what the book was about until I downloaded it from the library.

2 – Solitary confinement is punishment, and I don’t really have an opinion about it for criminals. I think it might be necessary for safety purposes, if someone is consistently hurting others and needs to be isolated. I’m not sure why there are 30 days of solitary prior to releasing Hannah. It might be to acclimate her to not having friends and support since she will be an outcast when she’s released. It seems harsh, but Vietnam Prisoners of War used that time positively to go deeper into their faith, exercise, and relive the wonderful moments of their life. I’m not sure I would have handled it as well as they did, but I’d like to think I would have.

3 – I don’t agree that they should be marked and released to the public. The de facto punishment then becomes death, and I’m very uncomfortable with the general public executing people for crimes that don’t carry the death sentence. While I don’t think child molesters can ever get rehabilitated, others might have a chance at productive lives after they paid their debt to society.

4 – I agreed with her decision to not name Raphael and Aidan, but not for the reason she did it. Absence the fetus, it would have been her word against Aidan’s word, and she may have created more future enemies if she had accused Aidan without proof. She is being released into the public, and who can tell how people like Mrs. Bunten, who adored Aidan, would have reacted if she had. Would she be harassed? It’s difficult to say.

5 – The opposition to religion is probably more of an “underbelly”.

6 – I get the feeling that Cole is going to physically and psychologically abuse his wife, if he hasn’t already started. He has started cutting off her contact with her family, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have a lot of friends around either. She’ll be there to do the chores in that sad house, and get his beer while he watches tv, and raise his sad children who will grow up to be abusers or victims. This story isn’t new. I think Cole will continue to be in the story, and I hope he gets his karma.

7 – Alyssa is a smart woman who doesn’t trust her husband. I believe he’s done this before, and she knew he was up to it again when he was visiting the hospital so much. He’s probably got a type of woman who attracts him, and Alyssa knew as soon as she saw Hannah that she was it. I would have hoped that Hannah had named him the Father and kept the baby instead of trying to protect him after the abortion. I don’t think he deserves her protection and sacrifice because he’s now free to ruin another young lady’s life.

8 – I think something will happen when she renews her shots, and it’ll be interesting to see how it unfolds.

9 – I really like the book so far.


message 26: by Pamela (last edited Jul 02, 2013 04:48PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pamela Marie | 39 comments 1.We know from the synopsis this book is a "reimagining" of The Scarlet Letter. It has been over 20 years since I read that book! If you need to refresh your memory, here is the wikipedia link. Have you read The Scarlet Letter? Did that impact your decision to read this book?

It's been while, but I read the Scarlet Letter back in high school. Yes, it did impact my decision to read this book.

2. Hannah is now "red" and will be left in that cell in solitary confinement, although broadcast on TV for the public's viewing entertainment, for 30 days. It seems there is absolutely no human contact as even the food is automatically deposited. Can you imagine the impact that would have on someone? Do you agree with this form of punishment?

Social isolation negatively impacts our health mentally and physically. There are U.S. prisoners that have spent years in solitary confinement, not just 30 days. I’m not sure if I’m totally for or against solitary confinement as a form of punishment.

I think broadcasting on TV is another form of punishment, known as public humiliation. This method is used to deter others from committing crimes. They kicked it up a notch by putting her most intimate moments on television – being filmed while undressing, in the shower, providing sanitary napkins in the deposit box when she started her cycle, and making her say ‘please’ in order to receive the bible.

3. We learn that "red" is the colour for murder, "yellow" for misdemeanours and "blue" for child molesters. Do you think it is a good idea to semi-permanently mark criminals this way?

No, I think it is a terrible idea to semi-permanently mark criminals in this manner. How will they ever recover from such shame?

4.Hannah is 26 and will be "red" for 16 years (and sterile for that time). Do you agree with her decision to not name Raphael and Aidan to reduce her sentence?

No, I do not agree with her decision to not name Aidan. Clearly, Aidan’s wife is aware of his behavior, I think Hannah got the message loud and clear. Hannah seems to confuse lust and love. If that man truly loved her he would have admitted to his wrong doings. However, I understand why she decided not to implicate Raphael.

5. Hannah has not always blindly followed her faith as she questioned her parents and made dresses. Gabrielle also says abortion is "against your religion". Do you think in this society there is open opposition to religion? Or is it more of an "underbelly"?

No, I don’t think in this society there is open opposition to religion.

6. Cole is an interesting character! What did you think of him? Will his character be important to the ongoing story?

I think Cole is the perfect husband for her sister, Becca. He might not be Hannah’s ideal husband, but Becca loves him and that’s all that matters. I believe that his character will be of some importance to the ongoing story.

7. Alyssa seemed to know what her husband was doing (or about to do) with Hannah. Do you think it is probable that he has done this with young women before? I got the impression he was a bit of a predator and "cult leader" the way he brought her in, made it possible for them to be alone, and didn't come forward with the truth. Or am I being too harsh and Hannah was right to protect him?

No, you’re not being harsh at all! Alyssa knows what her husband is up to and I have a feeling this isn’t his first rodeo.
How many other young ladies went through this sort of thing?

8. All chromes need to get renewal shots every 4 months. Do you think there is the possibility of escape for Hannah?

I believe there is possibility of escape for Hannah.

9. Thoughts on the book so far? How do you find the writing style?

I’m really enjoying the book thus far. I can’t wait to dig in and find out what happens next.


Steven (gallifreyan1218) | 4756 comments When She Woke

July 2, Pages 1-63, Part One "The Scaffold".

1.We know from the synopsis this book is a "reimagining" of The Scarlet Letter. It has been over 20 years since I read that book! If you need to refresh your memory, here is the wikipedia link. Have you read The Scarlet Letter? Did that impact your decision to read this book?

My decision to read this book came from seeing the Book of the Month read and thinking, hmm, that book sounds interesting.

2. Hannah is now "red" and will be left in that cell in solitary confinement, although broadcast on TV for the public's viewing entertainment, for 30 days. It seems there is absolutely no human contact as even the food is automatically deposited. Can you imagine the impact that would have on someone? Do you agree with this form of punishment?

I understand why they do it, but I can’t imagine going through that!

3. We learn that "red" is the colour for murder, "yellow" for misdemeanours and "blue" for child molesters. Do you think it is a good idea to semi-permanently mark criminals this way?

It’s definitely one way to punish them effectively... though it puts them at a disadvantage to change their life when they’re targeted by “innocent” people.

4.Hannah is 26 and will be "red" for 16 years (and sterile for that time). Do you agree with her decision to not name Raphael and Aidan to reduce her sentence?

I do. She chose not to destroy two other men for her choices (though they were willing participants), and I have a feeling that this will come back around in the end.

5. Hannah has not always blindly followed her faith as she questioned her parents and made dresses. Gabrielle also says abortion is "against your religion". Do you think in this society there is open opposition to religion? Or is it more of an "underbelly"?

I think there is an open opposition, as those people who fought against the changing laws, but I think that the everyday people tend to live in an “underbelly” of sorts -- to protect themselves.

>b>6. Cole is an interesting character! What did you think of him? Will his character be important to the ongoing story?

You say interesting, I say asshole. Controlling, weak, insecure, pathetic... all are words taht come to mind when I see behavior like his. Most people who live extremely religiously this way, especially men who behave this way, are insecure in themselves, and take it out on their “weaker spouse.” And it irks me. I have a hunch that he is going to be a thorn in her side once her “escape plan” starts (if she has one!).

7. Alyssa seemed to know what her husband was doing (or about to do) with Hannah. Do you think it is probable that he has done this with young women before? I got the impression he was a bit of a predator and "cult leader" the way he brought her in, made it possible for them to be alone, and didn't come forward with the truth. Or am I being too harsh and Hannah was right to protect him?

I wondered that myself. I was unsure of his true intentions with her, though it was clear he didn’t love her enough to stand up for her or respect her (or himself) enough to own his mistakes.

8. All chromes need to get renewal shots every 4 months. Do you think there is the possibility of escape for Hannah?

Hadn’t thought of it until you said this. Interesting theory... I hope it plays out well if they do that!

9. Thoughts on the book so far? How do you find the writing style?
I like the symbolism found in how the first part of the book is set up. It flows like her thoughts, it flashes back to her memories -- which fits, as she is supposed to be reflecting on what she has done and what led her to that point.

Also, just like her days blur together with little to differentiate them, the chapters had no separating markers (other than changes in train of thought and some capital letters)... which also made it harder to find GOOD stopping points during my day at work sneaking pages when I could haha.


message 28: by Kaitlin (last edited Jul 02, 2013 05:53PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kaitlin (kait-k) | 451 comments July 2, Pages 1-63, Part One "The Scaffold".

1.We know from the synopsis this book is a "reimagining" of The Scarlet Letter. It has been over 20 years since I read that book! If you need to refresh your memory, here is the wikipedia link. Have you read The Scarlet Letter? Did that impact your decision to read this book?

I've read that, but didn't know this was inspired by that. I do love the movie Easy A, which is also deals a lot with The Scarlet Letter.

2. Hannah is now "red" and will be left in that cell in solitary confinement, although broadcast on TV for the public's viewing entertainment, for 30 days. It seems there is absolutely no human contact as even the food is automatically deposited. Can you imagine the impact that would have on someone? Do you agree with this form of punishment?

I'd go crazy. But in actual prison, people are only in contact with other criminals, so...not sure that's much more healthy.

I noticed that Hannah didn't mention a lawyer, and I'm sure she's not speaking to one in solitary. It seems unlikely that the appeals system will come into play either.


3. We learn that "red" is the colour for murder, "yellow" for misdemeanours and "blue" for child molesters. Do you think it is a good idea to semi-permanently mark criminals this way?

It seems like that's the way to keep them incarcerated for a shorter time but extend their punishment. The author mentions the "virus" briefly, but I wish she'd said more.

4.Hannah is 26 and will be "red" for 16 years (and sterile for that time). Do you agree with her decision to not name Raphael and Aidan to reduce her sentence?

I understand why she did it (and of course that's how The Scarlet Letter goes). She was obsessed with Aidan from the beginning and seemed to realize nothing good would come of it, so I think her religious sentiments told her that this was the punishment she deserved.

5. Hannah has not always blindly followed her faith as she questioned her parents and made dresses. Gabrielle also says abortion is "against your religion". Do you think in this society there is open opposition to religion? Or is it more of an "underbelly"?

It seems like religion is forced on people in the book, which I believe is where the dystopia aspect comes from. In the modern civilized world, religion itself pushes ideas on people, but the people can at least choose to participate or not.

6. Cole is an interesting character! What did you think of him? Will his character be important to the ongoing story?

Yeah, he's a self-righteous jerk who needs somebody weak-willed to push around, and then he can blame his actions on the Bible. Gross.

7. Alyssa seemed to know what her husband was doing (or about to do) with Hannah. Do you think it is probable that he has done this with young women before? I got the impression he was a bit of a predator and "cult leader" the way he brought her in, made it possible for them to be alone, and didn't come forward with the truth. Or am I being too harsh and Hannah was right to protect him?

Hannah was obsessed and was going to do whatever Aidan wanted. I think she and her sister have that weakness in common. I'm not sure how much Alyssa knew, as opposed to Hannah just really FEELING like she knew because she felt guilty. When you've done something to someone, it's hard to not read into everything they do to you.

8. All chromes need to get renewal shots every 4 months. Do you think there is the possibility of escape for Hannah?

Yeah, I was surprised at that length of time, given how oppressive everything else seems to be.

9. Thoughts on the book so far? How do you find the writing style?

I gave it a shot because the concept and lead were so good, and because I was able to get it on my Kindle from the library :). I'm not super enjoying it; I feel like the writing is a bit childish, and there's a ton of summarizing. It's also a lot of abortion/religion talk, which I think is a cheap way to sell a book because it's so polarizing. I find that less frustrating now that I know the link to The Scarlet Letter - TSL was written to show the dark side and unfairness of Christianity, though it does it in a subtle way, where this beats you over the head.

I'm eager for more present-time storyline and seeing in what other ways the new society is different than ours.



message 29: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (last edited Jul 02, 2013 08:50PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14257 comments Mod
@Ashley Marie

1. I haven't read the Handmaid's Tale. That looks pretty full-on!

2. Same here. Not being able to read/talk/watch anything or see people would make me go a bit insane

3. True. They are against the death penalty, but don't seem to care that the chromes are hurt/killed by vigilantes. I guess if you are found innocent later you don't get your 4 month "top up"? Or maybe there is no appeal system? Interesting to think about!

4. It does seem very unfair that she shoulders the complete blame!!

9. me too. I'm glad we're not too far in before pausing for July 4. I'm so tempted to keep reading! lol

Panopticon was very interesting. Thanks for posting!

--------------

@Imke

2. yes, the reality TV aspect just adds something more sinister to the isolation

3. Agree. The vigilante aspect seems quite wrong

7. I keep forgetting her age because she was still living at home etc. This society seems to be very restrictive for women

-------------

@Sheila

1.Same here. As hard as this is to believe, there is still a part of me that wonders if it could happen someday!

2. Agree. I wonder if this kind of reality TV will occur in our lifetime. Is it that much of a jump from televising a death sentence being carried out? So many ethical and moral issues that can be explored here

4. you and I feel the same on this one!

---------

@Linda

2. That is an interesting perspective. You may be right that the 30 days is meant to be for complete bible study and introspection. It does seem like cruel punishment though

3. Agreed

4. You're right, she may have been just as scorned anyway

7. I would've liked her to keep the baby too ; after all her family did say they would have supported that choice. She has really made a massive decision to protect Aidan's reputation

----------

@Pamela

2. Yes, the initimate moments are really something else. I can't imagine

4. Agreed!

8. I hope so :)

--------

@TL Steven

3. I think that is the big ethical question isn't it... Clearly this is cheaper punishment than jailing people, just how do they rehabilitate?

6. lol. Yes, he does seem like quite a sort! You may be right that he becomes an issue to her escape

7. That makes him pretty low in my opinion right now

9. True. Glad you were able to sneak in some pages ;)

---------

@Kaitlin


1. Great movie!

2. I didn't even notice that. I wonder how the whole justice system works?

3. Hopefully we find out more soon :)

6. Nice way to describe him! haha

7. Good point

9. yes, I think we will get into the present a bit more over the coming chapters now that the past is set up


message 30: by Kim (new) - added it

Kim Questions and comments
July 2, Pages 1-63, Part One "The Scaffold".

1.We know from the synopsis this book is a "reimagining" of The Scarlet Letter. It has been over 20 years since I read that book! If you need to refresh your memory, here is the wikipedia link. Have you read The Scarlet Letter? Did that impact your decision to read this book?

I have never read The Scarlet Letter, just had a general idea what the book was about so it didn't really impact my decision to read this book.

2. Hannah is now "red" and will be left in that cell in solitary confinement, although broadcast on TV for the public's viewing entertainment, for 30 days. It seems there is absolutely no human contact as even the food is automatically deposited. Can you imagine the impact that would have on someone? Do you agree with this form of punishment?

I think it would be very hard to take and I don't think Hannah deserved this punishment.

3. We learn that "red" is the colour for murder, "yellow" for misdemeanours and "blue" for child molesters. Do you think it is a good idea to semi-permanently mark criminals this way?

No, I don't. I think it just causes more problems.

4.Hannah is 26 and will be "red" for 16 years (and sterile for that time). Do you agree with her decision to not name Raphael and Aidan to reduce her sentence?

I don't agree with her at all. I think she should have kept the baby and let Aidan deal with the consequences of his actions.

5. Hannah has not always blindly followed her faith as she questioned her parents and made dresses. Gabrielle also says abortion is "against your religion". Do you think in this society there is open opposition to religion? Or is it more of an "underbelly"?

Maybe more of an underbelly. It seems like people are happy to turn each other in.

6. Cole is an interesting character! What did you think of him? Will his character be important to the ongoing story?

I did not like him and I bet his character will cause problems for Hannah.

7. Alyssa seemed to know what her husband was doing (or about to do) with Hannah. Do you think it is probable that he has done this with young women before? I got the impression he was a bit of a predator and "cult leader" the way he brought her in, made it possible for them to be alone, and didn't come forward with the truth. Or am I being too harsh and Hannah was right to protect him?

I think he has definitely done things to make Alyssa not trust him. And I absolutely don't think Hannah should have protected him.

8. All chromes need to get renewal shots every 4 months. Do you think there is the possibility of escape for Hannah?

I hope so. I feel bad for Hannah even though she isn't making the best decisions.

9. Thoughts on the book so far? How do you find the writing style?

I am liking the book so far. Definitely interested in Hannah and her story.


message 31: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (last edited Jul 02, 2013 11:27PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14257 comments Mod
July 3, Pages 64-105,
Start: Part Two "Pentinence";
Stop: "Hannah stood looking after her, knowing she had no choice but to follow."

10. “Billy Sikes” as the name for the guard at the gatehouse! That character always scared the pants off me. Some information on him from Wikipedia is here . Interesting that the author used this character name, and also referred to Oompa Loompas. How far in the future do you think this book is meant to be set?

11. I was surprised (and pleased) when Hannah’s father collected her. Did you think he would come? Aidan has organised for her to go to the Straight Path Centre. Perhaps he does care and feel guilty?

12. The Straight Path Centre has alot of strict rules and the “initiation” was very strange. Six months in here would be a very long time!! What do you think... is it a sanctuary or just another jail?

13. The mention of “post-racial society” was interesting. Particularly that “chromes” have a segregated area in church. Is it fair punishment for them to be segregated or unfair and driven by fear?

14. Kayla and Bridget couldn’t be more different! What are your thoughts on these characters?

15. I found the women holding dolls a little creepy. Any predictions on what that could be about?


We have a break now for those celebrating Independence Day, so no questions will be posted on July 4. To all our US members, have a great day!


message 32: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14257 comments Mod
@Kim

2&3 - It is a pretty harsh punishment this society gives out!

6. Agree. I wonder if he finds out about Aidan somehow

7. Same here. I hope she changes her mind about protecting him!


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) Started this on a whim last night and I'm sucked in. I'll come back and read responses to the first set of questions when I'm more awake! (I just woke up from a very long nap on the couch, LOL! It is 2 AM here.)

Questions and comments
July 2, Pages 1-63, Part One "The Scaffold".

1.We know from the synopsis this book is a "reimagining" of The Scarlet Letter. It has been over 20 years since I read that book! If you need to refresh your memory, here is the wikipedia link. Have you read The Scarlet Letter? Did that impact your decision to read this book?

I recall hating that book when I was in high school but I don't quite remember why. I'm sure part of it was the writing style, if it was written in some sort of "old timey" prose (lol). I'm sure the storyline bothered me, too. Never been a fan of stories where women are shunned for things that men are just as guilty of! Of course, it's been a LONG time since I read it, so maybe the dude was shunned, too? Perhaps I'll give the book a re-read and see how the latest version of me enjoys or hates it! I honestly didn't remember that this book was a reimagining of TSL when I decided to read it for this buddy read. At first, when I read that, I thought, "Ugh... do I want to read this?", but I decided to give it a shot.

2. Hannah is now "red" and will be left in that cell in solitary confinement, although broadcast on TV for the public's viewing entertainment, for 30 days. It seems there is absolutely no human contact as even the food is automatically deposited. Can you imagine the impact that would have on someone? Do you agree with this form of punishment?

I like to think that if I were in that situation, I'd find a lot of things to keep my mind occupied but it's not something you can really know until you experience it for yourself. I think it can be pretty hard on the psyche to be in complete solitude for 30 days, though I feel that most murderers deserve such punishment. Now, that doesn't mean I believe Hannah deserves it because to me, abortion isn't the same exact level as, say cold blooded murder. I guess if there were levels of red (light to dark, maybe) to represent different types of murder, I would think there could be different forms of punishment for each, however, do yellows or blues receive the same exact punishment as reds (like 30 days of solitary confinement and no human contact)? I guess it'd help to know that first. Anyway, I started thinking of a red/murder scale of sorts but then it became complicated and too wordy so I deleted it.

3. We learn that "red" is the colour for murder, "yellow" for misdemeanours and "blue" for child molesters. Do you think it is a good idea to semi-permanently mark criminals this way?

Honestly, I think people being chromed as blue to signify that they are child molesters is the least of punishments they could endure. As to the others, I don't know, it becomes a kind of "depends what they did and why they did it" thing for me. What if you murder someone in self-defense? There are just too many variables for me to come up with any sort of cut-and-dried answer, except for the child molesters. To me, that's one of, if not THE, worst crimes a person could commit, but to someone else, abortion may be the worst crime, so it's all really just down to personal opinions and beliefs in the end, I suppose.

4.Hannah is 26 and will be "red" for 16 years (and sterile for that time). Do you agree with her decision to not name Raphael and Aidan to reduce her sentence?

Isn't she 28? Not that it matters but I thought that was the math I came up with (For some reason I thought she said she'd be 42 in 16 years...then again, I read some of the book while falling asleep so who knows what my brain has conjured up). Anyway... UGH! I am really annoyed that she's letting Aidan get away with his role here. I understand why she thinks she is protecting him, I just happen to not agree with it and I happen to think he's not the awesome, wonderful man she thinks he is, but I mean, the girl is pretty naive and he is probably very very good at being a snake in the grass. I was grossed out when I read her thoughts about how she wouldn't want to ruin him with going public! Blech. I think I am okay with her protecting Raphael because if he is arrested, all the women he has helped are just going to find it elsewhere and that's a higher risk of them being cut up by wire hangers or the other bad things Hanna had mentioned.

5. Hannah has not always blindly followed her faith as she questioned her parents and made dresses. Gabrielle also says abortion is "against your religion". Do you think in this society there is open opposition to religion? Or is it more of an "underbelly"?

I think in this society, it seems like religion is the norm but I can't really tell yet. It's something I keep wondering about. And is it one type of religion or just religion in general? It sounds like the church this irritating Aidan fronts has a very wide congregation but that could just be because he/his church is at the center of Hannah's story. Sounds to me like Gabrielle and her opinions are not the norm but I guess I won't know for sure until further reading.

6. Cole is an interesting character! What did you think of him? Will his character be important to the ongoing story?

I think he's a jerk but I do wonder if he's going to turn out to have some sort of meaning in the future.

7. Alyssa seemed to know what her husband was doing (or about to do) with Hannah. Do you think it is probable that he has done this with young women before? I got the impression he was a bit of a predator and "cult leader" the way he brought her in, made it possible for them to be alone, and didn't come forward with the truth. Or am I being too harsh and Hannah was right to protect him?

Without a doubt, the man is a predator and has done this to many other young women!! Men like him make me sick. They use their leadership as a way to seduce young women and they get away with it because they are so powerful. HE should be chromed purple for predator! I have no doubt his wife knows what he is/does and she just turns a blind eye to it, or maybe she feels helpless and trapped and unable to do anything about it. After all, he's so powerful, who would believe her if she told anyone what he does?? Or, she just turns the blind eye and ends up being one of those women who blames the young women for what her sicko husband does, which is something else that makes me sick.

8. All chromes need to get renewal shots every 4 months. Do you think there is the possibility of escape for Hannah?

One can only hope. I was actually thinking about that when I read the part about renewal shots. I thought about how she might be able to go underground and get away. At first, I thought she should leave Texas but then I got to the rule about not leaving the state. Boy, they've thought of everything!

9. Thoughts on the book so far? How do you find the writing style?

It has pulled me in and I like the writing style. I think she has an easy way of keeping my interest and I like how the story flips back and forth between the present and Hannah's thoughts of the past and what led to her current situation. I just don't look forward to reading more about Aidan and his seduction techniques because he makes me so mad, LOL.


message 34: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14257 comments Mod
@Teresa

1. It was possibly the storyline as I remember it being well written, but it is hard to read about women being so opressed!

2. True, we don't know if everyone gets 30 days. And I guess if it was different shades of red would it matter? eing pink is better than red? probably not... lol

3. Yes it is hard that mitigating circumstances aren't taken into account! Although we don't know much about their justice system

4. 42 in 16 years means she is 26...lol! I completely agree that Aidan should not get away with this

5. true. what kind of religion? hmmm

7. lol! purple people eater :)

9. haha same here. I hope he gets what is coming to him!


message 35: by Imke (new) - rated it 3 stars

Imke (immie75) | 1642 comments July 3, Pages 64-105,
Start: Part Two "Pentinence";
Stop: "Hannah stood looking after her, knowing she had no choice but to follow."


10. “Billy Sikes” as the name for the guard at the gatehouse! That character always scared the pants off me. Some information on him from Wikipedia is here . Interesting that the author used this character name, and also referred to Oompa Loompas. How far in the future do you think this book is meant to be set?
I don’t think very far into the future, though I didn’t connect the name Billy Sikes to the character from Oliver Twist. I missed the Oompa Loompa reference though.

11. I was surprised (and pleased) when Hannah’s father collected her. Did you think he would come? Aidan has organised for her to go to the Straight Path Centre. Perhaps he does care and feel guilty?
I wasn’t very surprised when he picked Hannah up, he was the only one of her family showing up to her trial. I think Aidan cares for her. I’m not sure he feels guilty I think it’s more like obligation.

12. The Straight Path Centre has alot of strict rules and the “initiation” was very strange. Six months in here would be a very long time!! What do you think... is it a sanctuary or just another jail?
It’s definitely not a sanctuary, propably more like a jail.

13. The mention of “post-racial society” was interesting. Particularly that “chromes” have a segregated area in church. Is it fair punishment for them to be segregated or unfair and driven by fear?
I don’t know if it’s fair, but it is driven by fear.

14. Kayla and Bridget couldn’t be more different! What are your thoughts on these characters?
I like Kayla, Bridget is someone who will do anything to stay and to be accepted by the couple running the centre. I think Hannah will have to watch her step around Bridget.

15. I found the women holding dolls a little creepy. Any predictions on what that could be about?
I think it may be a punishment for woman who had an abortion and they have to carry the dolls.


message 36: by ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (last edited Jul 03, 2013 08:30AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) Karen wrote: "@Teresa

1. It was possibly the storyline as I remember it being well written, but it is hard to read about women being so opressed!


Well, I will give it another chance sometime in the future!

4. 42 in 16 years means she is 26...lol!"

ROFL! Like I said, I was half asleep and then I wrote my comments at 2 AM so yeah, my math was just a little off!! LOL. I don't know where I got 28 from.

I'm onto the next portion of the book, for the second set of questions and already I'm seeing that there are orange and green and purple chromes. Now I'm wondering what purple signifies, since I chose it for predator, haha. I'm very interested in learning more about the justice system in this book. Hannah is going to a halfway house that allows "nonviolent reds" so I guess that was the sliding scale I was thinking of (so non-violent would be pink in my little idea, lol). I suppose that ID card she has must tell what her crime was. I'll have to re-read the part where she mentions that. Makes me think about how strangers might treat the reds without knowing WHY they are red.


message 37: by Steven (last edited Jul 03, 2013 08:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Steven (gallifreyan1218) | 4756 comments July 3, Pages 64-105,

Start: Part Two "Pentinence";

Stop: "Hannah stood looking after her, knowing she had no choice but to follow."


10. “Billy Sikes” as the name for the guard at the gatehouse! That character always scared the pants off me. Some information on him from Wikipedia is here . Interesting that the author used this character name, and also referred to Oompa Loompas. How far in the future do you think this book is meant to be set?


I’d say it’s probably within the next 50-100 years.


11. I was surprised (and pleased) when Hannah’s father collected her. Did you think he would come? Aidan has organised for her to go to the Straight Path Centre. Perhaps he does care and feel guilty?


I was very glad he did too, though I’m not sure that the Straight Path place is going to be in her best interests. Perhaps Aidan does care... but I wonder about that pregnant girl, honestly. Is he the father of hers too?


12. The Straight Path Centre has a lot of strict rules and the “initiation” was very strange. Six months in here would be a very long time!! What do you think... is it a sanctuary or just another jail?


I feel like it’s a place where religion is forced upon them, very strict rules, almost cultish. I have a feeling she’ll struggle to escape, and something bad will happen to Kayla. :(


13. The mention of “post-racial society” was interesting. Particularly that “chromes” have a segregated area in church. Is it fair punishment for them to be segregated or unfair and driven by fear?


I think it might not be fair, but it also might not be unfair either. You can’t commit certain crimes and not expect a stigma to be there. Regardless of how changed you are, it’s human nature to remember and be wary of these things.


14. Kayla and Bridget couldn’t be more different! What are your thoughts on these characters?


I think something bad will happen to Kayla, after she gets closer with Hannah. I also don’t care for Bridget, but am wondering what bad things she went through that brought her to this point. I have a feeling I’ll pity her more than dislike her later on.


15. I found the women holding dolls a little creepy. Any predictions on what that could be about?

My guess is that they force women who’ve had abortions to carry the dolls around, and make them play mother, kinda like some middle/high schools make someone carry an egg or whatnot around as a lesson in parenting. Maybe no one else knows what I’m talking about there... but that’s what I feel like they’re doing with the dolls -- making them feel the guilt and regret and the loss of that life.


Yeah, I'm totally going to be reading ahead. Really caught up in this book.


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) @ Ashley

You made a great point about the mental health system and people needing rehabilitation. I completely agree with you on that, though I did not acknowledge it in my own comments. It's so hard to cover everything I think about when I read something with a group because I could end up with long paragraphs of thoughts. I also didn't think about the "what if someone is innocent of the crime" angle.

I have not read The Handmaid's Tale but it's been on my TBR radar for a long time now. Maybe I'll check it out after I finish this one. I've heard a lot of positive thoughts on it.

I agree, it doesn't seem that Aidan is concerned about Hannah at all, really. Oh, sure, he pleads for a lighter sentence and I think he convinced the church charity to set her up in that halfway house but still... he's sitting high and mighty at his new position as secretary of faith or whatever it is, he's a big wig in the government, he's not suffering like Hannah is. I don't care what she thinks, I just don't buy that he's torn up about her or their child! If I turn out to be wrong about him by the end of this book, I guess I'm eating a big, fat crow, LOL.

I didn't know about the Paniopticon -- intriguing!
------------------------
@ Imke

I agree, chroming people can lead to vigilantes and such taking things into their own hands. I hadn't really thought about that when I answered question #3.

I agree also that humans are not meant to be in isolation for long periods of time. There are studies and research done on this topic and I find it very fascinating. I really hope Hannah will stay strong throughout this book.
------------------------------
@ Sheila

Yeah, I really don't like the idea of the reality TV angle! But, I just realized, Hannah didn't really talk about that much, though I guess why would she since she's on the inside and has no idea how much of herself, if any, was shown on TV. That is not a show/channel I would watch. No privacy at all, not from the leering guards, either. Ugh. I can imagine the power plays the guards commit, too. It's all very creepy. You bring up a great point about how society evolved into feeling it was okay to do that. This whole story has me thinking about the future and how some people really would get behind these punishments 100%! It's very scary to think about.

I'm very torn on how I feel about prisons/prisoners and their treatment. It is just not a black and white subject and I could sit here all day going back and forth on different feelings and beliefs about different aspects of it. Far too many variables!
-----------------------------
@ Linda
I did not know that about the Vietnamese prisoners -- very interesting. Good point on how the solitary confinement may have been a acclimation of sorts for Hannah, as well as others, I am sure. I agree with you on #3. Great point on #4! It is an interesting take on the question. In Hannah's mind, she's protecting Aidan's image and THAT is what I disagree with, but I completely agree with you that most likely Hannah would be the one to suffer if Aidan's role came out, though. It really is a horrible way for society to act, taking the word of one man just because he's well-liked and powerful. It happens all the time, even now. Cops get away with things because they are protected by their brethren, Hollywood producers get away with raping children because they hold a certain level of power and adoration from their peers, women are afraid to tell anyone they were raped because they fear they will be treated like they deserved it, etc.

I liked your perspective on Cole and on Aidan's wife, too!
--------------------------------
@ Pamela

I liked all of your thoughts and didn't really have anything in particular that I wanted to respond to, other than, "This isn't his first rodeo" just cracked me up for some reason.
-------------------------
@ Steven

Loved your thoughts on Cole, and I agree completely. I'm kind of worried about him showing up later and how he'll mess with Hannah's life!

You know, I don't think I noticed that bit about the chapters not having a real "start/stop" point. I am going to go look at it after I finish here.
----------------------
@ Kaitlin

Good point on #2 and how prisoners usually mainly have contact with other prisoners, which isn't necessarily a good thing, either. The only thing i can remember about Hannah's lawyer was that her lawyer wanted her to speak up about the two men involved in her case -- the father of her baby, and the doctor who performed the abortion. I'd like to know if there was a jury or what, too. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on these chapters!
---------------------
@ Kim

I feel bad for Hannah, too, and I think she should have just kept the baby and let Aidan deal with the fallout of his actions. To me, he's getting away with something here and she's the only one paying for it.


message 39: by ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (last edited Jul 03, 2013 11:00AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) Something just occurred to me as I re-read some portions of the first part of the book -- what if Aidan doesn't even know he was the baby's father? What if he thinks the father was some other guy? Is that possible, I wonder? Or does he know?? I've been treating him like he knew for sure but I realized Hannah never does specify that. Hm, now I might have to hold onto my opinion of him... Mind you, I'm about to read the pages that we cover in the second portion of Q&A so we'll see!


message 40: by Steven (last edited Jul 03, 2013 11:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Steven (gallifreyan1218) | 4756 comments Hmmm, she mentions at one point that she was a virgin and him "entering her" hurt her when they did it in the hotel, and that he knew about it.


message 41: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new) - added it

Moderators of NBRC | 30836 comments Mod
FYI I uploaded an interview with Hillary Jordan about this book to the group. You can find it on our group's homepage.


message 42: by ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (last edited Jul 03, 2013 01:22PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) Time Lord Steven wrote: "Hmmm, she mentions at one point that she was a virgin and him "entering her" hurt her when they did it in the hotel, and that he knew about it."

Well, I remember the part about her being a virgin but I don't remember her mentioning specifically that Aidan knew he was the father so I started wondering if maybe he just thought she'd hooked up with some other guy but probably not. She doesn't seem the type and he probably didn't think she was the type, either. I guess a part of me wanted to make sure he was as guilty of not doing the right thing as I was making him out to be, LOL!


Steven (gallifreyan1218) | 4756 comments Oh, there's no way in my mind that he couldn't know. She told him that HE is the only man for her... she was a virgin when they "did the deed"... he knew she loved him...

He's just a jerk, plain and simple. :P


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) Time Lord Steven wrote: "Oh, there's no way in my mind that he couldn't know. She told him that HE is the only man for her... she was a virgin when they "did the deed"... he knew she loved him...

He's just a jerk, plain ..."


Okay, I am fully convinced that I can go back to seething with rage whenever he is mentioned, LOL! Thank you, Steven. ;)

Ugh, this is why I hate when I get into a book when I'm so tired. I tend to forget little details that I read and then I forget where I might find them to go back. This Q&A is good for more than just sharing thoughts with people -- it's a good place to ask, "So, what page was this scene on again??" lol.


Steven (gallifreyan1218) | 4756 comments Haha, I typically get the same way = tired means details forgotten means either asking someone or rereading. X)


message 46: by ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (last edited Jul 03, 2013 02:47PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) July 3, Pages 64-105,
Start: Part Two "Pentinence";
Stop: "Hannah stood looking after her, knowing she had no choice but to follow."

10. “Billy Sikes” as the name for the guard at the gatehouse! That character always scared the pants off me. Some information on him from Wikipedia is here . Interesting that the author used this character name, and also referred to Oompa Loompas. How far in the future do you think this book is meant to be set?

I can't remember if I've read Oliver Twist, so the name Billy Sikes didn't affect me when I read it in this book. What he did to his dog is horrible! I have no idea how far into the future this book could be, but I'll guess anywhere from 15 to 30 years forward, maybe up to 50. The scary thing is, it could be in the very near future if certain groups of people get their way.

11. I was surprised (and pleased) when Hannah’s father collected her. Did you think he would come? Aidan has organised for her to go to the Straight Path Centre. Perhaps he does care and feel guilty?

I cried for Hannah when her father picked her up. I read the entire driving scene with a tears and smeared glasses. Her father seems to be the only man in this book, so far, who is compassionate. I wasn't sure if he'd come but I was hoping! I really can't figure out Aidan's motivations for doing that -- guilt? Concern? Love? Obligation? I don't know. I remember how he was looming in her face during the court scenes, pleading with her to reveal the father or saying bad things about the father - I forget what now. What a snake! Once again, even if he feels some obligation, I keep wondering why he doesn't take responsibility, if he supposedly cares so much!!!

12. The Straight Path Centre has alot of strict rules and the “initiation” was very strange. Six months in here would be a very long time!! What do you think... is it a sanctuary or just another jail?

Feels like another jail and it does seem very strict, though I have to say, these are criminals we're dealing with. I may feel compassion for many of them (I admit, the woman in me feels for the women in them) but criminals nonetheless. It IS a little bit different than a regular halfway house, though, as it's obviously based on some sort of fundamental religion. The fundamental overtures in that place are really making my skin crawl. I don't like it when people use religion as a tactic to get others to bow down to them. I just think that you can be strict without being so oppressive about it!

13. The mention of “post-racial society” was interesting. Particularly that “chromes” have a segregated area in church. Is it fair punishment for them to be segregated or unfair and driven by fear?

The post-racial society thing was interesting to me, too, especially being that the story takes place in the south. Regarding the segregated areas, on the one hand, I'm inclined to say, again, these are criminals and if you've done the crime you should do the time (remember: they are chromed while serving out their sentence, so in effect, they are "doing time" in society instead of a prison) but at the same time, I feel kind of bad that they are basically being spotlighted and pointed out as having committed crimes. What would be worse, segregation in church and elsewhere, or being locked up in a prison for their sentence, I wonder?

14. Kayla and Bridget couldn’t be more different! What are your thoughts on these characters?

I like Kayla's spunk and openness. We'll see, but I think she could be good for Hannah. I do wonder about Bridget, though -- Hannah clearly feels that Bridget is acting out of fear so a part of me wants to give Bridget the benefit of the doubt, but the wench deliberately withheld a rule and then lied about it to both Hannah and the pastor's wife! Maybe I'll grow to feel sorry for Bridget in the future. I was a little annoyed that Hannah risked her stability by taking some of the blame off of Bridget for the lie!!! Ugh! She needs to look out for herself, darn it!! Everyone she is sacrificing for doesn't give a whit about her, it seems. Girl needs to get a spine and soon!

15. I found the women holding dolls a little creepy. Any predictions on what that could be about?

I assume they are all women who had abortions and the dolls represent the babies they killed. Very creepy and it's just another form of punishment. What Steven said for this one is fitting to what I think, too.

I'm captivated by this book/story but ugh, I feel so angry when I read. I'm pretty liberal and liberated, and I believe in a person's right to stand up for themselves without someone telling them they are acting out against God! Just because you have an opinion, it doesn't mean you are a bad Christian!! I hope I can survive this story, LOL!



message 47: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (last edited Jul 03, 2013 03:39PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14257 comments Mod
@Teresa

"ROFL! Like I said, I was half asleep and then I wrote my comments at 2 AM so yeah, my math was just a little off!! LOL. I don't know where I got 28 from

It did give me a good laugh! haha
And yes, the purple could be interesting as blue, green, purple are the "worst" as they are not accepted into straight path. I thought the ID card is more something everyone has to carry at all times? But you may be right, it may be something to do with their chroming

And I took it that Aidan knew that he was the father. I think even if she didn't tell him outright he would know because she was only with him and he is helping her (kind of) from a distance. I agree with Steven ; he is just a jerk!! Go ahead an seethe with rage ;)

10. It seems it was just me that got the shiver about Sikes' name! lol I think you're right, it could be not so far in the future

11. Oh how sweet! I didn't tear up, but I loved the scene too. What a lovely supportive father. I wonder with Aidan if it is guilt, but also fear. That if her life is too bad as a chrome, and she feels cut off from him, she may go ahead and name him to someone. Just one person and it could spread and be disasterous for him

12. Yes I don't like the fundamentalism either. I don't know about the fairness of the strict rules though, as they have all been released from prison and could live "normally" if they chose to. It is kind of like submit here or take your chances with the population not beating/killing you

13. I completely agree, but then I don't know how you rehabilitate when you are so "marked". And I still can't believe they let child molesters out, although they do jail people for the "worst" crimes. What could be worse than that?!

14. lol I like Kayla too and I think once we know Briget's story she may become helpful. I can't help but think as this book is exploring prejudices, that it is also exploring them through these characters. It is easy to write of Briget as a bitch, but what is driving that?....

15. Lol! I hope you can survive the story too :)

----------

@Imke

10. The oompa loompa reference was regarding the orange chromes (and I can see why they would look like oompa loompas from the movie!)

15. Oh that is creepy. I hope you're not right on that!

----------

@TL Steven

10. I hope we find out. I was thinking within the next 25 years or so for those references to still be relevant. But I guess up to 50 would make sense too

11. Oh! I hadn't even thought that pregnant girl could be anything to do with Aidan. Makes me sick. I hope you're wrong! :)

12. :(

14. I agree. She probably has a pretty awful story

15. You and Imke had the same thoughts. Urgh!

@lol at reading ahead. I am being very good and leaving it on the coffee table as I know as soon as I start the next section it will be hard to stop!! :)


Sheila (sheilalynn) | 206 comments July 3, Pages 64-105,
Start: Part Two "Pentinence";
Stop: "Hannah stood looking after her, knowing she had no choice but to follow."

10. “Billy Sikes” as the name for the guard at the gatehouse! That character always scared the pants off me. Some information on him from Wikipedia is here . Interesting that the author used this character name, and also referred to Oompa Loompas. How far in the future do you think this book is meant to be set?

I would guess it is suppose to be in the not too distant future. I was surprised by the reference to Oompa Loompas because it sounded so harsh, to the Oompa Loompas. She can be harsh to her own characters, but I did not like her attacking one of my childhood favorites. But that's just me.

11. I was surprised (and pleased) when Hannah’s father collected her. Did you think he would come? Aidan has organised for her to go to the Straight Path Centre. Perhaps he does care and feel guilty?

I was impressed by the Dad. That is how I think parents should respond to these sorts of thing. "You are my child, I will always love you." Done, Finished, End of conversation. I think Aidan probably cares for her, but give me a break! I think Aidan is a complete loser who uses women. I really hate his guts. Hannah is forever marked as a murderer and he gets off scott free. No sympathy here. I hope he feels ridiculously guilty, but I am not holding my breath.

12. The Straight Path Centre has alot of strict rules and the “initiation” was very strange. Six months in here would be a very long time!! What do you think... is it a sanctuary or just another jail?

Both. I think it is a jail, but it is also nice to be surrounded by people who are going through what you are and not to be shunned or mocked by the people near you.

13. The mention of “post-racial society” was interesting. Particularly that “chromes” have a segregated area in church. Is it fair punishment for them to be segregated or unfair and driven by fear?

The mention of it NOT being a post-racial society. I did find it interesting that the church had its own wing for chromes. But chromes are not a race. They are very different concepts. I will be interested how much they try to conflate chromes and race.

14. Kayla and Bridget couldn’t be more different! What are your thoughts on these characters?

I like Kayla. I am glad that Bridget has some depth and isn't just an ice cold bitch. It will be interesting to watch it all progress.

15. I found the women holding dolls a little creepy. Any predictions on what that could be about?

The dolls are so creepy. I would guess that the women who had abortions have dolls to represent their unborn children.


message 49: by ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (last edited Jul 03, 2013 04:07PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) (ilovebakedgoods) @ Karen, that's an interesting theory about Aidan being fearful of Hannah eventually speaking out against him! Can't wait to see how this goes.

I agree about Bridget and that's why, even though I'm mad that she lied about telling Hannah the "no touching" rule, I'm keeping an open mind about her and why she is the way she is.

I accidentally read up to page 121 because I lost track of the pages once I got so into it. I'm going to be good and leave this one on the coffee table, too, until we pick up again on Friday. I have other books to occupy me and I need a break from the oppression!
------------------------------
@ Sheila

Oh, good point about the center being a place for the women to feel a sort of comfort around others who are going through a similar situation.

LOL @ how upset your were over the treatment of the oompa loompas. I just appreciated a visual reference for me to imagine the orange chromes. I'm having a hard time picturing these characters in the colors without it coming off like paint or makeup in my head.

I agree with what you said about Hannah's dad, as well as being glad Bridget has some depth.


message 50: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (last edited Jul 03, 2013 04:34PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14257 comments Mod
@Sheila

10. Lol! Fair enough :)

11. I agree with the dad and I liked his explanation about her mum. I have no sympathy for Aidan either. What a piece of work!

12. That is true

13. I found it interesting that the book is exploring prejudice, and this society thinks they are "post racial" and so prejudice would be supposed to be gone, but now they are colouring people's skin as a way to mark them. Kind of does my head in thinking about it!!

@Teresa
Well I can only imagine he is very scared!!. Seriously, can you imagine what would happen if it was known he was the father?! In his position haing an affair and then knowing about an abortion! He has so much at stake here that I think he will continue to be in hannah's life as a way to silence her (although she will think it is because he loves her. barf.)
lol I hear you about a break. I have Watermelon by Marian Keyes on the go which is light and funny!


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