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2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

When She Woke

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When She Woke Cover

ISBN13: 9781565126299
ISBN10: 1565126297
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Awards

Staff Pick

When She Woke is a particularly good nod to Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, but even more, it is a fabulous tale of self discovery. When Hannah Payne wakes up with red skin (a punishment as well as an indicator of her crime), it catapults her into a desperate flight for her life. While trying to negotiate her futuristic world, Hannah begins to see herself in two distinct ways: before and after. The slow unraveling of her previously held beliefs and blind assumptions is truly satisfying. When She Woke is a harrowing dystopian adventure as well as a contemplative journey of self-discovery. References to Scarlet Letter are a delicious cherry on top.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Hannah Payne's life has been devoted to church and family, but after her arrest, she awakens to a nightmare: she is 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 new and sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red; her crime is murder. The victim, according to 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's shared a fierce and forbidden love.

When She Woke is a fable about 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 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 path of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith.

Review:

"Hillary Jordan channels Nathaniel Hawthorne by way of Margaret Atwood in this fast-paced, dystopian thriller. Unputdownable." Valerie Martin, author of The Confessions of Edward Day

Review:

"[A] chilling futuristic novel." O, The Oprah Magazine

Review:

"Jordan manages to open up powerful feminist and political themes without becoming overly preachy — and the parallels with Hawthorne are fun to trace." Kirkus

Review:

"Jordan blends hot-button issues such as separation of church and state, abortion, and criminal justice with an utterly engrossing story, driven by a heroine as layered and magnetic as Hester Prynne herself, and reminiscent, too, of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Absolutely a must-read." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Christian fundamentalists may shun this novel, but book clubs will devour it, and savvy educators will pair it with Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter. Essential." Library Journal

About the Author

Hillary Jordan grew up in Texas and Oklahoma and received her MFA in fiction from Columbia University. Mudbound, her first novel, was awarded the 2006 Bellwether Prize, founded by Barbara Kingsolver to recognize literature of social responsibility.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 12 comments:

Amy Cookson, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Amy Cookson)
Amazing. To call this A Handmaid's Tale meets The Scarlet Letter is accurate, but does not do it justice. I read this book twice this year; it is by far my favorite read of 2012. I appreciate the feminism, the reproductive rights, the world-building, and our protagonist's personal journey. For me, the novel plays on two levels: the larger political/cultural examination of Chroming (dying the skin color of criminals based upon their crime) and reproductive rights, and one woman's awakening to her potential. I suspect it will be one of those novels that speaks to me in a different way each time I read it, like Reading Lolita in Tehran. Remarkable and highly recommended.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Kathy Chiocca, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Kathy Chiocca)
I didn't know what to expect from this book because I hadn't seen any reviews before I read it. I had heard that the book was a retelling of "A Scarlet Letter" but nothing else.
I really liked the book. I read it in two sittings, something I had not done in a long time. I liked the concept of a dystopian future civilization as the backdrop. And I enjoyed how the author explored the feminist and political themes in the book. I thought her depiction of 'chroming' as punishment for offenses was novel. I also thought her descriptions of what was a crime in her futuristic world was quite provocative. Her examination of religion was without seeming prejudice, leaving a right or wrong assesment up to the reader. I liked that when I finished the book I really was not really sure where the author stood on her topic of morality. I thought she left a few questions unanswered but maybe that is what she intended.
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Jena, August 10, 2012 (view all comments by Jena)
An exciting re-imagining of The Scarlet Letter, set in a dystopian future, and no 20-page ponderings about a rock. I had a hard time putting it down. 4 stars because there were a few places where a scene seemed too contrived.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 12 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781565126299
Author:
Jordan, Hillary
Publisher:
Algonquin Books
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20111004
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

When She Woke Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Algonquin Books - English 9781565126299 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

When She Woke is a particularly good nod to Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, but even more, it is a fabulous tale of self discovery. When Hannah Payne wakes up with red skin (a punishment as well as an indicator of her crime), it catapults her into a desperate flight for her life. While trying to negotiate her futuristic world, Hannah begins to see herself in two distinct ways: before and after. The slow unraveling of her previously held beliefs and blind assumptions is truly satisfying. When She Woke is a harrowing dystopian adventure as well as a contemplative journey of self-discovery. References to Scarlet Letter are a delicious cherry on top.

"Review" by , "Hillary Jordan channels Nathaniel Hawthorne by way of Margaret Atwood in this fast-paced, dystopian thriller. Unputdownable."
"Review" by , "[A] chilling futuristic novel."
"Review" by , "Jordan manages to open up powerful feminist and political themes without becoming overly preachy — and the parallels with Hawthorne are fun to trace."
"Review" by , "Jordan blends hot-button issues such as separation of church and state, abortion, and criminal justice with an utterly engrossing story, driven by a heroine as layered and magnetic as Hester Prynne herself, and reminiscent, too, of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Absolutely a must-read."
"Review" by , "Christian fundamentalists may shun this novel, but book clubs will devour it, and savvy educators will pair it with Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter. Essential."
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