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2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

When She Woke


When She Woke Cover

ISBN13: 9781565126299
ISBN10: 1565126297
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 12 comments:

Sue Dittmar, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Sue Dittmar)
I was intrigued while reading the reviews on this book. They all mentioned The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne. That had been one of my favorite books while in high school. Hannah Payne (too close to Hester Prynne) has been convicted of murder and has been chromed (painted red) and has been released back into the world. This is a new kind of punishment for everyone knows instantly what you have done and that in turn forms a new entertainment for the population. This isn't our world but in Jordan's book, one close to it.
I was very favorable rewarded for taking a chance on a book that has received heavy press. Sometimes that isn't the case as we all know but this book had me by the first few pages. I couldn't put it down and had to slow down my reading in order to savor the words Jordan chose to create her world. I recommend this to everyone. You will be rewarded.
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(3 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Cindy Myers, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Cindy Myers)
Amazing and thought provoking look at a dystopian society, where the religious right take total control and there is no separation of church and state. Believable and sympathetic characters in a modernized version of the Scarlet Letter, but with so much more. This will be an Author to watch, as my second favorite choice was Hillary Jordon's first book; Mudbound. Both books are excellent reads.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Jeninlb, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Jeninlb)
A futuristic re-imagining of The Scarlet Letter, this book examines an overly-religious society in which abortion is a crime. One of the many punishments available to those who have abortions is having your skin tinted red.
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techeditor, November 21, 2011 (view all comments by techeditor)
WHEN SHE WOKE by Hillary Jordan was a pleasant surprise for me. From what I had heard, I had expected a futuristic book about a world where abortion was a crime punishable by turning the criminal’s skin red. Yes, there’s that. But there’s so much more to it. And Jordan’s writing is superb.

You can believe me. This comes from a pro-lifer.

Because the first part of the book deals with a young woman, Hannah, who had had an abortion and was, subsequently, sentenced to 16 years as “a red,” I thought my expectations were accurate. But, although pro-lifers in this book have tunnel vision and are cruel, which might have irritated me, the story has so many twists and turns, I really did enjoy it.

And it’s about more than abortion. “Reds” might have committed other crimes, and there are also other colors to signify other levels of criminal activity because this is preferable to over-crowded prisons.

My biggest surprise about WHEN SHE WOKE was that so much happens in a relatively short book. I say “relatively” because most books that have this much action are twice as long as WHEN SHE WOKE. I have always felt that too many authors love the way they write so much that they write too much and subject the reader to many paragraphs that can easily be cut without detracting from the story. Jordan has cut the garbage paragraphs in WHEN SHE WOKE. Don’t skip. Jordan’s writing is concise, and all of it is necessary.
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MindyBuchanan, October 2, 2011 (view all comments by MindyBuchanan)
It takes a special book to hook me into reading it in one sitting. Maybe it's the timeliness to the current political and faith debate, maybe it's my affinity for The Scarlet Letter, or maybe Hillary Jordan is just that damn good. Whatever the maybe, this book grabs you and drops you into a completely realized world that is both terrifying and familiar. If you like books like The Handmaid's Tale, or The Scarlet Letter, or even the more current and YA focused The Hunger Games, this book is sure to grab your interest. In fact while the prose is sometimes thick yet beautiful, the protagonist, Hannah is so sheltered that she almost reads as a YA character, despite her being 26 at the start of the novel.
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Product Details

Jordan, Hillary
Algonquin Books
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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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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