22. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fiction, Melody

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan, read by Melody, on 03/18/2012

One of the best books I have read this year, When She Woke is a thought provoking channeling of The Scarlet Letter and The Handmaidens Tale.  Set in the near future, Hannah Payne lives in an America where women have few rights and the church and state are synonymous.  Instead of imprisonment for most crimes, the offender is genetically altered to be a color to match their crime, murderers are crimson, sex offenders blue, other criminals orange and yellow, and then they are sent back into society.  Hannah was caught after having an abortion and is a now a Red.   Her religious family is horrified, her lover is a up and coming married minister, and she is left on her own to find her way in a hostile and dangerous world.    When She Woke is both very prescient and pertinent in our current political climate.  The novel is a retelling of The Scarlet Letter and closely follows to classic’s plot, which inevitably leads to serious foreshadowing, whether that was the author’s intention or not, I am undecided.  To be clear, I found When She Woke to be a great read but not a literary classic like either A Scarlet Letter or The Handmaiden’s Tale.  When She Woke is a definite book to be read and discussed.

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