Book Review: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan + ARC giveaway

When She Woke
Author: Hillary Jordan
Pages: 352 Hardcover
Reading Level: Adult
Published: October 4th 2011
Review Source: Algonquin Books
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) When She Woke is, in its simplest terms, a futuristic retelling of The Scarlet Letter. This sophomore novel from Mudbound author Hillary Jordan takes Hawthorne's classic several steps further, turning it into a pointed, blunt warning about the consequences of an America run by the church, not the state. Hannah Payne is sentenced to sixteen years of melachroming for aborting her child. Instead of bearing a scarlet "A" like Hester, Hannah's pigment is dyed a stop sign red, leading her to endure an ostracizing societal punishment as well. Jordan seamlessly interweaves the back story of Hannah's relationship with her unborn child's father; their relationship is sudden, passionate and the short interspersed flashbacks enhance the story and Hannah's spontaneous personality. While she stumbles through rebuilding her life, her sudden decisions in moments of trouble are made with confidence and determination. Jordan purposefully makes the story about Hannah's journey by keeping her secondary characters exactly that -- secondary. Although they may guide and assist Hannah on her path, the decisions, character-building, and strength all come from within. Hannah is ultimately responsible for her future and she takes full responsibility for her past. While some readers may balk at Jordan's political and religious messages, the story of owning our decisions and actions is the focus of this engaging tale of redemption.

Trees? 5 and if I can go 6 and more I would this book is amazing

This story begins with a girl who gets pregnant but has an abortion and because of said abortion she gets thrown into a process called Melachroming. Melachroming is a form of punishment where your skin color is altered to a certain type of color describing the type of crime you have committed. For example for Hannah it's red because she killed/murdered her unborn child. You have to live with this color on your skin for the duration of your sentence. But because Hannah refuses to name the father of her unborn child, they have added years to her sentencing. In which we later learn that Reverend Dale, her family's pastor is the father of her unborn child. Throughout, the duration of your sentence and because red is now the color of Hannah's skin she will be judged and visualized in the public eye, because of the high fetch technology where a camera is in stalled in your cell and is watched by any and everyone. Although i thought this part of the story was genius, i have to say that the camera in the cell was a bit much, at least for me. I would have never imagined this book to have this type of plot which is so fascinating to me. It's provocative and highly controversial.

I've been told that this story resembles The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne but much of the character's and names have been changed. This story however, also explores many different settings such as adultery, religion, criminality, etc. This is powerful book that offers many questioning thoughts about life itself and also allowing you to get a different perspective. I highly recommend this book, although some material in this book may or may not offend you especially with religion, it is still a great read.

We are offering our ARC copy of When She Woke to one lucky reader. 
To Enter:
  • Fill out this FORM
  • Giveaway runs till the end of the tour November 11th 
  • No Po Boxes
  • For US residents only 
  • Read our Giveaway policy HERE

1 comment:

  1. Eww, the Melachroming concept is so weird. This book sounds very powerful though.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...