When She Woke

When She Woke

A Novel

eBook - 2012
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Workman Press.

Bellwether Prize winner Hillary Jordan’s provocative new novel, When She Woke, tells the story of 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—their skin color is genetically altered to match the class of their crimes—and then released back into the population to survive as best they can. Hannah is a Red; her crime is murder.

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.



Baker & Taylor
Hannah Payne, sentenced to being dyed a stigmatizing red for the crime of having an abortion, must learn to adjust to her new circumstances in a United States where her married lover, Aidan Dale, is Secretary of Faith.

Publisher: Chapel Hill : Algonquin Of Chapel Hill, 2012
ISBN: 9781616201845
1616201843
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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LPL_PolliK Nov 30, 2017

When She Woke is a dystopian riff on The Scarlet Letter, but infinitely more discussable. The concept of turning "criminals" into brightly pigmented reality TV fodder alone is enough to talk about for an entire book club, but the rest of the novel keeps you reading and thinking. Jordan does a fine job of painting a not-to-distant future that seems real enough to give one pause. Superb fiction in the vein of The Handmaid's Tale, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, and Parable of the Sower.

SCL_Tricia Nov 22, 2017

I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, thought provoking read. I would recommend this book if you know what you are getting into. I did find it got a bit preachy at times. There is a part in the middle that I did not agree with, I felt it went against so much that the author was saying throughout the rest of the novel. The whole scene just felt wrong, when you get there you will understand.

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daysleeper236
Nov 05, 2017

A fast-paced, dystopian thriller.

k
KatG1983
Jun 06, 2017

I really enjoyed this book, which is sort of a modern take on The Scarlett Letter. The dystopian future painted by the author feels realistic, especially with some of the 'alt-right Christians' holding power in the United States of recent months. As a commenter below mentioned, I feel like the first third of the book was the best part, and that the author missed an opportunity to further explore the world she set up. But, in all, it was a good read. Recommended for anyone who is watching the current TV show version of Atwood's Handmaid's Tale.

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PearlyBaker
Jun 01, 2017

I really liked this author and she captivated me with this awful world she created in the near future. However the middle turned into a young adult romance adventure complete with obligatory lesbian sex, which was nice, however the end was way too saccharine sweet for this old sailor. I prefer my dystopia to either be the truth which is WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE or at least more realistic where the Christians all die and the lesbians take over and bring peace and harmony to our poisoned prison planet.

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AlexandraJohnson
Dec 16, 2016

eBook - 2012

KaiteS_KCMO Oct 14, 2016

One of the most discussable books for book groups. A speedy plot in a thought-provoking setting. Imagine a new system of crime and punishment that allows all members of society to see what crimes have been committed based on skin color. Atwood's Handmaid's Tale meets Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Scary, realistic, literary thriller.

JCLDebbieF Oct 13, 2016

Interestingly enough, the concept of people being turned different colors based on the crimes they're convicted of is fascinating, but strangely it isn't as much of a big deal as you'd expect.

CMLibrary_sfetzer May 17, 2016

In the not-too-distant future, Christian fundamentalists have taken over most of the United States. In this new future criminals are punished by having their skin color altered and being released back into society to attempt to survive in a world that doesn’t want them. Hannah is caught having an abortion and is sentenced to become a red—her crime being murder. Hannah struggles with losing her family, her identity, and her ideology all at once. Though she has lost seemingly everything, Hannah picks up the pieces and embarks on an exciting adventure which challenges everything that she knows. An interesting mix of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Scarlet Letter, When She Woke is a great read for fans of either.

forbesrachel Apr 25, 2015

In this near future, conservative christian America, a person's skin is genetically altered if they commit a crime. The colour denotes the type and it is irrelevant whether the act was accidental or intentional. Hannah's crimson marks her as a murderer, for in this post-pandemic world abortion counts as murder. When She Woke is based on Nathanial Hawthorn's The Scarlet Letter. Jordan does a great job of putting the story in modern light, speaking to current issues like abortion, women's rights, racism, and integration vs separation of religion and state. She expands on the skeleton of the original and its themes of sin and love by packaging it in this dystopia; the situation is a lot more dangerous. Chromes are ostracized, and some zealots even kill them as a righteous act. Thus Hannah and her fellow red Kayla are whisked off by the latest iteration of the Underground Railroad. From the beginning, Hannah is astute and even defiant, believing in God while questioning the status quo; she thinks for herself rather than blindly accepting what others say. Events severely rattle her faith, but like Hawthorn's book, Jordan does this to scrutinize both sides of religion. Hannah's journey is not only physical, but one towards independence and understanding as well. While Hester was incredibly strong, Hannah does something her counterpart never could, she forgives herself.

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Suvorov1
Feb 21, 2013

Suvorov1 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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