When She Woke

When She Woke

A Novel

Book - 2011
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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. A reimagining of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781565126299
Characteristics: 344 p. ; 22 cm.


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Apr 08, 2020

I liked this better than the Handmaid's Tale.

Think Handmaiden's Tale meets Black Mirror. Perfection in it's terrifying almost-reality, but endearing it's triumph of human spirit & friendship. Absolutely believe the title is has two meanings. Fantastic & highly recommended. <3

ArapahoeSusanW Sep 08, 2019

Dystopia for Grown ups in a society where offenders are live streamed for 48 hours, then painted a color based on their offense for a year. Main character Hannah, charged with the murder of her unborn child, struggles to re-enter society. Touching on feminism and fascism it's an intense read.

Jul 21, 2019

Definitely a page-turner. In a very Handmaid's Tale-type future, women's rights have been subjugated by extreme right-wing fundamental Christians. People who commit crimes undergo "melachroming," where they are dyed a very vivid color, based on their crime: yellow for more minor infractions, green for others, and red - like the heroine - for murder (abortion). An interesting and entertaining dystopic vision, but the writing was a bit simplistic as were the characterizations. I never for a second believed in the central love affair and I wish the author hadn't tortured her own worthy-of-standing-on-its-own story into a clone of The Scarlet Letter. Still, glad I read it and recommend it for fellow dystopia lovers.

Feb 04, 2019

Sometimes when I read a book, it seems that the author is writing it in hopes that it will become a movie. The story is set up, builds to a climactic action scene, some unlikely miracle happens and the problem is resolved. This is one of those books.

That said, it was still an interesting, entertaining, and memorable book.

Dec 26, 2018

Great concept and epic story! This was a really great feminist dystopian fiction story with a modern conceptualuzation of not only the criticism that accompanies women's choices in general, but their rights as well. I did feel that some characters were unnecessary and underdeveloped, but this may have been the author's way of forcing the whirlwind feeling of Hannah's journey. Overall good book.

LoganLib_JennyI Jul 22, 2018

Hillary Jordan's writing was fabulous with great pace and the character portrayal of Hannah made you really care about her.
I had to keep picking up the book to check on Hannah!
The world created by Jordan could definitely be expanded into more books to flesh out this dystopian future.
It is reminiscent of Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale".

TSCPL_Miranda May 21, 2018

It was hard to put this one down! A well written, modern day take on The Scarlet Letter, with a strong, sympathetic main character. Fans of The Handmaid's Tale and Red Clocks will find much to admire in this thought-provoking story.

OPL_MaggieP Apr 13, 2018

Fast paced with influences of "The Handmaid's Tale".

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.

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LoganLib_JennyI Jul 26, 2018

LoganLib_JennyI thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Feb 21, 2013

Suvorov1 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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