|Nomadic SA Chick||
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Page Count: 344
Fiction Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Fantasy, Feminism, Retelling
Dates Read: September 21-23, 2015
Hannah Payne has just woken up in a prison cell. She knew this was coming, but nothing could prepare her for the reality of her dyed skin. She shall now live her life with red skin, a symbol of the crime she has committed; adultery and murder. Hannah had been having a secret affair with her minister, and when she discovered her pregnancy she sought out an abortion, something that is now illegal in The United States. No matter, Hannah refused to name the baby's father, for fear of ruining his marriage, career, and political future.
If you haven't guessed yet, When She Woke is a retelling of The Scarlet Letter (with a little bit of Handmaiden's Tale and Brave New World). Overall, this story is very well written, though it was a bit more preachy than I expected (not horribly). It reminded me a lot of growing up in the church and hearing that everything you do is wrong and will be the downfall of mankind. In When She Woke there is no longer a line drawn between church and state, and the churches dictate everything. When I look at the current state of America's political climate, I can actually see this becoming a reality, which makes this book a tad terrifying.
Most of the characters had a great development, and it was easy to sympathize with them, or loathe them, depending on which character we are talking about. I wish Jordan would have delved more into the backstory, but that is more for my own curiosity. She does a good job of give a decent background and setting the tone for how this present situation came to be. The book had a great start, with an okay middle, and a dull, yet satisfying ending. Given the way it ended I'm curious to see if Jordan expands this into a series.
Ratings (based on a 10 point scale)
Quality of Writing - 8
Pace - 7
Plot Development - 7
Characters - 9
Enjoyability - 6
Insightfulness - 7
Ease of Reading - 8
Photos/Illustrations - N/A
Overall Rating - 4 out of 5 stars