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Susan T.

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

When She Woke (Hardcover)
By Hillary Jordan
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 10/01/2011
352 pages

A cross between The Scarlet Letter and The Handmaid’s Tale, When She Woke takes place in a future in which Sanctity of Life laws have been enacted in about half of the United States, and sex offenders aren’t merely required to sport a scarlet letter; their skin is dyed red to emphasize their shame. When Hannah, a young woman from a fundamentalist Christian community, is released into an abusive halfway house after she has been convicted of the crime of abortion, she decides to run away and attempt to make her own way in the wider world. Hannah’s development from a sheltered and submissive second-class citizen to an independent, curious agent of her own choice is believable and moving. Hillary Jordan’s vision of one possible outcome of today’s culture wars is thoughtful and frightening–a real page-turner!


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