Did you feel the author was advocating a particular point of view with regard to religion and abortion. Do you think these portrayals are fair?
Join Date: 10/11/10
Join Date: 10/23/12
Jordan was so all over the place, I got the sense she couldn't make up her mind what to put in the soup. So she threw everything she had it. It was chaotic. Maybe it could be said that she is a passionate advocate for calling out everything that is wrong at this moment - and somehow managed to get it all packed into a small volume.
She is a strong advocate for women!
Join Date: 06/05/12
I was surprised by the way in which the author was able to evoke both the strong feminist nature of many of the characters as well as the authentic relationships that many of the characters had with God. I think too often that God is considered to be the domain only of those who claim the loudest to speak in his (or her) name. However, I think almost everyone has some sort of relationship with some higher power and I appreciated the many ways in which Jordan evoked that.
Join Date: 05/08/11
She appears to advocate for abortion rights, but also presents the heartbreak and ambivalence abortion can cause. She seems to denigrate organized religion, but then shows a sympathy for and an understanding of faith as a good thing. She presents the "trinity party" and its authoritarian stance as bad, but then presents a very strict authoritarian figure (Simone) as good and just.
The book presents a very conflicted view of many aspects of society, so perhaps she is just presenting the "American acceptance of tolerance without condemnation" to the extreme.
Join Date: 10/15/10
I suspect that if you asked Hillary Jordan her opinion on most things she'd likely respond with a nuanced answer that would lean one way or another, but would also leave room for the all important, "it depends". I hope that most of us would respond the same as I can't think of one issue that I could answer definitively without having to acknowledge certain caveats.
In the interview on BookBrowse, Jordan says that she thinks it's "the job of literature to tackle the really big issues, to say to people, 'hey, you may believe X, but have you ever considered Y, did you know there was a Z?'". If the result of this approach are books that present a morally complex view of society with room to explore different viewpoints, I'm all for it! :)
Join Date: 07/28/11
Join Date: 04/14/11
No - I think that she presented different points of view on her major subjects - abortion, feminism, church and state. She did what other great authors do -- they present varying points of view and give the reader something to think about. I don't like getting a one sided view from the books I read, I prefer the approach that this author took so that I could think about the issues and look at them from varying view points.
Join Date: 05/22/12
I agree with susanr and davinamr that Hillary Jordan's complex portrayal of 'both sides' was illuminating and gave me something to think about. I loved the way she let us 'walk in the shoes' of so many different characters --- subsuming their thoughts and becoming sympathetic with 'other' viewpoints. I think it was this feature that compelled me to read this book in one sitting (without the ability to put it down!).
Join Date: 04/23/11
I have to jump on the davinamw, susanr, and christy bandwagon. I was going to say that she was clearly a feminist with very liberal views, but after reading your replies I had to rethink. Now I realize that Jordan really did portray both sides, allowing me to consider other viewpoints. One of the things I love about fiction is how it has the potential to turn the reader's feelings and belief upside down. Thanks for making me thinking a little more deeply.
Join Date: 10/19/12
Join Date: 04/11/11
Join Date: 06/13/11
Join Date: 04/12/12
I enjoyed reading all the responses that were given so far... they make me think about what Jordan was actually advocating. I guess at first I thought, just because she tackled abortion, etc. that she was a strong feminist. But I think she is like most of us. We are always questioning, sometimes changing what we think because of a particular situation. I would say she was against extremes. I think she advocated the rights of each individual to be themselves and have the right to develop that. In the case of Hannah, she was not allowed to be who she really was inside her religion. But also in the case of Staton, his mother didn't let him be his own person and look how horrible that turned out. Jordan's message also was that even though bad things happen to us we can put them in the past and triumph over them.
Join Date: 05/24/12
If anything, she seemed to be advocating freedom: to choose what to think, who to love and what happens to your body. It was a fairly complex portrayal, in that any reader will probably find something to agree with and some point where it feels like the author has taken it too far. I was very interested in Jordan's portrayal of religion. It was considerably more nuanced than I expected it to be based on the novel's start. Like all good dystopian fiction, this book was at its best when it took certain current trends to a plausible, terrifying conclusion. It was very thought-provoking, which makes for a much more gripping read than if the author had pushed a particular viewpoint.
Join Date: 05/08/11
I also liked the way she handled religion. Now that I think about it, she seems to advocate a
"middle of the road" position on most things by showing the extremes on both sides to be just that - extreme. It reminded me of the old saying "Moderation in all things - including moderation."
Join Date: 12/01/12
I think Jordan's views were relatively clear: outlawing abortion leads to women getting them done in shady and often dangerous ways, separation of church and state is essential, and religion puts blinders over one's eyes. There didn't seem to be much in terms of a grey area, it seemed to me. Though I did like that she at least somewhat portrayed the Novembrists as being extremists, they still were overall quite likeable. Even Simone, who was introduced as dangerous, became a very sympathetic character once we learned her backstory. Overall, I felt it was a bit one-sided, though it didn't bother me too much as I agreed with most of it.
Join Date: 12/17/12
Yes, I felt the author was clearly pro-choice and clearly saw problems with extreme religions. I think she disliked extreme religion, not religion itself, as she showed Hannah developing some spiritual life apart from her extremist upbringing.
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