Overall, what do you think of "When She Woke"?
Join Date: 11/16/10
Join Date: 05/12/11
I haven't finished reading it yet but it is definitely thought-provoking. It makes me angry because of how they are treated. This is a society where there is no separation of church and state. It is very scary. Reality TV at an extreme. Some aspects of it could definitely happen, that is part of what makes it so scary. So many rights were taken away from these women. But I am only about halfway through so still have quite a bit to read.
Join Date: 06/15/11
Join Date: 04/21/11
I wasn't prepared to like this book. I had just finished reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and was, in general, feeling good about the human race so I was reluctant to read a book next that might "bring me down". I read this book in one sitting. The only time I put it down was when Hannah was preparing to return to Aidan and I was so furious at her, I didn't want to start screaming. Very captivating story with a fresh and novel idea.
Join Date: 04/20/11
I was mesmerized by this book. Yes, it had overtones of The Scarlet Letter, but it also developed its own independent story line. Like some of the other readers, furturistic novels are not generally my favorite books to read, but this one proved to be an exception. It made me think, it made me almost fear for my daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters. I don't find the "chroming" to be something that might come to be, but the rule of our nation by those who have no allowance within their hearts for the beliefs of others is too close to actuality to not cause concern. I would be heartbroken, for example, were one of my granddaughters or great-granddaughters chose to have an abortion, but I also feel that is their decision; not mine. And so it is for so many things within our lives. When She Woke is that rare book, entertaining and yet thought provoking about serious issues. Thank you for selecting it as one of the books to be read and then discussed here.
Join Date: 05/08/11
I really liked this book. There was so much to think about. First, it was not just the "red" but also the loss of privacy, the constant monitoring, then being ejected back in to the world as a changed person with the mark of evil on you.
I must admit I wanted to know what the othere colors were punishment for. Even though you could figure a few out I really wanted more information.
I expected the comparison to The Scarlet Letter, but I was not prepared for the rather shocking racist feelings that were aroused by the color punishments. I have often thought that this country has lost its sense of shame and that that was a bad thing: however, the unending, unyielding shame that relentlessly pervaded Hannah's life made me wonder anew.
Join Date: 06/13/11
I really wanted to like this book. I didn't. A compelling plot was over-run with heavy handed commentary on political and social problems. Most of these are old arguments. I really didn't find much fresh insight here. The author also tried too hard to impress at times with 'literary' esoteric word choices when simpler ones would have worked better.
Join Date: 10/22/10
I loved this book which shocked me because even though I thought the description of the story line was good the idea of futuristic based novel isn't something I usually gravitate towards. I haven't ever read the Scarlet Letter so I won't be able to make any comparisons but I will probably go out and find a copy to read now.
Join Date: 10/23/12
I wanted to love the story, but felt it moved too quickly. It did not allow for the kind of character development that would allow the reader to form a strong bond with the characters. It felt like it was all in a rush and would have made a fantastic short story or novella. The writing flowed well. What would save it is a second volume that would go back and address how society got to where it was, how the characters formed.
Join Date: 04/21/11
Join Date: 09/20/12
Join Date: 04/27/11
Join Date: 10/25/12
This is a novel I could have read in one sitting if I had the time. I have reccomended it to many. I adored "Mudbound" and was not dissapointed by "When She Awoke". Two very different novels, but both well written and intriquing. About 3/4 of the way through the book I felt the story lost it's edge and was dissapointed that it didn't seem to pick it up again. It ended on a positive note. There could be a sequel. There really wasn't a character I felt strongly about, the story line definetly carried the novel for me. Definetly believable that this could occur in the near future.
Join Date: 10/25/12
Join Date: 05/16/11
Join Date: 08/16/11
I liked the book overall, although I agree with others that the last part seemed rushed and certain plot points towards the end seemed egregious. I'm not a huge fan of futuristic novels because I find it hard to suspend disbelief and buy into the world the author has created. However, that was not a problem with this book. I had no trouble believing in an America in which there is no longer separation between church and state. I grew up in a very conservative Baptist church, so I spent a lot of time with people who passionately believed that their path to God was the only path and should be imposed on others at all costs. So I think Jordan nailed her portrayal of the ultraconservative religious mindset and the potential consequences of an America ruled by the Trinity party. However, I wish Jordan had developed the plot of the second part of the book more fully. I found the entire "escape to Canada" portion of the book unbelievable, both in terms of plot progression and Hannah's actions. And the book ended rather abruptly, with an unsatisfying throwaway line about Kayla's fate. Overall, I would give the book 4 out of 5 stars and would definitely recommend it to friends. In fact, I'm thinking of nominating it for my book club. It would certainly generate a lot of good discussion about race, politics, and religion.
Join Date: 10/26/12
Overall, I really liked the book since I pretty much read it straight through once I got started. It is suspenseful and futuristic. I found the connections to be very timely with regard to what is going on in our current political debate and the friction between church and state.
Join Date: 03/22/12
Join Date: 10/23/12
Join Date: 07/28/11
Join Date: 04/11/11
I read Mudbound also and really enjoyed that book. It certainly tackled subject matter that would have been taboo for the time. I am finishing the book as I write this comment but mostly I guess I am disturbed by the premise of the book. Not that it is beyond the realm of possibility but just an abhorrent idea. I don't think of it as fantasy or necessarily futuristic. Thought provoking certainly.
Join Date: 10/19/12
The book had echoes of other books I had read in the past--like others, I found it compelling, esp. the first half. The last half--less so. One of the issues was since it was from Hannah's POV, things were limited as far as our knowledge of other people's emotions and thought processes go. Would definitely like to know what happened to some of the other characters. Maybe more books with some of them as POV characters would be interesting.
Join Date: 04/14/11
I was prepared not to like the book as I do not enjoy futuristic books. I was wrong. I enjoyed the book, the characters and the thought provoking issues. It was interesting to see Hannah's growth throughout the book from someone who followed the rules to someone who knew who she was and what she wanted out of her life. I have recommended the book to others.
Join Date: 04/23/11
I liked this book a lot. While the similarities to The Scarlet Letter are obvious it also reminded me of Margaret Atwood's book A Handmaid's Tale. The religious extremism, subservient roles for women, and emphasis on the importance of childbearing were mirrored in this book. I agree with many of the other posters that the second half of the book felt rushed and incomplete. I felt that the sex scene with Simone was extraneous and didn't fit either the current situation or the flow of the book and I don't understand the reason for it. But overall I think it's a great depiction of what could happen if we allow a small group people to dictate the course of this country.
Join Date: 10/19/12
Join Date: 06/13/11
I read and liked Mudbound so looked forward to this and was not disappointed as she handles controversial subjects well and places them in believable settings. I'm not sure how some members of my other book group would react but look forward to recommending it some.
Join Date: 01/22/11
I liked it. I found it emotionally hard to read at times. Especially the part where she was at the Safe House and the "loving support" from Mrs. Henley. That is a sign of a good author, I despised that character!!
I loved Kayla, and was glad she was found at the end. I know it was a tidy ending, but glad she ended it that way.
Join Date: 12/04/11
I really enjoyed reading this book and can't wait to pass it on to my book club friends. I haven't read The Scarlet Letter nor have I read anything similar to this before. I am a pro-lifer but this book was disturbing. I have been giving alot of thought to this ever since I read the book..
Join Date: 04/12/12
I loved the fact that Jordan took societal issues and thought about how they might play out in the future. I do read a lot of science fiction and historical fiction so I was not uncomfortable with the premises of the book. I also was intrigued with the connection to The Scarlet Letter. It was very long ago that i read it in High School but even after the book took another path I was still thinking about how the two Hannah's were alike. I enjoyed the book. I agree the traveling to Canada at the end on her own was sketchy and it also didn't seem feasible that she would leave Aiden and then have no other problems on the way to Canada. I was also unclear about how the relationship with Simoan fit it. I know Hannah was hungry for human contact, but it didn't seem to really fit with who she was. I did enjoy the book, it kept me reading, and I did pass it on to a friend.
Join Date: 05/24/12
Brilliant concept, and the author did a great job exploring the ramifications of melachroming and the "SOL". I would agree with previous comments that toward the end the book lost its momentum. I found the scene with Simone was out of character, at least the way it took place. I get that Hannah had changed and grown stronger, but her aggressive behavior in that scene seemed a bit forced. Generally, though, I really enjoyed the book and I'll be looking for other work by this author.
Join Date: 05/26/12
I enjoyed the book a lot, and I'm not usually one to read futuristic books or dystopian novels. I genuinely wanted to find out what happened next, and I thought the entire premise was interesting and disturbingly plausible. However, I'm not quite sure whether I liked the ending or not...
Join Date: 09/07/12
Join Date: 10/26/11
The obvious initial correlation was to THE SCARLET LETTER but I felt Ms. Jordan made WHEN SHE WOKE wholly unique. The religious right and the punishment given to Hannah are the major similarities but the story quickly evolves into something much more. Hannah's evolution was fascinating to read about and I feel it made this dystopian/futuristic story much more believable and likable. I read this book earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed it to the point that I've recommended it to two book clubs.
Join Date: 09/22/11
I think it was time to Wake Us Up Again. the rights of Women are up for grabs again as is the return of the unloving God. This is a new generation's time to plan ahead for a possibly dismal future. Books such as this can shock us into preparing for this.
Maybe I am too old for this theme and the book was written in a way that evoked fear in me. I put it down a lot then picked it back up reading to the end..
Join Date: 01/29/13
I was amazed that I would read a book like this and even more surprised that I enjoyed it. My husband reads all science fiction books and has invited me to try some. I have always declined . I would have to say that When She Woke peeked my curiosity and now maybe a sci-fi book could be in my future.
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