Book Review: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

When She Woke By Hillary Jordan

Published October 4, 2011

Mode read: Hardcover

Summary:  Set in the future United States when the extreme right has taken over, When She Woke tells the story of a woman who has committed the crime of abortion but refuses to disclose the name of the father. It follows much the same story as The Scarlet Letter but instead of Hester Prynne’s scarlet A Hannah Payne is forced to have all of her skin turned scarlet. This “melachroming” is the government’s answer to crowded prisons and results in many deaths by citizens who don’t want criminals in their midst. Rather than risk death by vigilantes Hannah chooses to flee the country and soon learns the difficulties of keeping silent.

Bechdel Test?: Passes with flying colors (if you’ll pardon the pun). Hannah lives in a halfway house for the melachromed and has intense conversations about life and death with her housemates.

Rating: 4/5

There are no words for how much I liked this book. From the opening scenes that are reminiscent of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale to the brief mentions of Bowling Green, KY, this book had me turning the pages furiously. Hannah is a loveable character because she doesn’t complain about her circumstances but accepts that her choices have consequences. Though I don’t like to discuss political issues on my blog, this book seems to me to be a must read before the upcoming elections both for its discussion of women’s reproductive issues and its focus on what happens when you take away funding for the arts/start censoring.

Warnings: This book contains very strong political statements and discusses LGBTQ, reproductive rights, and religious issues.

 

More posts like this:

Apartment Tour: Part Two

Just like I promised, here’s part two of the tour of my new apartment.

Just off of the living room is my little dining room.

Table and chairs: estate sale with DIY seat cushions


Sideboard: Ethan Allen Sale (similar)
Silverplate tea set: estate sale (similar)
Wine rack: Pottery Barn (similar)

I’m in love with my great kitchen, so clean!

Next up is my bedroom. I wanted to be able to use the grey color scheme from my old room but with a more sophisticated flair. I think it turned out pretty great!
Prints: Etsy (1, 2)

Since I’m here to attend graduate school, a desk was a necessity. Unfortunately one bedroom apartments don’t offer too much in terms of office space! Here’s my little office nook for homework and such.

Here’s a view of my porch from the sidewalk.

…And another view so you can actually see the furniture!

So what do you think?

Similar posts:

Apartment Tour: Part One

Apartment Tour: Part One

Even though this blog primarily follows my literary adventures, I wanted to share what I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. When I returned from the NYU Publishing Institute in NYC I packed up a UHaul and moved to Chapel Hill, NC. Though it was a whirlwind of packing and unpacking, I’m a bit more settled now and I can’t wait to show of my new digs!

Alexandra’s apartment 1

I’ll start the tour with my front door. I love that it is all mine!
Door mat: Homegoods

My entryway is not very grand but I love my pew (similar), map of Paris (similar) and Kings & Queens of England print (similar).

My living room is the first thing you seen inside the front door.
Chairs and bench: Target (1, 2)
Coffee Table: Ethan Allen (1)
Candles: various (similar)

The Big Comfy Couch!
Couch: Ethan Allen* (1)
Throw: Pottery Barn (1)
Tray: Pottery Barn Outlet (similar)

This is just one of the bookshelves but my mom did such a great job arranging the books I had to show it off!

Alexandra's living room table

This is another one of our DIY projects — would you guess that the table is actually plywood?

Shopping Bag Art

Here’s the best part of the living room! I found a great DIY on pinterest and made it happen.

*Bought during closeout sale at very steep discount

Next up: the dining room, porch and bedroom!