Saturday, February 25, 2012

"When She Woke" by Hillary Jordan review

I read this amazing book yesterday (2/24/2012).

When She Woke
Author: Hillary Jordan
5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure: I received this book from the Vine program in return for an honest review.

Hannah Payne committed the unforgivable sin; she aborted her pregnancy. After the Scourge – the STD that turned so many women sterile – Sanctity of Life laws were passed in the majority of the states making abortion not only illegal, but a felony. Then the melachroming laws were passed, and those who had murdered someone – including their unborn children – were turned red. Because Hannah refused to name the person who performed her abortion, nor the father of the child, extra time was added to her sentence. To make matters worse, there is a group named The Fist that took it upon themselves to kill women like her, and she has been targeted. Will she be able to escape? Will she be able to be free?

I was impressed with this book on many levels. Obviously I felt the overall message – about a person’s right to choose, and about the dangers of rampant fundamentalism – were worthwhile. But at the same time, the book not only does not bash faith and Christianity, it is actually sympathetic to them. Aidan Dale is a truly Christian man, humble and caring, but also human and fallible. At one point Hannah is succored by an Episcopal priest, an earthy woman who is nonetheless another truly good person. Throughout the book, Hannah faces the fact that her former faith was a weak and wavering thing, one that could not stand against her questioning nature because it was based upon what other people felt was best and right, not upon what she, herself, felt was right in her own heart. When she found her own faith, it is a strong and sturdy thing, because it acknowledges the need for questioning and personal revelation.

The characters in this book are strong and well-developed, unique and interesting. While there are a lot of strings left. The story was enthralling – I’ve had a difficult weekend finding a good book, spending two days on two different books, neither of which I could finish, before starting this one a scant 8 hours ago and finishing it with only a couple short breaks to fix myself tea. Highly recommended for ANYONE and EVERYONE – you MUST read this book!


  1. Oh, it really is! I hope you get a chance to read it!


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