Rated of 5
by Sandra H.
When She Woke
Having taught Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" to numerous high school juniors, I bought the book as soon as I saw it advertised. And, yes, I can see the resemblance to Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" as well. But ultimately a book must be judged on its own merits. While Jordan's novel has a political point of view, an astute reader can look beyond that and see a terrific story with a likable if fallible protagonist who must come to terms with her own life as well as the society she finds herself in. And this is what happens. As she questions her life and the restrictions that govern it, she eventually makes choices that form her character.
This would be a wonderful book club read, especially if the members have differing political and religious beliefs but are strong enough not to believe that their own views are the only valid ones. It is also a book that forces readers to look around at the restrictions put on our lives and those of others through public attitudes, the press, government, and the instant opinions that take over in our instant news world.
Read it. Like it. Hate it. But be sure to talk about it.