BookBrowse Reviews When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

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When She Woke

A Novel

by Hillary Jordan

When She Woke
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2011, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2012, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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A Hawthorne-esque, dystopian novel in which a woman charged with murdering her unborn child fights to protect the identity of the man she loves

Hillary Jordan's When She Woke takes place in a not-too-distant United States where life is at a premium, valued above a woman's right to choose whether or not to continue her pregnancy. The premise is eerily believable; one can easily envision the circumstances under which abortions become illegal in the future. When She Woke does what good dystopian literature should: demonstrate where a minor alteration or two in current policies can lead if taken to extremes. The novel also recalls the country's Puritanical past when punishment included public shaming by the community, and Jordan's vision of that humiliation is original and riveting. Much of the plot's appeal is that it all seems so possible; it requires very little imagination to believe that the events depicted could come to pass without much current political or social change.

Before continuing I'd like to say unequivocally ...

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  Roe vs. Wade

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