Hidden in the Shelves (18)

Hidden in the Shelves is a feature where I show off a discovery (or rediscovery) that I came across while shelving books for work.

When She Woke by Hilary Jordan

I am red now. It was her first thought of the day, every day, surfacing after a few seconds of fogged, blessed ignorance and sweeping through her like a wave, breaking in her breast with a soundless roar. Hard on its heels came the second wave, crashing into the wreckage left by the first: he is gone.

Hannah Payne’s life has been devoted to church and family. But after she’s convicted of murder, she awakens to a nightmarish new life. She finds herself lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes—criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime—is a sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red for the crime of murder. The victim, says the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she shared a fierce and forbidden love.

A powerful reimagining of The Scarlet Letter, When She Woke is a timely fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of the not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated, and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned but chromed and released back into the population to survive as best they can. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith and love.

Summary from Goodreads. Ooooh dystopia and a reimagining? Sounds quite interesting. Of course, the actual story sound interesting as well. Who isn’t a bit fascinated by the idea of ‘branding’ criminals for their crimes and how the consequences would play out?

5 thoughts on “Hidden in the Shelves (18)

  1. I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while, too. I just had heard it went well with A Handmaid’s Tale and was planning to read that first. Somehow I have gotten to neither… too many books, not enough time!

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