Finding the Strength to Survive: Hillary Jordan's "When She Woke"

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Buzz began about Hillary Jordan's When She Woke months before its October release date. It's hardly surprising as her previous novel, Mudbound, was an award-winning favorite. In When She Woke Jordan explores a dystopian American where there's no separation between church and state. With shades of The Scarlet Letter and The Handmaid's Tale this is a novel that has people talking.

Disowned by her fundamentalist mother and bigoted brother-in-law (only her father tries to help her out) Hannah soon finds out that the real world for a chrome is a dangerous place. Between religious zealots trying to convert wayward chromes with unconventional and sometimes cruel methods and vigilante groups who kidnap chromes, Hannah has to look deep within herself to find the strength to survive.

when she woke hillary jordan

Yes, When She Woke is an examination of the role that religion plays in our society, about a woman’s control over her own body and even to some degree the current state of our prisons in America. But it is, at a deeper level, much more of a story about one woman’s struggle to survive, a journey from her deepest shame to finding a pride for herself that she never knew she had. Hannah struggles with her own faith throughout the novel which leads to a beautiful transformation of the main character. The story is really secondary in When She Woke, but through Jordan’s writing the character of Hannah shines.

Read more from When She Woke at Stephanie's Written Word


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