Dallas hasn’t been the setting for a lot of great books. Great stories, yes. Great books, not so much.
Which is why we were delighted to discover that much of Hillary Jordan’s second novel, When She Woke, takes place right here in town.
The book, which hits shelves today, is a stunning retelling of The Scarlet Letter, set in a not-too-distant future when there is no separation of church and state, abortion is illegal, and convicted felons don’t go to prison but are injected with a substance that genetically alters their skin color according to their crime.
Hannah Payne is Hester Prynne — and every inch of her is as red as a stop sign. It’s an uncomfortable and often dangerous life for a person so publicly branded, but Hannah’s not totally alone in her struggle to survive.
Like all compelling science fiction, the novel gives readers a creeping sense of unease that comes from grazing the fine line between fantasy and reality.
And that’s exceptional.
Available online at amazon.com, $16.
Photo: Courtesy of Algonquin Books
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