In a chilling future, one 16-year-old girl is driven to the ultimate act of heroism. The Testament of Jessie Lamb, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, is the breakout novel from award-winning author Jane Rogers. Its cunningly drawn characters and riveting vision of a dystopic future fraught with difficult moral choices will make The Testament of Jessie Lamb an instant favorite for fans of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, and Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man.
“The novel does not set up an elaborate apocalypse, but astringently strips away the smears hiding the apocalypses we really face. Like Jessie’s, it is a small, calm voice of reason in a nonsensical world.” —The Independent
JANE ROGERS has written eight novels, including Her Living Image (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award), Mr. Wroe’s Virgins (a Guardian Fiction Prize runner-up), Promised Lands (winner of the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Fiction Book), Island (longlisted for the Orange Prize) and The Voyage Home. She has written drama for radio and TV, including an award-winning adaptation of Mr. Wroe’s Virgins for BBC2. She has taught writing at the University of Adelaide, at Paris Sorbonne IV and on a radio-writing project in eastern Uganda. She is professor of writing at Sheffield Hallam University and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Jane lives on the edge of the moors in Lancashire, England. Visit her online at janerogers.org.
The Testament of Jessie Lamb 3.3 out of 5based on
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More than 1 year ago
The Tes­ta­ment of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers is an award win­ning science-fiction book tak­ing place in the near future. This is a book that out of my com­fort zone as I usu­ally don’t read this genre (I used to), but I’m glad I read and think it’s impor­tant to read books which you might not otherwise.
Jessie Lamb is 16 years old, daugh­ter of a British sci­en­tist attempt­ing to find a cure for MDS, a nasty virus. MDS was unleashed upon the world by an unknown group; the virus attacks preg­nant women and their babies killing the woman before she is able to give birth.
Jessie is flirt­ing with activism, not using a car when unnec­es­sary, join­ing youth groups and more. But she finds new mean­ing when sci­en­tists dis­cover that women under 16 ½ have great chances of pro­duc­ing a baby, cre­at­ing a future for human kind at the expense of their own lives.
The Tes­ta­ment of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers almost reads like a clas­sic dystopian novel and I’m sure it will become one soon enough. I found the story sur­pris­ing with sev­eral gen­tle twists, every time I thought I knew what was going to hap­pen, I found out I was wrong.
The writ­ing is excel­lent, but the book is not your fast paced vari­ety. The story is nar­rated from the point of view of a teenage girl, the chap­ters begin by reliv­ing the past and end with a journal/diary entry detail­ing the present. While at first this type of nar­ra­tive arrange­ment was strange, it actu­ally worked won­der­fully book and its many themes.
Even though the book takes place in the near future, the themes which are dealt within it are con­tem­po­rary. Legal age, con­sent, society’s will­ing­ness to tear each other apart, to sac­ri­fice “the oth­ers” for your own moral­ity and our favorite social pas­time: force­fully enforce your jaded morals on the rest.
When I was first offered to read this book I hes­i­tated, to be hon­est I only accepted because it looked inter­est­ing, I thought my wife would like it as well and because it was long listed for the Man Booker Prize. I’m not usu­ally much for science-fiction and/or dystopian books. I liked The Hunger Games but have yet to read the rest of the series and loved science-fiction as a kid, but haven’t read a sci-fi book in years.
I am always one to preach that peo­ple should read out of their com­fort zones, yet I rarely fol­low my own advice. And here, the oppor­tu­nity pre­sented itself and I took it.
Do you know what I found out?
I was right, not only am I happy I read this book, as it gave me much fod­der to think about after I fin­ished it, but I believe that I am a bet­ter reader for doing so.
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