Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Testament of Jessie Lamb Jane Rogers

From the latest clutch of dystopian novels comes The Testament of Jessie Lamb published by Sandstone Press.

Several reviews prompted me to buy the book, including one which mentioned the possibility of a YA version as well as adult. I'm pretty sure I got the adult version.
Written in the first person voice the book tells the tale of a young girl growing up in a future where all women die when pregnant. Usually this means death for the baby as well. A doctor/scientist has started a new programme whereby the babies are delivered at a cost to the mother's life before the illness takes hold. The lead character in the book decides that this is an option she would like to take to ensure the life of a baby- a decision made when she is not yet pregnant or even adult.
The book enters the realm of political dissent with various groups springing up in protest against leadership doctrine and in fear of the world they now inhabit,one of which the teenager joins. Alongside her family's concerns about her future there are a whole lot of different strands running through this book.
Overall, to me, it seemed quite a disjointed book with the teenage voice not quite ringing true. Some authors manage to give voice to a much younger person successfully, this one rang as an adult playing a teenager.
Altogther the book made itself a struggle for me to totally enjoy because of this.
That said it has won the Arthur C Clarke 2012 award and was long listed for the Man Booker in 2011.
As is common prize winners and me didn't mix.
The decider- would I buy another book by this author? I'm afraid not.

If you would like to read it next tweet me on @nneerraakk First person to tweet gets it posted to them.

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