When She Woke, by Hillary Jordan

 

When She Woke When She Woke

I can't decide if this updated fable, based on  The Scarlet Letter, is a heavy-handed feminist parable or an interesting update on Hawthorne's classic.  It is also quite reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale.

Set in a dystopic future United States fractured into several republics, Hannah Payne lives in the fundamentalist Christian Republic of Texas.   Instead of sewing a scarlet A on her dress, Hannah has been "chromed."  Convicted of aborting her unborn child, she is sentenced to have her skin chemically colored bright red.  The chroming process must be renewed every six months for the duration of her sentence or the drugs will drive her insane.  

Hannah's journey through the aftermath of her Chroming is suspenseful, though the fundamentalist-bash