Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Testament of Jessie Lamb

Title: The Testament of Jessie Lamb

Author: Jane Rogers

Number of pages: 260

Started: 23 August 2011

Finished: 24 August 2011

Opening words:

The house is very quiet now he's gone. I get up carefully without falling over and shuffle to the window. The light is partly blocked by gigantic leylandii in next door's garden. No-one lives in this row any more.

Plot summary:

Women are dying in their millions. Some blame scientists, some see the hand of God, some see human arrogance reaping the punishment it deserves. Jessie Lamb is an ordinary girl living in extraordinary times: as her world collapses, her idealism and courage drive her towards the ultimate act of heroism. If the human race is to survive, it s up to her. But is Jessie heroic? Or is she, as her father fears, impressionable, innocent, incapable of understanding where her actions will lead? Set just a month or two in the future, in a world irreparably altered by an act of biological terrorism, The Testament of Jessie Lamb explores a young woman s determination to make her life count for something, as the certainties of her childhood are ripped apart.

What I thought:

This book had great potential. I really liked the plot idea for the book and had high hopes for it. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to them.

I didn’t think the book was very well written, which is surprising given the author teaches writing. The way the book was structured – the main narrative interspersed with diary entries – actually detracted from any sense of suspense that might otherwise have built up. I also thought the plot did not develop very well and really turned into a personal story that did little to make the reader want to empathise with the main character. A clip round the ear might have been better. In many ways, I think the ideal audience for this book would be teenage girls, although a wise parent might not want them to read this!

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