As part of our Best Books of 2011 coverage, our editors weigh in on some of their personal favorites from the list.
I love a good suspense story—especially if it includes national scandal, an illicit romance, government intrusion and an alternate future where church and state is no longer separate. These are just a few of the elements you can look forward to in Hillary Jordan’s terrific When She Woke, a dystopian retelling of The Scarlet Letter. It reads like a thriller as Hannah, Jordan’s Hester character, runs for her life after she is stigmatized for getting an abortion. The book is more about character and plot than issues, but as an added bonus, it will inspire you to get think hard about current events. Highly recommended for book clubs.