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Winner of the 2012 Arthur C. Clarke Award
Longlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize
A rogue virus that kills pregnant women has been let loose in the world, and nothing less than the survival of the human race is at stake.
Some blame the scientists, others see the hand of God, and still others claim that humanity is reaping the punishment it deserves for years of arrogance and destructiveness. Jessie Lamb is an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl living in extraordinary times. As her world collapses, her idealism and courage drive her toward the ultimate act of heroism. Jessie wants her life to make a difference; but is she heroic, or is she, as her scientist father fears, impressionable, innocent, and incapable of understanding where her actions will lead?
Set in a world irreparably altered by an act of biological terrorism, The Testament of Jessie Lamb explores a young woman’s struggle for independence. As the certainties of her childhood are ripped apart, Jessie begins to question her parents’ attitudes, their behavior, and the very world they have bequeathed her.
© 2012 by Jane Rogers
“Jane Rogers has captured Jessie’s voice brilliantly, alternating a teenager’s solipsism with a growing awareness of the wider world. Jessie’s self-conviction is both admirable and infuriating, and the reader is torn between her clear, unequivocal conclusions and the intricate, heartfelt compromises of her parents.”
Times Literary Supplement (London)
“A wonderful evocation of teenage confusion, passion, and idealism.”
Daily Mail (London)
“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.”
“An engrossing work of speculative fiction.”
“A powerful dystopian novel…Long-listed for the Booker Prize, Rogers’ mesmerizing tale is frighteningly timely and bound to spark rich book-club discussions.”
“A great read for teens who like to be provoked, or enjoy books about cutting-edge controversial issues.”
School Library Journal
“The Testament of Jessie Lamb is so fully realized and believable, with a voice so familiarly compelling, that the apocalyptic dreamscape of the novel felt more real to me at times than the world I returned to when I put it down to take a breath—which wasn’t often. This is the kind of novel in which one dwells. Unforgettable.”
Laura Kasischke, award-winning author