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2.67 out of 52.67 out of 52.67 out of 52.67 out of 52.67 out of 5 2.67 (12 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jane Rogers Narrator: Fiona Hardingham Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2012 ISBN: 9781470827267
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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.”

    Independent (London)

  • “An engrossing work of speculative fiction.”

    Slate

  • “A powerful dystopian novel…Long-listed for the Booker Prize, Rogers’ mesmerizing tale is frighteningly timely and bound to spark rich book-club discussions.”

    Booklist

  • “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

  • Longlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize
  • Winner of the 2012 Arthur C. Clarke Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ian | 2/6/2014

    " This was, I believe, longlisted for the Booker, but since the plot summary made it clear it was sf-written-by-a-mainstream-author I picked up a copy just before Waterstone's abolished their 3-for-2 promotion. And it's certainly sf, in the same way The Handmaid's Tale or Children of Men are. Or even Nineteen Eighty-four. At some point in the near-future, a virus is released which infects everyone. But when women become pregnant, it turns into full-blown Creuzfeld-Jakob Syndrome and is always fatal. In other words, women can't have children anymore - or they die. And it's a particularly horrible death, as their brain dissolves in their skulls over a period of weeks and sometimes days. Jessie Lamb is 16-year-old whose father works at a clinic attempting to find a cure to Maternal Death Syndrome. While around them the world slowly falls apart. The first section of the novel, in which Jessie tries to come to terms with the world, and in which the role of women in society slowly erodes, is very good indeed. But about halfway through Jessie volunteers to become as "Sleeping Beauty" - she joins a programme which will keep the mothers in comas so the babies can be born safely, though, of course, the mothers will not survive. At which point, the novel turns into YA story and is all about Jessie trying to convince her parents that her choice is the right one. Yet the trigger for that choice doesn't seem especially obvious. The Testament of Jessie Lamb is a pretty good book, but it's also half of what could have been an excellent one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kiera C | 1/31/2014

    " Sounded interesting, but wasn't worth it. Read Margaret Atwood for a fascinating take on a post-apocalyptic future. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sabrina Ali | 1/29/2014

    " Great story but spareness of detailed description of this dystopia prevented me from being wholly absorbed by this story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tudor Ciocarlie | 1/7/2014

    " A very strong Booker longlist novel. The only reason that I've gave it 4 stars is because I've read it after the brilliant Random Acts of Senseless Violence. No other young female voice living the beginning of an apocalypse and the disintegration of the society can be as good as Lola in the Jack Womack's book. But Jesse story, of a girl fighting herself, her parents, her friends in order to save the world, is very well written and full with interesting, thought provoking ideas. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samuel Brase | 1/5/2014

    " The themes in this book--feminism, impregnation, et al--are important and worthwhile for engaging SF books. I found the writing and characters too "young adult" for me, but it would be a great read for an early teen (of either gender!). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric | 12/14/2013

    " Written in a pitch perfect voice of a 16 year old girl, this book was a very interesting take on the old question of What is the meaning of life. Quite thought provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 11/10/2013

    " Very thought-provoking and somewhat depressing. I may not agree with Jessie's choice, but I can respect her standing up for what she believes to be the right thing for her to do. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paola | 8/28/2013

    " It's OVER!!!! This book nearly gave me Reader's Block!!! Review coming soon... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara Kelly | 6/14/2013

    " It was really well-written, great voice...and then sort of fell apart at the end, as if the author just got tired of writing. But I'm glad I read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christina | 4/22/2013

    " Not a bad read, just found it hard to believe in Jessie. (Probably due to my general lack of empathy for 16 year olds!) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 amy | 3/19/2013

    " awful. i only finished it bc i thought it might get better, but no luck. preachy, slow and completely unrealistic. i was hoping for hunger games-esque. not so much. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rob Adey | 1/18/2013

    " Not a very convincing bioapocalypse. Nobody punches a germ. =( "

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About the Author

Jane Rogers has written numerous books, including Her Living Image, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award; Mr. Wroe’s Virgins, a Guardian Fiction Prize runner-up; Promised Lands, winner of the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Fiction Book; Island, long-listed for the Orange Prize; and The Voyage Home. She has written drama for radio and television, including an award-winning adaptation of Mr. Wroe’s Virgins for BBC2. She has taught writing at the University of Adelaide, at the Sorbonne, and on a radio-writing project in eastern Uganda. She is professor of writing at Sheffield Hallam University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She lives on the edge of the moors in Lancashire, England.

About the Narrator

Fiona Hardingham is a British-born actress, singer, voice-over artist, and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. On stage, she appeared at the Edinburgh Festival in her comedic one-woman show The Dark Show. She has also starred in the dark-comedy short film The Ballerino. She earned a BA honors degree in performing arts from Middlesex University, London, and also studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.