My Real Children

Have I ever told y’all how I love Jo Walton? In a non-creepy way, of course, where I swoon over her books, not where I skulk around outside her house with binoculars. These are for, um, birdwatching.

Anyway, I’ve been busy reading My Real Children and swooning. I don’t know how to talk about the plot without without making it sound kind of out there, but part of my Jo Walton love is how she can make a WTF-sounding premise work. So we have Patricia who has two lives; one where she marries a guy who sucks and is an unhappy housewife and one where she is a lesbian who writes travel books and owns a house in Italy. It kind of seems like the moral is going to be “Don’t marry that guy” but of course it’s not that simple. Because in the Woeful Bad Marriage universe the wold is mostly doing okay. But in the Happy Lesbian Italy universe things are going badly wrong in the background. Like, nuclear bombs kind of wrong.

I love, love, love when the world seems bigger than what the story strictly requires and I love here how so many things are clearly happening off-stage that get passing mention. I was almost trying to shush the characters to listen to the news. What moon base? Nuclear strikes where? When? President Kennedy what now? Shush guys, this is important.

The premise also appeals to the indecisive part of me that always wonders about my alternate lives where maybe I majored in Geology or moved to New York or took up archery or something. One life just doesn’t seem enough sometimes.

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