Saturday, August 4, 2007


I figured that I'd better put up a first chapter post before I finish the whole book. This book promises to be a fast read. Here's the first sentence:

"At dawn, at the slack of ebb tide, they all went out again to search the beach outside the harbor mouth."

Search for what? And why again? It soon becomes clear that there has been a disaster: a ship has sunk. With the sinking of the ship, the village that depends upon it is doomed. Linnea, who is considered a spinster at nineteen, is one of the only ones who does not appear to be personally touched by the disaster. She lost her brother-in-law.

Linnea, her sister, and her sister's children flee the doomed village to the planet's only city. We get the impression early on that there's something wrong with the society in which Linnea lives. An unmarried nineteen-year-old is almost a freak. Why? I' don't yet know. She lives on a dying world, with little beauty and little hope.

Linnea's world is a sterile one, except for the seas. The only things that grows in the soil are potatoes. The weather is harsh, and life is barely above the sustenance level. There is little beauty and few pleasures. It doesn't make for pleasant reading, but it is gripping.

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