Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Among Others

by Jo Walton
New York : Tor, 2011.

Morwenna Phelps Markova ran away from her crazy mother after her sister's death and her own injury, and is now living with the father she never met. Her aunts send her to boarding school, and her diary is filled with what she does at school, what she ran from in the past, and how she deals with her world by reading tons of fantasy and SF in 1979 and 1980.

Though most of the book reads like a standard coming-of-age novel, there are two major differences. One, there are fairies. Two, Morwenna reads a lot of fantasy and SF - I counted around 100 books mentioned - and if you're at all interested in the genre, you will enjoy her discussion of books. The fairies are a bit harder to describe, but I thought it was done with a light touch making this a sort-of fantasy because of the presence of magic. A diary format can be hard to pull off, but this read really naturally as Morwenna's thoughts and recounting of the day to day, and lent itself to only marginally explaining what had happened in the past. In a way, her diary more about the aftermath than the actual happening. I enjoyed the story on a first read, but I think I would have to reread it to better articulate exactly what I thought about it.

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