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on 7 January 2003
Tepper is not an especially subtle author. When she has an agenda (as she invariably does), she ensures the reader knows about it. At great length. Whether this affects your enjoyment of an otherwise well-written and thoughtful piece of SF really depends on your own levels of patience.
A (very) loose sequel to Tepper's classic 'Grass', this is a tale of religion gone wrong, and the attempts of a small group of individuals (and their frankly creepy god-creature) to put it right. The pace varies, but there are enough twists and interesting ideas to keep the reader guessing, and the good guys are well-rounded if sometimes a little bland. The bad guys suffer from, quite simply, being bad, and Tepper wastes no more effort on them than it takes to explain why their world-view is wrong.
Originally published over ten years ago, this is not Tepper at her best (for that, read 'Grass'), but it does contain all the elements that make her one of the most challenging writers in her genre: not big tech SF, but SF dealing fundamentally with human societies and human relationships. You may disagree with her view of what makes mankind tick, but you can't deny that it is passionate and uncompromising. Recommended.
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on 1 April 2012
This most excellent novel by sheri tepper is sadly missing several parts. Any competent proof reader would have noticed on publication of the 'Kindle' version, that the text is incomplete. This is a novel i have enjoyed in paperback form. Sheri Tepper re-iterates her views on the coercion of religion, the poison of media violence etc as portrayed in 'Beauty' and 'Grass'. I borowed a copy from my local library to make sure the missing text was not a figment of my imagination, and i am correct in my observation. If you purchase the 'Kindle' version of this book you will be sadly dissappointed. I reccomend you visit a library for a whole and entire copy -for free!
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on 18 April 2013
I bought this because I am a big fan of "Grass" and I had heard that this was even better. Unfortunately, I have to disagree. I found it didn't have the same narrative pace, or such good character development. One of the things I liked about "Grass" was that there were at least three big mysteries at the heart of it, and the characters trying to solve those really drove the plot forward. This one was mostly about religious infighting and, although it takes place over three planets and involves a robot army, wasn't really very "sci-fi". I wasn't grabbed by it.
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on 2 March 2010
A Lovely book and part of a set, but not really a series (grass first then this and finally sideshow). There are references to characters from grass and links to places and ideas, but it can be read on its own and is not needed to read the others.
I really enjoyed this book but I am a fan of the writer and enjoy feminist sci-fi/ fiction, but think some would find it hard going.
The characters and worlds are well developed with depth and interesting hidden sides in each.
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on 13 May 2009
Sheri Tepper is an amazing author. I've bought almost every book of hers that I can - and some more than once!! I had to buy Raising the Stones again because my daughters' dog ate some of the old book!

Every time I read one of her books, I am submerged into her world. They are thought provoking, fascinating, full of incredible detail - particularly the people, and ultimately rewarding and fulfilling. Wonderful stuff.
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on 25 March 2013
As the middle book from the trilogy, (Grass and Sideshow, being numbers one and three) It carries on the themes of the historical mistreatment of women, religions and ecological concerns. All written in a highly readable way. Tepper is one of my favourite authors.
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on 28 July 2013
This such a great story written over 20 years ago and it teaches the reader along the way about how radical religious groups think - very very frightening. I am always amazed how the writer thinks of these wonderful complicated ideas.
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on 6 April 2014
Second of the Marjorie Westriding trilogy, though it stands alone very well.

A few nitpicky caveats about the rather time-specific wording of Marjorie's teachings are about my only reservation!
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on 28 June 2016
Would recommend this book to anyone. Amazing, moving, full of hope.
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