The Falling Woman Paperback – 1 Aug 1993
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The NEBULA AWARD-winning novel of Mayan magic in the modern world. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Patrice Ann Murphy was born in Washington in 1955, and is an award-winning American science writer and author of science fiction and fantasy novels. Her second novel, THE FALLING WOMAN (1986), won the NEBULA AWARD, and she also won a NEBULA AWARD in the same year for her novelette, 'Rachel in Love'. Her short story collection, POINTS OF DEPARTURE (1990) won the PHILIP K. DICK AWARD, and her 1990 novella, 'Bones', won the WORLD FANTASY AWARD in 1991. She lives in San Francisco. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
The novel is again written in the first person which is unusual in that there are two major characters, mother and daughter. The way she achieves this is by subtitling each chapter with the name of the character.
The story is set in an archaeological site in Yucatan. Elizabeth Butler, the mother, sees 'ghosts' from the past. Some consider her mad and she has in the past been locked up in a madhouse. Her daughter who's going through a bad patch, due to the death of her father and break-up of a relationship goes to stay with her mother who she hasn't really known since about 5 years old. The daughter also starts seeing images of the past. One of the shadows of the past is a priestess who can also see them and talks with the mother. There is a subplot about the daughter and one of the other women on the dig having romantic interests in the local town.
I didn't think this novel was as good as her first, or the short story Rachel in Love. She seems to be trying to say something about relationships between mother and daughter, male and female. This aspect of the novel is unsuccessful as far as I am concerned. The fantasy side works fairly well however.
Elizabeth is an archaeologist on a dig in Central America. She can glimpse the past, especially at dusk and dawn. One day, one of the people she sees, a powerful woman, looks at her, and starts to talk to her...
Diane is Elizabeth's daughter, joining her mother on the dig after her father / Elizabeth's ex-husband dies. Diane hasn't seen her mother since childhood, and isn't sure what she has gone out to find.
The book tells the story in chapters alternating between the two viewpoints. It starts out intriguing, building up a world and characters carefully, one step at a time. Elizabeth's back story is slowly constructed, through conversations and memories, while Diane is finding out things not just about her mother, but about herself as well. Gradually, the story gains tension, a sense of the uncanny, a foreboding feel...
This is a rare novel: it is speculative fiction where most of the characters are women. Not just women, but realistic, credible women, complex, competent, sometimes confused or confusing, sometimes sweaty and smelly, sometimes unkind and uncommunicative and flawed. There are male characters in the novel too, also convincing and authentic, but at its heart, the plot is driven by a triangle of female characters.
The world-building is superb, and the cultural differences between Americans, local present day residents, urban and rural people, older and younger people, and the past native tribal characters, all these cultures are drawn superbly and convincingly and with a deft, subtle hand. This novel is set in a rich world, where each character, even if only appearing in a single scene, has a reality of his/her own, with a sense of a full life and their own concerns.
Combine the rich world building with detailed, convincing and compelling characters, and set them in a plot that gradually gears up tension, and you are in for a literary treat. This novel won a Nebula Award (Nebulas and Hugos are the Oscars of speculative fiction literature) - it deserves every award it could feasibly win. It's a masterpiece.
Her daughter Diane comes to the latest archeological dig in search of her mother. Why did her mother really leave her? What haunts her, troubles her? Diane seeks to understand her mother while just barely able to bury her own resentment for the abandonment she experienced.
This story, however, isn't just about family dynamics, or lack thereof. This is a story of the present which abruptly becomes entwined with the past. One of Elizabeth's visions see her and talks to her. Elizabeth and Diane become embroiled in a dangerous game where they may not survive. Can love triumph over the danger they face? You'll have to read this WONDERFUL book to find out. This was a truly satisfying read that kept me up past my bedtime and wishing for more. Read this book!
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?