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on 23 September 2013
This is NOT a book about Victorian orphans being rescued by "gentlemen", as stated in the other review. The very idea makes me throw up in my mouth a little. This book is true to Tepper form as being a thoughtful post apocalyptic fantasy science fiction novel. Interesting concepts of religion and scientific scepticism are woven into a story about the consequences of a "meteor strike" on future society. True to other Sheri Tepper novels this future has strong fairy tale elements, evil stepsisters, magical transformations, sleeping beauties, monsters and great evil presence. Suffice it to say its one of my favourite Tepper novels, ( singer from the sea, gibbons decline and fall and the fresco are also good)
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on 14 April 2018
excellent book - enjoyed it as I do all of Anita Burgh books
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Some of Sheri Teppers best work. Her imagination is amazing!
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on 4 April 2015
GOOD BUT A BIT SLOW IN PARTS
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on 10 May 2010
Set towards the end of the Victorian era this is the story of Phoebe Drewett and her life as she escapes a brutal father and poverty only to descend into further trials when she is 'rescued' by a 'gentleman'. Said gentleman quite obviously isn't and there are all sorts of mysteries surrounding his existence and other plot lines which tie in with the story and are unravelled as the book progresses.

The characters are the usual mix of Victoriana; poor and desolate, middle class and desperate for more, rich and kind, rich and cruel, spoilt and nasty, spirited young girl who attracts lots of unsuitable men.

There is plenty of dialogue between all of the characters; some better than others. I felt that the author was attempting to write a bit like Jane Austen at times and it didn't quite work most of the time. I've read all of her books; some are awful, some are brilliant. This is firmly in the middle. It's just ok, wouldn't read it again unless I absolutely had to (unlike the Daughters of a Granite Land Trilogy which is outstanding).
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VINE VOICEon 5 February 2009
The very fine print almost put me off, but thankfully I persevered - to be rewarded by a wonderful read.

Life on earth is almost wiped out by a mysterious asteroid, the survivors retaining a dim memory of pre-impact life, but controlled by a tyrannical ruling class who thwart all attempts at scientific advance, deeming it heresy.
Also surviving is a book which suggests that science still exists somewhere ... But deep in the earth, something malevolent has also survived ...

The story takes a while to coax one into realising what is going on; alternating chapters of pre- and post-armageddon life gradually drawing the disparate threads together, revealing the 'visitor' for what it is.

Ms.Tepper again uses one of her favourite devices here - a superhuman entity using unorthodox means to steer people down the correct path to peaceful co-existence.
Rather unsettling, but at the same time intriguing, is the way things just happen and end unexpectedly - only later does the other shoe drop.

As in her previous books, she shows little love for established authority, bigotry or religious dogma, preferring using your mind and 'doing the right thing', unrestricted by questionable ethical, moral and legal rules. By tackling some disturbing issues of power-hunger, religion and sorcery, she makes you reflect on how you live your life, how you think and how you would react in a similar situation. Mind-expanding stuff.
This ranks in the same league as 'Raising the Stones'.
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VINE VOICEon 17 April 2003
I have to admit I gobbled this book up! In typical Tepper style, the early chapters were full of delightfully maddening unexplained detail, and the plot kept me hanging on. The book contains some very interesting characters, some extremely endearing, some truly revolting. As is often the case with Tepper's fiction, religion is a major theme, and there is a definite liberal/left-wing/pro-choice slant to the text. I have to say that I felt, as with her previous novel, 'The Fresco', that this work lacked some of the depth and richness of Tepper at her prime - something like a meal which is pretty delicious at the time, yet leaves you still a little hungry. Nevertheless, even though this is not quite as satisfying as, say, 'The Family Tree' or 'Raising the Stones', it's certainly well worth a read.
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on 6 January 2014
Absolutely fabulous story. Very gripping. Perfect ending. Would definitely recommend to all who love a good drama/love story. Will look forward to reading more of Anita burghs books!
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on 13 August 2014
Sheri S. Tepper never fails to write a great book.
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on 12 March 2015
fine
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