Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jo Walton's My Real Children

I've just added Jo Walton to my list of all-time favorites. Her newest book, My Real Children, once again reinforces my sense that she's my mental sister (which would make her Daughter Number Five, I suppose). Narcissistic of me, of course, but that's how it feels.

The book explores the idea of the multiverse through the life (lives) of one woman, born in 1926 and spending her last years, present-day, in a nursing home. As she falls further into dementia, Patricia (nicknamed Pat or Trish depending on which life) sees both the lives and doesn't know which was real, or if both were real. The reader is certainly convinced that both are.

Walton's touch is light as she describes two varying 20th centuries that provide the backdrop for Pat's and Trish's existences. The fact that neither one is our 20th century makes for an additional mental challenge.

My only complaint about the book is the U.S. cover (shown above). It makes it look like a 19th century romance. The main character is a thoroughly mid- to late-20th century woman, and in one life is even described as having short hair. Who is this bebunned, retiring girl? It makes me sad to think about book marketers' perception of the U.S. audience.

The U.K. cover is much better:

If you want to read a review that gives away a bit more of the story, check out this one on

1 comment:

Gina said...

It is such a gift to find an author who's on the same wavelength as you! I'm adding Jo Walton to my list of authors to explore. I read one of her books a while ago, an alternate history, that I enjoyed. I've been trying to catch up on sci fi classics.....