[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
I finished The Falling Woman with a deep sense of satisfaction. It's a different book, maybe offbeat would be the word? Not quirky. Quirky is the wrong word. If I say it's a woman's book, that's not right, either. It's not a book only a woman could write, but possibly it's a book more like the one a woman would write. Anyway, I really enjoyed it.

I think for me what stands out in the books I prefer tends to be compassion. Compassion of the author for her characters, however flawed. And there's certainly compassion in this book. We could easily hate Elizabeth Butler for abandoning her daughter, but we don't. She's drawn too fully for such a simplistic response. We can still think what she did was wrong--although surely her husband committed the greater wrong--but we understand what happened and why she acted as she did. There are no cardboard cut-out villains among the women. Maybe Marcos is a bit of a cipher, or maybe a cliche, but I think that's possibly because we're not used to women seeing through such men, or using them just as they like to use. He has one version of events but hers is another, different, not sad or desperate but something close to that yet more empowered.

Definitely worth a read. I'm undecided whether it's SF or Fantasy but I'm sticking the SF label on it for now.
[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Lately I've been reading Pat Murphy's The Falling Woman, which was one of the books I bagged on a recent visit to Waterstones. It's told from two different first-person POVs. The first is archaeologist Elizabeth Butler, who's currently working on a dig at a Mayan site, and has the ability to see into the past at twilight. The second POV is Elizabeth's estranged daughter, Diane, who's come in the hope of establishing a relationship with the mother who gave her up to her father's care years before.

So far, this is a very interesting book that focus on the relationship between mother and daughter and their different relationships with the past. Diane wants to understand their own past but Elizabeth is interested in the Mayans she sees living their lives around her, and even more so in the Falling Woman of the title, Zuhuy-kak, a Mayan woman who was sacrificed in a cenote but survived to bring the messages of the gods back to her people. Never before has one of Elizabeth's ghosts interacted with her.

At the same time, it appears possible that Diane has inherited her mother's ability to catch glimpses of the distant past.

There were some points at the beginning of this book--always a tricky time--where I was disappointed. For example, when Elizabeth first meets Zuhuy-kak, there seems to be too much luck in Elizabeth's ability to answer the tests Zuhuy-kak sets her. One lucky guess I could tolerate, but two in succession felt forced. Yet that's such a small complaint. Beginnings are hard; it's often there that the reader's willingness to suspend disbelief is tested.

Am looking forward to finding out what happens next.

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