Tirza has won a lottery place in the next emigration to Sumeria and is unhappy about leaving her father behind, so she goes to an ornithomancer for advice (Ornithomancy is sort of like tarot, but with birds instead of just cards — but unlike ancient Greek divination, doesn’t involve any entrails.) The advice she gets forces her to confront her relationship with her father, in a way which I found extremely personal and touching and very real. Not every person is cut out to be a parent; not every person is very good at being a child. And yet, Tirza and her father find, in the end, a way to make it work. I liked the raw edges of this story, and its hopeful ending.
Adrian’s life has always been lived at the margins, “where all of the excitement, beauty, and magic were.” At the start, I was excited to read more about that life, especially the summers he spends with his father the circus-worker, but we got so much history at the beginning, and not enough story, that I lost interest. I kept reading, though, and was rewarded by a sharp, sudden crossing of a margin about half-way through (a transition point that I wish had come much earlier). What came after was still somewhat plodding at times, but was overall intriguing.
Reading this story was like sitting down to tea with someone you’ve never met but with whom you have mutual friends, friends who at one point told the two of you “you would like each other. you should meet up sometime.” So you do, and then you hear the other person’s story and can’t help but be fascinated (and to appreciate having friends who know you so well that they can recommend knew friends to you).
Let’s pretend, dear reader, that I am the mutual friend between you and this wonderful little post-apocalyptic story, and this is me telling you “why don’t you brew a cup of tea and settle down with this story? I think you’d like each other.”