Content note: Slavery.
This story was not at all what I expected. Celester, the narrator, is a self-described “Trashcan baby”, the sort of foundling who deserves to get stuck in a dead-end job issuing permits. And least, that is the facade that she puts up, not wanting to admit that there might be something else underneath her hard exterior. There are so many ways the story could then go, and none of the ways it did go were ones I could’ve imagined. There were twists and turns and hints and clues right the way through.