Gazev is a young woman who upon the death of her sister, Sonalie, inherited her job as temple cleaner. Wherever she goes she carries the weight of her sister’s death — never explained in the story — as well as the weight of “the years of [the priests’] gaze upon her beautiful, bent shoulders”. She wanders through the graveyard, but cannot escape her sister’s legacy.
I found this a heavy, depressing story. Casual misogyny is so rife in the real world, that one often looks to fantasy and speculative fiction for escape — for there we can explore worlds that are built on fundamentally different principles than our own. But while much of the world Morris builds in Gazev’s story is different from ours and foreign, the same old misogyny is there, as if it is inescapable.