|Mending the Moon, by Susan Palwick
||[May. 8th, 2013|04:27 pm]
Review copy provided by Tor.
On the cover of this book, papersky is quoted comparing it to Madeleine L'Engle and Gail Godwin, and these comparisons seem very apt to me. We're talking about the end of L'Engle's career that's closer to A Severed Wasp than to A Wind in the Door, but if you've been feeling a bit short of that sort of thing, here you are. The other comparison I wanted to make is Michael Chabon, although I expect that to sound weird to anyone who has read Palwick in stylistic terms.
Mending the Moon is about grief and healing. But one of the things it's exploring about grief and healing, which I haven't seen in fiction very much before, is how fandoms and consciously created mythologies interact with times of stress. The chapters about two grieving families trying to adjust to their new lives alternate with chapters of Comrade Cosmos stories and discussion of Comrade Cosmos fandom, and the two intertwine thematically but also at some spots practically. "What would CC do?" is, realistically, not a question that people sit down and answer earnestly--but it is a question that's in the backgrounds of their lives and assumptions, in the way they process the world around them. The people of both the fictional and the meta-fictional world grieve and cope plausibly, with prickliness and randomness and occasional breakdowns and self-destructive behaviors. But also plausibly, they manage to put things a little more together, to improve things just a touch if not always in the direction they'd planned or hoped.
Sometimes I will need a book like this. I'm glad to have it now, when I only want it.