My Real Children
by Jo Walton
Genre: Fantasy; Alternate History; Women Fiction
Publisher: Tor Books on
20 May 2014
Reading with my ears: Unabridged
9 hours 30 minutes
Narrator: Alison Larkin
It's 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. "Confused today," read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know—what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev. Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War—those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles? Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history. Each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan's lives...and of how every life means the entire world.My thoughts:
I loved the first half of this book but it was the narrator that helped me through the last part that became very slow. If not for her, I might have started skimming or even giving up. The ending was not a surprise - the book starts with the main character's days in a nursing home - but I did want to read about the final stages of her life. I was hoping for a meaningful ending that did not come.
LGBT is a large part of the story and it was just another relationship without much whoo-ha in this book, which was great. In fact it was the better relationship of the two but at times I felt it was a bit far fetched and not realistic at all. No relationship is roses and rainbows ALL of the time.
I also felt that the author could not decide if she wanted to make this a religion based story or if it was more about the main's character's search for God. Every now and then there was sections where she had inner monologues with God but it did not add to the story in my opinion. It was just slid in without any follow up.
In the end I just felt a bit cheated . . .