Samantha's Reviews > The Calculating Stars

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
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it was amazing

I loved this book. It was a wonderfully complex story about a wonderfully complex and interesting woman. So much depth throughout!

The book is an alternate history, exploring how the space race might have gone if an extinction level meteorite strike had happened in the 1950s. That part was fascinating enough (oy! the politics!), but it was secondary to the journey of the main character, Elma York, a brilliant mathematician and pilot.

A young woman and wife in the fifties, Elma felt very real to me, reminding me of women like my own grandmother, women who had taken on expanded roles in World War II and resisted when society tried to shove them back into the housewife box afterwards. Elma's husband is maybe a little Marty Stu in his complete support of his wife's ambitions, but you know what? I'm okay with a little wish fulfillment in this case.

Elma isn't a revolutionary on purpose. She doesn't set out to shake things up, but when the fate of the human race is at stake, there isn't time to wait for society to decide its ready for change. Elma has a great growth arc, learning to manage her anxiety and step up when the world needs her most. She learned about her own blindness about race issues on the way. The tension of trying to move forward in her ambitions while even her own internal voices were shouting her down with accusations of unladylike behavior was well portrayed.

I found it an inspiring underdog story, full of realistic hope. I'll definitely be back for more of this character and this story.
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Reading Progress

February 16, 2019 – Started Reading
February 16, 2019 – Shelved
February 19, 2019 – Finished Reading

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