Brendon Schrodinger's Reviews > My Real Children

My Real Children by Jo Walton
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it was amazing
bookshelves: alternate-history

Jo Walton sure knows how to pull on my heart strings. Among Others charmed me and spoke to me on so many levels, even though I did not grow up a girl in Wales in the 1970's and 80's. Jo's new novel has the same feel as her previous, but tells a different story.

This is the story of Patricia, born in the 1930's and who grew up during World War II. Patricia falls in love with an intelligent young man who attends her university and they become engaged. But when her fiance phones to say that his future plans must change and that she must decide of she wants to marry this minute or never, Patricia has a big decision to make. And she makes both. Yes this is Sliding Doors, minus Gwyneth and probably minus the lame (I've never seen the movie).

The novel is a biography of both Patricias and the life that they live in their alternative universes, as both are not our universes, with the history and events in both a little different. But like Among Others it's the characters that you love and sometimes love to hate that make the novel. We are endeared to Patricia in both universes. She is the type of person who you would have loved to have as a friend. But she goes through the trials and tribulations of life in both universes.

Critics may call this a drama, and it certainly is very drama for my usual standards, but I guess that says a lot about the talent of Jo. Yes she can make a grown man who loves spaceships read a drama. And I loved it. After all a great story is a great story. Sure the little snippets of alternate history were great, but so were the passages on what love is and how families work together and the value of friendships.

There is so much that I could talk about, events in the book, who did you like most, but I don't want you all to have spoilers. There is a more to this than a simple Sliding Doors tale, much more indeed. And it's all tied together nicely at the end. Not too perfectly mind you (in a good way).

This is one of those special reads that you come across now and then. It's lucky if you find one once every year. But a two out of two record for special reads from Jo is something not to be sniffed at. You can definitely class me as a big fan of Jo Walton.
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Reading Progress

May 15, 2014 – Shelved
May 15, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
September 13, 2014 – Started Reading
September 13, 2014 – Shelved as: alternate-history
September 13, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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Wanda Onto the TBR list it goes! Thanks, Brendon.


Brendon Schrodinger You're welcome :) Have you read Among Others yet?


Wanda Brendon wrote: "You're welcome :) Have you read Among Others yet?"

Not yet--so many books, so little time!


Brendon Schrodinger I know how it is. I was just thinking that Among Others is out in paperback and possibly in libraries. My Real Children is only new so it's HB or expensive ebook.


Wanda Brendon wrote: "I know how it is. I was just thinking that Among Others is out in paperback and possibly in libraries. My Real Children is only new so it's HB or expensive ebook."

They are both available through my public library, but I already have a stack of books sitting in my house, just staring at me, telling me that they are next.


Brendon Schrodinger That's a pretty good library. But yes home books take precedence.


Wanda We have an excellent library system in my opinion--it's rare that I can't find what I'm looking for either in the public library or the university library where I work. But there are a few titles that elude me!


Brendon Schrodinger I have a great public library system too, but titles usually are mainly paperback and they do also have a bit of a lag time.

The university is pretty good at non-fic, but their fiction is limited.


message 9: by Maria (new) - added it

Maria Great review Brendon! I think I would enjoy this one...I'll look for it. :)


Brendon Schrodinger Cool! Thanks Maria :) I hope you do too when you get to it.


Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship Hah, and I grumble when my library takes a week or more after publication to get the books on the shelves. :) I once lived in a county where I'd place a hold and they have it waiting for me on release day. If there are libraries that don't even buy till the books are out in paperback I should really be counting my blessings!


message 12: by Caroline (new) - added it

Caroline I just checked out your name on my list of friends, and realised that Goodreads doesn't have a default mode whereby you automatically see new friends reviews. Huh???

Anway, that is now rectified.

The title pulled me into to reading your review, even though it is fiction, and I must say it sounds absolutely brilliant. Am off now to see if I have any chance of ordering it from the library - though it may have to fester a while in my 'new book' category, while the libraries get their act together.


Brendon Schrodinger Hi Caroline, it was a great read. Walton really does it for me. I hope that your library get's a copy. You should also look at her previous book Among Others.


message 14: by Caroline (new) - added it

Caroline Good news - I can order this from the library. I so seldom read novels nowadays, but have added this to my (rather enormous) t-r lists :^)


Brendon Schrodinger Cool :)


Nataliya Great review, Brendon. After this book and 'Among Others' I'm definitely a big fan of Jo Walton now.


message 17: by Apatt (new)

Apatt Ah, love this review Brendon. Among Others is one of my favorites too, but I haven't gotten around to reading more of her books for some reason, probably because she doesn't tend to write spacy, robotty, alieny stuff with FTL ships. Any way, I will definitely read this.


Brendon Schrodinger I know what you mean Apatt. I feel the same. But Among Others was special so I immediately purchased this.


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