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. Jo Walton's My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan's lives... and of how every life means the entire world.
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A strange take on an otherwise simple story.
I liked the alternate history elements mentioned in the background of the main story, The main story itself, both Pat and Trish was engaging enough, but slow paced and without tension. The ending was ultimately unfulfilling, and i would have enjoyed some kind of exploration into the "why" of the parallel worlds. Was a little depressing overall.
Probably not, a little substanceless and slow paced for my liking. not a bad book overall however.
yes. she did a good job.
Nothing is decided at the end of this book. Which path did Patricia (Pat) really take? Did she marry the man who would make her life miserable? Did she take the unconventional path? Why can't she figure out which of her memories are real? Which of the dear children she remembers are her real children? Are the others really a figment of her imagination? Does she even really want to know or would she rather just keep her happy memories?
Things are clear in the memory of sweet Patricia until dementia takes over and she can't remember the details of her life after a life-changing decision. Did she say yes to the overbearing man who would become her husband or did she say no and follow a completely unconventional and controversial path. Was she known to those she loved as Patricia or as Pat?
Nothing about this novel is ordinary. This book will leave you guessing long after the last page has been read. It leaves you wondering about Patricia (Pat's) choices in life as well as your own.
- Safe Mommy