Marilee J. Layman (mjlayman) wrote,
Marilee J. Layman

This journal has been placed in memorial status. New entries cannot be posted to it.

Farthing by Jo Walton

We'd told folks when we picked this that it was alternate history, not SF, but we still had one guy who was upset. He said we might as well read a Peter Wimsey book, which is a bit of a compliment. If only Jo got those sales!

During WWII, before the Americans came in, the Nazis approached the English with the offer of peace -- the Nazis get to keep what they have and the English stick to their own island. In our timeline, Winston Churchill riled people up and they continued fighting. In Farthing, they took the deal. The story alternates chapters from Lucy Kahn, a rich girl in a political family who has married a Jew, and Inspector Carmichael, who investigates the murder. You see, Lucy's folks invited a lot of people, insisting on Lucy and her husband, to a party. And then the man who made peace gets killed and in a way that implies a Jew did it. The Inspector is pretty sure Lucy's husband didn't do it, but who did?

The following chapters, as we learn more about these folks and who they are, and watch the Inspector searching for the truth, become fraught with tension about truth, honesty, and justice. Politics lifts its heavy hand to become more rigid, more like the Nazis, and to make Lucy's husband be the killer. The Inspector is left with a difficult choice.

All of us enjoyed this, even if it wasn't SF, and most are continuing on to Ha'penny. It's a great book.
Tags: books

  • Asimov's January 2013

    Williams talks about Mars authors, and tells us her favorite is Ray Bradbury. I liked all of these, which is unusual, so I will just connect you…

  • Asimov's December 2012

    Williams wrote about how she had a lot of problems with books using apocalypse when she was young, and there were a number of stories in this issue…

  • Seed by Rob Ziegler

    This had a good enough page on Amazon that I bought it from SFBC. It's much more loose than I expected. Post-apocalypse has put everybody on our…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.