Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book drops you into an intricate world without stopping for boring explanation, and every time you're comfortable and think you know what's happening, the plot twists away and breaks off a piece of your heart.
It starts with Ava, an illiterate young woman with a knack for engineering, who lives in a misogynistic spaceship where women are forbidden from reading or singing or going to Earth or doing much except having babies and tending animals.
She falls in love and her honor is taken by a boy named Luck, which angers both their families to the point that they're ready to toss the kids out the airlock. And that's just the setup to the main plot!
I feel like there's a lot of good messages here about finding your purpose and deciding what it means to you to be a woman. Your honor isn't everything and it's okay not to want kids (one character even tells her it's okay if she wants to get a contraceptive shot).
All of the names on Ava's ship are palindromes. Not sure what's up with that.
And I'm not great with symbolism or metaphor so bear with me if I'm totally off base. When Ava sets foot on Earth, she believes she loses her soul because... well, basically an original sin sort of story from her culture. She's bad because she did the thing men said she wasn't allowed to do. Like the premarital, not-for-baby-making sex. Is she still whole after? Will anyone want her?
This book was over 500 pages long and I still wanted more.
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