Book Break: The Margarets, by Sheri Tepper

I just finished an excellent book by Sheri Tepper called “The Margarets”. Sheri Tepper is one of my favorite authors. She frequently writes about interesting issues from a different perspective, such as matriarchy and women in “The Gate to Women’s Country” (another excellent book). She writes science fiction/fantasy, but from a distinctly female perspective. Being a woman, while I primarily read SF/fantasy, I prefer a female protagonist/characters. That is one of the downsides of SF sometimes, they are overloaded on male characters and the female characters are frequently just side characters or caricatures. That said, there are also many SF/fantasy books (usually by women authors) with female protagonists.

The Margarets starts with a female child named Margaret who has no other children to play with and makes up imaginary character versions of herself, such a Queen Wilvia, Naumi the warrior, the spy, the healer, etc. As she reaches various decision points in her life, one of her makes one decision and one makes another and they off and go on to various different lives on different planets based on their decision. There is a prophecy involved (isn’t there always :)) and the Margarets are the key to the prophecy.

Of course, it is interesting how the book resolves and it is done in a way that makes a lot more sense than most, but I especially enjoyed just reading the stories of the different decisions made. That is something I really appreciate about Sheri Tepper’s writing and what I look for in a book. While I like SF/fantasy, I prefer “philosophical” SF over “hard” SF. In other words, I prefer writing that explores different ways of thinking, living, society, etc. rather than the SF that concentrates on new war machines and fighting. I think that is more the male-oriented SF and I’m just not into it as much, although I have read some very well-written stories that I greatly enjoyed. I still like more characterization than I do great battles though. I like reading about warriors and their quests or battles, but not so much about soldiers fighting battles with the battles being the main focus.

In any case, if you think you might like what I like, I highly recommend the “The Margarets” and Sheri Tepper.

List of Sheri Tepper books

Also, on a Web 2.0 note, the links to amazon above were created using my Amazon Associates ID and a widget provided by Amazon. For every purchase on Amazon made through a link of mine, I get some (very small) percentage. I currently have accumulated $2.46 in my account so I’m not going to get rich ūüôā but it is an interesting concept and someone could really create a good site with interesting Amazon content and make some money. Here’s a link to the Amazon Associate’s Information page.

Take care and enjoy!

~Susan Mellott

Becky Carleton, a librarian at the Johnson County Library in Kansas challenged me to name ten pieces

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