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  1. I started this book last night. Although (as you can see on my reading list) I'm usually more interested in contemporary realist fiction, I'm finding this an enjoyable read. I'm impressed by the way the author manages to describe a world that is completely foreign to ours without creating any particular extra distance between the reader and the characters. Her people have very different beliefs and life experiences from us (for instance, they name their children seeming to believe they are reincarnations of deceased family members) but these are integrated into the plot in a way that seems very natural and doesn't slow down the story at all. I'll probably have more to say in a bit
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