Sheri Tepper, F&H (very mild spoiler)

Irina Rempt ira at
Wed Dec 15 04:40:47 EST 1999

On Wed, 15 Dec 1999 Tanaquil2 at wrote:

> > I contrast this
> > ending to, for example, Sheri Tepper's BEAUTY....
>         This is the one Sheri Tepper I have not been able to re-read.  It is 
> just too harrowing.

I couldn't even finish it. It gave me nightmares (and still makes me
shudder when I think about it). It was the first Sheri Tepper I read,
and I've never dared try another. Is the rest less pessimistic and

>         Hmm, that's interesting.  I hadn't looked at it that way.  For me, 
> the empowering optimistic part came in her not turning into Ivy or Reg, 
> especially Ivy.  Which happens a lot in real life I think.  I felt like that 
> was as much a curse Polly broke as the one on Tom that she broke; a sort of 
> family curse or something.

Well, Reg didn't have it from his mother at least; he was cursed by
Laurel, and *that* curse Polly broke when she broke the one on Tom
(if she inherited it at all). I can imagine Polly turning into Ivy
all too well; my mother died just over a year ago and I'm making a
great effort not to turn into her, even if that means I don't want to
emulate even her good features for fear of emulating the bad ones as
well. My husband says that he'd never have married my mother and that
me turning into her would be the only valid ground for divorce...

> >In HOMEWARD BOUNDERS, Jamie becomes truly empowered when he
> >uses his alienation to help Prometheus. Etc.

I think Polly does the same thing: she gives everything up in order
to become an outsider, and when she is, she can do something. I agree
that the ending is ambiguous; every time I read it again (about seven
times now) I think something different. Last time it was "how long
will they have?".


            Varsinen an laynynay, saraz no arlet rastynay.
irina at (myself) - (Valdyas) (home)

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