Looking Through Lace

Looking Through Lace (Looking Through Lace, #1)Looking Through Lace by Ruth Nestvold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I needed a title beginning with L for a book group challenge and had this on my Kindle. I had also tagged it Christmas – which is tomorrow – so I thought why not? It really has nothing to do with Christmas, except that it takes place on a planet called Christmas, named for the predominant red and green vegetation. It was a fun little diversion – a short story really – so I finished it in two sessions. It’s really quite a polished little piece. The author manages to create a believable world, complete with folk tales. I love languages, so I enjoyed the puzzle of why there is a secret women’s language on this world, and the process of learning about a culture through its language. Not everything is solved at the end (what DID happen to the first contact team?), and there is a sequel.

Description: As the only woman on the first contact team, xenolinguist Toni Donato expected her assignment on Christmas would be to analyze the secret women’s language — but then the chief linguist begins to sabotage her work. What is behind it? Why do the men and women have separate languages in the first place? What Toni learns turns everything she thought they knew on its head. Originally published in Asimov’s in 2003, “Looking Through Lace” was a finalist for the Tiptree and Sturgeon awards. The Italian translation won the Premio Italia for best work of speculative fiction in translation in 2007.

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