Review: LOOKING THROUGH LACE, by Ruth Nestvold (and Teaser Tuesday)

Teaser Tuesday #13

This week I’ve decided to mix one of my usual TEASER TUESDAY posts with a brief review of this novella, that I received through Instafreebie in exchange for an honest review.  Teaser Tuesday is an intriguing meme started by Miz B over at Books and a Beat.

Teaser Tuesday

All you have to do is:

• Grab your current read

• Open to a random page

• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

11213638I was curious about this story because I am familiar with the author’s name, but had never read anything by her: now that I have I will certainly add some more of her books to my reading queue.

Antonia (Toni) Donato is a young xenolinguist who is enrolled for a tour on the planet Christmas – so called because of the inverted Christmas tree shape of its main continent – to study the humanoid natives’ languages, especially the women’s, who seem to possess one all of their own, not spoken with and by the men.   Her initial excitement about the project, one that could launch her career out of obscurity, is marred by the project manager’s dismissive attitude toward her skills, one that quickly transforms into open obstruction once Toni is able to reach some small breakthrough in the puzzle of the women’s language.

I’ve always been fascinated by stories dealing with first contact with alien cultures, and this one – even though the ‘aliens’ are quite human-like – is made doubly interesting by the strong link between language and customs, and the questions about the origins of both.

What Toni discovers will turn all the previous findings – and her own assumptions – on their head and lead to a conclusion I found both bittersweet and highly satisfying.  Ruth Nestvold is indeed a writer I must keep on my radar.

The lace mentioned in the title plays an important role in the economy of the story, and so I have chosen a quote that showcases it while offering a clue to the interpretation of the title itself:

Our ways differ so much, when you say one thing, I understand another. We can’t help but see each other through the patterns we know from the cultures we grew up with. Like looking through lace — the view isn’t clear, the patterns get in the way.

Fascinating, indeed.

4 thoughts on “Review: LOOKING THROUGH LACE, by Ruth Nestvold (and Teaser Tuesday)

  1. I agree, I love first contact stories! There’s just something about the anticipation and mystery, of not knowing when we open the book just what kind of new beings we’ll be meeting. I am intrigued by your description of the “aliens” in this; sounds like a thought provoking one.


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