Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Interior Life, by Katherine Blake (a.k.a. Dorothy J. Heydt)

Dorothy J. Heydt, October 2016 (original publication Baen 1990) (downloadable at http://www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/)

Susan is perfectly happy as a suburban housewife in 1980s America.Well, perhaps not perfectly happy, or she wouldn't be periodically slipping away into a fantasy life, would she? As long as she keeps it within bounds...

She's periodically sharing the minds of sometimes Lady Amalia, a noblewoman with the Sight, and sometimes her servant and general right hand, Marianella, and occasionally others. She sees what they see, learns what they learn, about the creeping Darkness that threatens the land of Demoura.

As long as she doesn't let her fantasy life affect real life...

Except Amalia, Marianella, and the others provide inspiration, example, and even advice, that affects Susan's marriage, family, social life, and even her budding volunteer career. Susan, her husband Fred, Fred's coworkers, and Susan's friends and PTA associates, are as interesting and sometimes strange as the characters in Demoura.

This is an odd book, hard to describe, and absolutely warm, engaging, fun, and a positive addition to the life of anyone who reads it. It "came out, and immediately went back in again," in 1990, due to the publisher having no idea how to market something this different from their usual fare at the time. Potential readers missed out then, but now the magic of the internet means you don't have to track down a hard to find paperback more than twenty years old. Do so; you won't regret it. Susan and her friends, in Demoura and in the "real world," will brighten your life.

Highly recommended.

I bought this book.