Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Slow River, Quick Ending

Slow River, Nicola Griffith's Nebula-winning second novel, is about a young woman of privilege who's held for ransom but abandoned by her wealthy family. Left to her own devices, she mounts her own escape, enters a relationship with another young woman of agency, and winds up working in waste treatment. I enjoyed this novel - Lore, the protagonist, is sympathetic and likeable, even admirable, and Griffith's prose is clean, efficient, and engaging. But I felt a little abandoned by the novel's abrupt ending; it feels like there's still a lot of story left to tell, and some plot threads are left dangling.

Maybe the unresolved nature of the novel stems from Griffith's own life path; she discovered as a teen that she was gay, and seems to have spent some time searching for her place in the world. Maybe leaving Lore in a similarly untethered position was meant to mirror the author's own experience. But that's just speculation; I could have missed the point entirely.

Slow River is still well worth reading, and I'm glad I spent the time in Lore's world. 

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