My Real Children
Patricia, suffering from dementia, is in a nursing home. She has memories of two, very distinctly different lives. Covering the years from 1933 when she was seven, to 2015 when she is lying in a bed not wanting to have to decide which was her real life, she loves both her lives.
In both lives she got an Oxford education and had children. In one life she had several pregnancies and four children who lived; in the other life she gave birth to two children but mothered others. In one life she had love, in the other respectability. In one world, peace and cooperation lead to scientific advances; in the other bombings and nuclear fallout affect her life.
As always, Walton’s writing is mesmerizing, pulling the reader into the lives and hearts of the people in the pages. This is very subtle science fiction, mostly taking place in the past but in two very familiar worlds where subtle difference show they are not ours.
My Real Children is one of those books a reader never forgets. One that will echo, with thoughts of it springing into mind unbidden, for many years. Definitely one of the best books of the year.