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Publisher's Summary

For 40 years, Colony 3245.12 has been Ofelia’s home. On this planet far away in space and time from the world of her youth, she has lived and loved, weathered the death of her husband, raised her one surviving child, lovingly tended her garden, and grown placidly old. And it is here that she fully expects to finish out her days - until the shifting corporate fortunes of the Sims Bancorp Company dictates that Colony 3245.12 is to be disbanded, its residents shipped off, deep in cryo-sleep, to somewhere new and strange and not of their choosing. But while her fellow colonists grudgingly anticipate a difficult readjustment on some distant world, Ofelia savors the promise of a golden opportunity. Not starting over in the hurly-burly of a new community...but closing out her life in blissful solitude, in the place she has no intention of leaving. A population of one.

With everything she needs to sustain her, and her independent spirit to buoy her, Ofelia actually does start life over - for the first time on her own terms: free of the demands, the judgments, and the petty tyrannies of others. But when a reconnaissance ship returns to her idyllic domain, and its crew is mysteriously slaughtered, Ofelia realizes she is not the sole inhabitant of her paradise after all. And, when the inevitable time of first contact finally arrives, she will find her life changed yet again - in ways she could never have imagined...

©1996 Elizabeth Moon (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

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  • SKDEB
  • 12-12-2020

An old broad with the right stuff

In full disclosure, I am an old broad, though not nearly as intelligent nor as forthright as the main character. I enjoyed the cascading jabs at class wars, child rearing and ageism. There is a thorough development of “other” intelligence and another world whose inhabitants might well teach us a thing or two about gracious, abundant living.

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  • Jane
  • 12-11-2020

Great story and narration

Moon created a fascinating story, and Toren was the perfect narrator. There are a few places where the point of view changes that are probably better understood in the written version rather than Audible. It doesn't happen often enough to become an annoyance, however. Toren's narration is well worth a couple of blips. I did up the narration speed, but that's just me. I can't remember the last time when I didn't up the speed for a book. I wish It was longer, though. I would love to know how Ofelia's successors and the indigenous beings fared.

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  • Rebanjoc
  • 07-01-2021

Fabulous story

unexpected sci fi hero . About time old women get some credit ! Narrator really good.

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  • L
  • 20-11-2020

OMG a good lead female character

Grumpy old lady who's had enough of your bullshit thank you. oh no more words needed. here they are.

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  • Just a reader
  • 14-11-2020

Wonderful story & great characters

I really love this book, for several reasons. I will try to explain why without spoiling it, since it is much more appreciated when you don't know what comes after what the audible summary tells you about it (older woman stays behind by herself on a colony-planet and realizes she may not be alone after all). First off, even though this book was written in 1996, it is still fresh and original. There is a great premise, and an even better follow up. I stayed interested throughout and listened whenever I could. When you think you know where it is going, there will be another plot twist, or another dimension/layer to your understanding. The main character, Ofelia, is skillfully written. She is real, believable, and relatable. She is not the type of character that is 'instantly likable'. She's actually quite crabby. But within the first few hours you grow attached to her, understand her, and care about her journey. The other characters - again, don't want to spoil too much- are very interesting and they too are written in a way that really brings them to life. Second -and this ties into Ofelia as a believable character- Elizabeth Moon has a great track record of writing strong women, without turning them into goody-goody Mary Sue's. Her women are talented and smart, but not in an effortless way. They need to practice, study, try, fail, be vulnerable, sometimes not succeed, master little things before they can move on to other things. Just like real women do. There is also a refreshing lack of romantic drama. Not having her characters worry about whether some guy or girl likes them frees up a ton of space for actual plots. In the case of Ofelia it is clear she has lived a full life -married twice, had children- with positives and negatives connected to that, but it doesn't necessarily define the journey she is on in this book. She draws on her experiences, yes. But there is no lamenting a lost love or youthful affair, or getting the hots for any newly introduced character or anything like that. I really appreciated that. Another plus is that Ofelia is actually old (70+) and written as such. She is not some male writer's fantasy about an older woman who is actually 45 and still a sexy vixen. This is rare in most literature, but even more so in fantasy and science fiction books. Not too long ago I listened to Hyperion by Dan Simmons -arguably a talented writer- and within the first few minutes he describes a female voice on the intercom which belongs to a senior general as 'old, but still beautiful'. Yes. This is how he describes a VOICE. Because god forbid a woman's vocal cords aren't tight anymore, I guess. Anyway, you will find none of that type of nonsense in this book. Ofelia is who she is. It is about her character, her thoughts and her actions, because those are the things that define her. That in itself is refreshing. Lastly, the narrator is talented and very capable. She doesn't mumble or do irritating accents -although she does differentiate between the various characters-. Her clear voice suits the material really well. It is a very good match. All in all, I wholeheartedly recommend this title. I am sure I will listen to it again, as Ofelia is one of my favorite characters now. The fact that I initially wanted to write 'Ofelia is one of my favorite women now' -as if she really exists-, should tell you everything you need to know about this book. It will stay with you, as it has with me.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.