Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Bodice, The Hem, The Woman, Death, by Karen Osborne

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Fantasy Adventure) Lia’s mother wants her to dress like a lady, but their city is about to fall to the enemy, and what they really need to do is flee. (4,874 words; Time: 16m)

Recommended By: 👍KBurnham+2 (Q&A)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 263, published on .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2018.589 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Even though Lia is a tomboy, she feels the loss of her family jewels, her city, and her heritage very keenly.

Lia’s herculean effort to sew a dress for her mother, to save her life, means even more when you consider that making dresses isn’t Lia’s strength. She does it not because she wants to but because she has to. Because, despite everything, she loves her mother. Enough to sacrifice her own soul for her.

The reversal of a young soul advising an older person is almost shocking, and yet it does the trick. Ironically, it doesn’t save her mother, but it does save Lia when her father’s ghost finds it has no interest in her soulless body. Lia’s mother was never meant to live in this new world anyway, but it’s touching that she gets one last chance to tell Lia she loves her.

And Lia ends by leading a band of soulless people. People who certainly need some leadership and some help. Even if it’s not clear she can give it.

Con: It seems that Lia makes a terrible sacrifice for very little gain, and the story ends right when we’re anxious to learn what happens next.

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Karen Osborne Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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