A loose, slow-paced novel about a small colony of Quakers who have finally arrived at a habital planet after 175 years in transit. Slowly but surely, they reach a consensus about whether to colonize the planet or stay aboard the colony ship that is all they've known for generations.
This book really frustrated me. It was so unfocused, and although all sorts of exciting things happen (crashlanding on a planet! a desperate rescue mission! a plague!) they all happen in the peripheral vision of the characters. Even when a POV character is trying to pull someone from a surging sea, they've got page upon page of stream of consciousness about how they feel about their daughter's marriage and how they used to ski on a nearby mountain and such. The constant ruminations not only slow the book down to a snail's pace, but they feel completely unreal. I'd buy that one or two people undergo long thought processes during stressful life-or-death moments, but to have the entire book
consist of characters thinking about their feelings and half-remembered memories and inconsequential opinions about people the reader doesn't know--it strains belief and a reader's ability to stay interested. The characters are, by and large, unpleasant people in a very minor, understated way. They think uncharitable thoughts about those they're surrounded by, or blame others for not mysteriously understanding things they've never mentioned...I know that some people are like that, but *all* of them? It was too much, and listening to their POVs left me in an unpleasant mood.
I did like the discussions that took place about whether or not to stay on the Dusky Miller
. But that was literally the only thing I enjoyed in this entire book. And considering how fascinating the premise is, that is a damn shame.
Contains suicide, various bodily indignities due to old age and illness, rape, and the death of a child. There are numerous POV characters, all people of color, and most of them are middle aged or elderly women, which is a nice change.