by Jo Walton
Tor, 2010. 302 pgs. Fiction
Among Others has already won the Nebula Award and is nominated for the Hugo, obviously a prime piece of speculative real estate. Even though the book is to some degree about magic and fairies, Morwenna Phelps, the fifteen year old diarist of these pages, is besotted with science fiction. Growing up in the hills of Wales, Mor and her sister often saw and spoke (sort of) with the fairies who favored ruined and overgrown buildings and factories. Mor's own mother is a witch, and not a kindly one. Mor and her twin sister are forced at an early age to battle her to save, probably, the earth. Mor's sister is killed, and Mor is crippled. When she is sent to live with her father, whom she has never met, and his creepy sisters, and then on to a boarding school with a mean-spirited studentbody, Mor finds solace in books--books, books, and more books. (Interlibrary loan is one of the "heroes" of this text.) After Mor uses the tiniest bit of magic to find some friends, her mother finds her and their eventual confrontation leads to a life-affirming, even brilliant, choice by a young girl wise beyond her years. Though Morwenna is a teen, a few references to sexual situations make this book a best choice for older teens or adults.