Katherine Stuart, February 28, 2009
(view all comments by Katherine Stuart)
The characters – Natalie and Owen, the narrator – are a bit. . .incredible. Well, not really incredible. Natalie’s focused in a way that most teenagers aren’t, and Owen – Owen’s very, very smart and very, very stupid.
The story is very beautiful and almost tragic, but not quite. Le Guin captures the confusion and uncertainty of adolescence but the story lacks intensity. It’s told with too much detachment. Le Guin develops this voice of detachment in many of her stories with great effect, but with this slim volume I felt the voice fell flat.
Still the flattest of Le Guin is more potent than the best of most writers.