It's 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. "Confused today," read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know-what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don't seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev.
Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War-those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?
Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history; each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. Jo Walton's My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan's lives...and of how every life means the entire world.
James Tiptree, Jr. Award Winner, World Fantasy Award - Finalist, ALA Stonewall Book Award - Honor Book
"Confused today," they wrote on her notes. "Confused. Less confused. Very confused." That last was written frequently, sometimes abbreviated by the nurses to just "VC," which made her smile, as if she were...
Praise for My Real Children
"Two period dramas for the price of one, told through the science fictional conceit of alternate realities…All of this is rendered with Walton's usual power and beauty."—The New York Times Book Review
"My Real Children is a quiet triumph."—Publishers Weekly
"Walton is a straightforward, unsparing writer, and she strikes a poignant balance between the ideas of agency and fate. Science fiction elements add an eerie complexity to these deeply felt portraits."—Kirkus Reviews