Copyright 1996 by
I first read this in 2003 and most recently on the 30th October 2011
Ancient Ofelia is a colonist in a failing colony. When the Company decide to close down the colony she and the rest of the population are expected to pack up and head off to a new world to start again.
Ofelia can't face that. She is too old and has spent too many years building a life here to just drop everything and restart elsewhere. She decides to slip away from the colony town to avoid the evacuation. The Company for its part would prefer not to have to ship the old and infirm to next destination. When the time comes Ofelia is successful in her plan. As the last shuttle ascends into space, she is left alone on the planet.
Ofelia is relaxed about being the sole inhabitant. She has time for herself at last. She has time to learn about herself and enjoy her life without others demanding her help or criticising her behaviour.
She's a little worried when the new colonists arrive but she is terrified when they are slaughtered by a horde of indigeneous beasts. Now those beasts are coming for her.
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Elizabeth Moon excels at creating believable and sympathetic characters. Here she takes the time to create one who will stick with you. The aged Ofelia is uneducated but clever. Abandoned alone on a strange planet her competency and charisma develop unobserved.
Loaded on the 22nd April 2012.