Nicola Griffith, winner of the Tiptree Award and the Lambda Award for her widely acclaimed first novel Ammonite, now turns her attention closer to the present in Slow River, the dark and intensely involving story of a young woman's struggle for survival and independence on the gritty underside of a near-future Europe.
She wakes in an alley to the splash of rain. She is naked, a foot-long gash in her back was still bleeding, and her identity implant is gone. Lore Van de Oest was the daughter of one of the world's most powerful families...and now she is nobody.
Then out of the rain walks Spanner, an expert data pirate who takes her in, cares for her wounds, and gives her the freedom to reinvent herself again and again. No one can find Lore if she doesn't want to be found: not the police, not her family, and not the kidnappers who left her in that alley to die. She has escaped...but she pays for her newfound freedom.
Lore has a choice: She can stay in the shadows, stay with Spanner...and risk losing herself forever. Or she can leave Spanner and find herself again by becoming someone else: stealing the identity implant of a dead woman, taking over her life, and inventing her future.
But to start again, Lore requires Spanner's talents--Spanner, who needs her and hates her, and who always has a price. And even as Lore agrees to play Spanner's games one final time, she finds that there is still the price of being a Van de Oest to be paid. Only by confronting her past, her family, and her own demons can Lore meld together who she once was, who she had become, and the person she wants to be...
In Slow River, Nicola Griffith skillfully takes us deep into the mind and heart of her complex protagonist, where the past must be reconciled with the present if the future is ever to offer solid ground. Slow River poses a question we all hope never to need to answer: Who are you when you have nothing left?
About Nicola Griffith
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Published July 29, 2003
by Ballantine Books.
Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction.