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Falling Woman, The [Mass Market Paperback]

Pat Murphy
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 22 1987
Elizabeth Waters, an archeologist who abandoned her husband and daughter years ago to pursue her career, can see the shadows of the past. It's a gift she keeps secret from her colleagues and students, one that often leads her to incredible archeological discoveries - and the terrible suspicion that she might be going mad. Then on a dig in the Yucatan, the shadow of a Mayan priestess speaks to her. Suddenly Elizabeth's daughter Diane arrives, hoping to reconnect with her mother. As Elizabeth, her daughter and the priestess fall into the mysterious world of Mayan magic, it is clear one of them will be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice...
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Elizabeth Waters, an archeologist who abandoned her husband and daughter years ago to pursue her career, can see the shadows of the past. It's a gift she keeps secret from her colleagues and students, one that often leads her to incredible archeological discoveries and the realization that she might be going mad. Then on a dig in the Yucatan, the shadow of a Mayan priestess speaks to her. Suddenly Elizabeth's daughter Diane arrives, hoping to reconnect with her mother. As mother, daughter and priestess fall into the mysterious world of Mayan magic, it is clear one will be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice. The book won the 1988 Nebula Award. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Patrice Ann Murphy was born in Washington in 1955, and is an award-winning American science writer and author of science fiction and fantasy novels. Her second novel, THE FALLING WOMAN (1986), won the NEBULA AWARD, and she also won a NEBULA AWARD in the same year for her novelette, 'Rachel in Love'. Her short story collection, POINTS OF DEPARTURE (1990) won the PHILIP K. DICK AWARD, and her 1990 novella, 'Bones', won the WORLD FANTASY AWARD in 1991. She lives in San Francisco. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
"I dig through ancient trash," I told the elegantly groomed young woman who had been sent by a popular women's magazine to write a short article on my work. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my top ten picks Aug. 6 2001
Format:Paperback
This is a fantastic book, but falls into the "Speculative Fiction" category as upposed to traditional F&SF, which for me made it all the more endearing. It is a wonderful character and relationship study of mother and daughter. The charaterization is so authentic that these two women really come to life. Even down to the manorisms of the mother's smoking habit. The way she pauses to light each cigarette.
The mother is a famous archeologist who had little time for her daughters upbringing. Reluctantly her, now adult, daughter joins her on a dig of the Mayan ruins. Ghosts of the past, both the Mayans, and the mother and daughter, mix to bring the two women closer together.
One of the most unique aspects of this book is that the two women take turns telling the story, so that each chapter swithes back and forth between opposite view points.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Supernatural, paranormal mystery Oct. 25 2003
Format:Paperback
Elizabeth is a troubled woman archeologist. She left behind her husband and daughter to pursue a dream. She also sees the shades of the past. Are they just visions of what once was, or are they ghosts? This haunts her through her life and she wonders about her own sanity.
Her daughter Diane comes to the latest archeological dig in search of her mother. Why did her mother really leave her? What haunts her, troubles her? Diane seeks to understand her mother while just barely able to bury her own resentment for the abandonment she experienced.
This story, however, isn't just about family dynamics, or lack thereof. This is a story of the present which abruptly becomes entwined with the past. One of Elizabeth's visions see her and talks to her. Elizabeth and Diane become embroiled in a dangerous game where they may not survive. Can love triumph over the danger they face? You'll have to read this WONDERFUL book to find out. This was a truly satisfying read that kept me up past my bedtime and wishing for more. Read this book!
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Format:Paperback
This intriguing novel won the 1987 Nebula Award for best science fiction novel of the year. This is actually more of a psychological fantasy rather than a work of classical science fiction, although there are clearly science fiction elements present. A female archaeologist working on a dig in Central America is able to identify with the spirit of an ancient Mayan woman. The attempted sacrifice of this woman is apparently linked to the destruction of the Mayan civilization. The archaeologist's ability to link herself with the early inhabitants of an archaeological site has given her great advantages in her field. The interactions between the Mayan, the archeologist, and the archeologist's estranged daughter result in a healing embrace across time. All serious students of science fiction and speculative literature should read this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This is not Science Fiction. April 7 2004
Format:Hardcover
While this is a solid, oftentimes engrossing piece of supernatural fiction, this is not a Science Fiction novel. I was certain it was, since it won the Nebula Award for best novel. About 100 pages in, however, I was a little disappointed that it wasn't. But it is extremely well-written and all the characters are realistic, even as one in particular is quite insane. This is a story where modern archaeology clashes with ancient mythology through space-time. That may sound like Science Fiction, but this book feels more like fiction with touches of fantasy shown through a woman's mind thoroughly baked in the Yucatan sun. All in all, this is a good book with interesting characters and writing so good that it flows along unnoticed until you find yourself somehow turning the final page. Take care.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Oct. 25 2000
Format:Paperback
Given all the hubbub surrounding this book, I found it quite disappointing. I admit that space opera is my favorite sub-genre, but I also enjoy the occasional "little" book, and really looked forward to reading this one.
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