I read this book for the first time when I was in my forties, and it sang a siren song to me about the need for solitude in the midst of life's hurly-burly. Ofelia awakens to her quiet inner voice when her colony is going to be moved, whether the colonists agree or not. Faced with a system that does not work for her and does not care, the voice says, "You're going to stay." Her radical decision is to listen and to stay on her planet alone, and to accept whatever befalls as a result.
We worry obsessively about how to prolong our lives. Ofelia fears most losing that voice inside. Alone on the planet, she cultivates this voice, and reclaims all that society stole from her of her individuality.
Now in my sixties, I can see that Ofelia represents the authentic voice of an older woman, and her message is fresh and courageous. She still has things to learn, and they show up in totally unexpected ways. She doesn't have control, but she has choice. And she has her voice.