Initially, I saw the spices as simultaneously offering everything to Tilo--power to change the world--and also telling her that she couldn't use them to their fullest. Kind of a frustrating tease, really. But then, I got to thinking of her relationship with Raven, and how it was almost entirely dependent on exoticism--each one's fascination with the other's culture. Her relationship to the spices was a lot like that. She saw their potential, or did she? I think she was so absorbed by the mysticism of what the spices offered that she often failed to take human interaction into account, with disasterous consequences. Perhaps what the author was getting at is how images--of each other, of the spices' powers--prevent us from real interaction.
Originally posted by SusanMac
I looked through the website listing questions for this book, and didn't know where to start. So, I just picked one. Here goes....
"What do the spices take from Tilo? What do they give her? Is it a fair exchange?"
I thought the role of the spices is what made this book interesting and unique. The whole premise of giving your life over to be a mistress of spices and have the ability to "heal" (not sure that's the right word) others is so cool. Tilo clearly struggled with the life she had to give up, though, and she struggled with being captive in a different body.
I had a problem with the end, though. I thought it was weak to have the spices decide not to punish Tilo personally in the end. They said that her willingness to give up everything was enough. While I liked the way she ultimately and unselfishly went back to SF to help after the quake, it wasn't believable that the spices would not punish her.
Did anyone else feel that way about the ending??
"Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say: This is my community, and it's my responsibility to make it better."-Tom McCall (Oregon governor from 1967-1975)