This novella has an interesting triad of characters at the centre. They’re very different, and yet they have things in common, and things to teach one another. One’s an atheist who fears she’s losing her mind; one a pastor fearing she’s losing her faith; and one a woman who would probably refuse to agree that she was afraid of anything. The personalities make quite an interesting mix!
The story itself is fairly simple, with a traditional sort of feel. A new supermarket is coming to Lychford, and the residents are split almost 50-50 on whether they want it or not. Campaigns are in full swing, both for and against. So far, so ordinary. But Judith knows there’s more to it — that the supermarket as planned will change the shape of the town, and maybe even alter the fabric of the world: Lychford is built the way it is for a particular reason.
Those are just surface details: each character has much more going on, which impacts the plot of the novella in different ways. The three main characters (who all happen to be female) are well-realised and compelling, even when one of them is cantankerous.
I didn’t love it like, say, Robert did, but I did enjoy it. It’s paced well and is just the right length — neither cut off short or stretched out too long. It was the first book I read from Tor.com’s novella line, and it was a good introduction.