Book summary: Singer from the Sea

1999 BY SHERI S. TEPPER

An accomplished student and heiress to a great title, Genevieve has been well brought up to be a Proper Young Lady on the isolated, seemingly backward planet of Haven. She has been carefully instructed in the Covenants - the inflexible laws governing the women of her class - and knows she must soon take up the time-honored responsibilities of adult womanhood: to marry a nobleman of her father's choosing in her mid-twenties and to bear a child at age thirty.

There is another Genevieve, however, who does not wish to be proper - a Genevieve who longs to heed the call of the sea, though she has never even seen the vast waters that cover most of her planet's surface. For she remembers the stories and secret knowledge she learned from her mother, now long-dead. And Genevieve questions in silence what is forbidden her to know: why noblewomen must wait until thirty to have children...why so many like her die in childbirth while commoners thrive into their eighties...and, especially, why she must wed the horrid Prince Delganor, whom she detests, rather than the wonderful - if common - Colonel Aufors, whom she adores.

But the simple customs that rule and confine her life are merely a smokescreen masking a terrible truth, one that Genevieve is fated to uncover. For an unheard voice crying out across the centuries must be answered. And a forgotten destiny - something inborn passed for untold generations from daughter to daughter-must be fulfilled. If not, the entire civilization of Haven is doomed to be swept away on a cosmic sea of oblivion; to vanish without a trace, as if it had never been.

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