The Relentless Moon, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Review copy provided by the publisher. Also I know the author a bit socially.

This is the third full-length book in the Lady Astronauts series. There’s a change of protagonists–this one is from the perspective of Nicole Wargin, an astronaut who is also a politician’s wife–but the events of the previous volumes are important to this one. I’d recommend reading the others first rather than diving in with this as your entry point.

The astronauts and colonists have gotten settled enough into a moon colony that there can be such a thing as routine, but back at home the Earth Firsters still think they have a chance to derail the entire project. So Nicole Wargin not only finds herself separated from her beloved husband by thousands of miles just when he’s trying to run a presidential campaign–she’s also dealing with a saboteur on the moon. And, oh, by the way, a polio outbreak. And trying to help Earth with its problems from a distance, with satellite service not as reliable as it should be.

She’s dealing with a lot of shit here, to paraphrase Bull Durham. But for as long as this book is, it never drags; I was always in “just one more chapter” mode while I read it. And I have never been so happy about a scene where someone eats applesauce in my life. Despite the quarantine aspects being far more relevant than I expect Mary ever would have wished, this was still a fun read, and I’m glad I had an alternate universe worth of problems to contemplate for a few hours.

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