The new book is Cold Welcome. The new new book is the book after that, which presently is undergoing some restructuring…since its beginning is now the end of Cold Welcome. I’ve been doing some analytical thinking about it, because it should have a series of reveals, like the opening of a rose, and it would not do to have the stamens on the outside and the center of the rose nothing but five petals meeting in the middle of nothing.
Families have histories…and then families have legends. Some of the legends are historically accurate and some are not. Memories get tangled. The understanding of why someone did something is particularly likely to be morphed by the family legend, for better or for worse but certainly not for accuracy. So consider the Vatta family. Where did they come from?
Those who have read the short story “Say Cheese” will know that the family may not always have been perfectly respectable, though they have been rich and respectable for some generations now. At least most of them. Though every family also has some thistles in the wheat, and the original Vatta’s War books made it clear that Osman Vatta–perhaps Ky’s father’s age or a little older–was one such. In Cold Welcome, there’s a little more about the Vattas, including when they arrived on Slotter Key. The new new book will reveal yet more about the Vatta family’s origin…and the consequences of some early decisions.
How much does someone need to know about their ancestry in order to understand themselves? Nobody knows for sure. Some people know nothing, and shrug it off. Others are intensely interested and frustrated by what they don’t know. But if something someone did generations back means that you’re being hunted, generations later…? That’s different. Or is it?
Within the story, the two cousins, Ky and Stella, grew up in apparently intact families. Ky was never very interested in her forebears; Stella was only moderately so (because the explanation was that she looked like her mother’s family, she was interested in them; Ky, who looked more like her father, paid less attention to her mother’s family.) But now Stella, knowing her true parentage (or half of it) has become very interested in what she might have inherited from her birth father. And Ky? Still not interested. Yet.
Grace Lane Vatta, on the other hand, may know more than she wants to about her ancestry. Will that be a factor in what’s coming? Or just her own actions, not her parentage? Not there yet. The charts are growing, the interlacement of relationships is getting more complex.