I've come to both regret and am thankful that I didn't read the book sooner. It is beautiful, heartbreaking, and uplifting, so I am saddened that I did not experience it sooner, but I wonder if I had read it when I in the full thrall of my obsession (when I was 14) I would have appreciated the complex emotions that the story made me feel.
The Ship Who Sang centers around Helva, born with extreme physical disabilities, whose parents have the option of euthanizing her or giving her the opportunity to live a life inside a metal shell, controlling a ship with her brain after years of conditioning and training. As a shell-child, she develops a hobby for singing, a habit and talent unprecedented among the Brain Ships she is training to become. As a Brain ship, she becomes acclaimed for her skills and famous for her singing, and the book tells five stories of Helva's journeys through space partnered with normal human Brawns working to help planets in emergencies.
The stories are very much about pain, and about having your heart broken and suffering through it, and learning to be happy again, and maybe, eventually, finding someone who you want to share your life with again. So, uh, spoiler? I guess. The last story is my favorite, because it completes a relationship that had been building for a while, and shows what some people are willing to go through for the one they love. Like its precursors, it's painful in parts, but in ways that leave you
Over the course of the book I became so attuned with Helva's voice that I felt with her. I got mad when people assumed she wasn't intelligent, wasn't