Aw man, that whole novella just made me have an ache in my chest, for three different reasons. It was very melancholic but also very uplifting and hopeful.
The story centres around Amelia, who had to give up on her dreams and university to care for her sick mother. Now in a future Mexico, there are no jobs and she’s been surviving on gig work and being a paid friend for an elderly starlet from the 1970s. But through it all, she keeps dreaming of going to Mars.
I really enjoyed so many things about this novella. Though it is often sad, it never feels melodramatic. Even when Amelia is fucked off, she has this steely dignity about here that was really powerful. I also loved the interludes of the movie scripts, referencing the conversations she has with the ageing starlet. It was thematically really lovely and gave a break from the hardships in Amelia’s life. Similarly, when we sit with Amelia and her thoughts, they often drift to facts about Mars. Mars is like a supporting character throughout the story.
I don’t want to give away the other two reasons it made my heart ache (good and heartstring tugging), because it will ruin a lot of the surprises in the novella.
It’s short and absolutely beautiful and you should definitely read it.