The opening pages of Woman On The Edge Of Time thrust the reader into a traumatic event for a Consuelo Ramos who also goes by the name of Connie. For a science fiction novel, you would not expect such a book to start off with a terrible real life situation. It sets the life for the protagonist Connie, which is one of hardship and misery. This is further reinforced by the second chapter where the reader learns of all the difficulty Connie has had in her life, and it is a long list. An abusive husband, losing a loved one in prison, losing her child because of a mistake, spending time in an insane asylum and others. Her life has consisted of being treated unfairly, dealing with terrible people and just bad luck. It makes one wonder how anyone could live such a life. All of these events make it easy to sympathize with Connie. A woman who right off the start of the story is at the lowest point in her life as she is being thrown into another insane asylum after receiving a beating from her niece’s pimp. Its a sad feeling reading about this woman’s life and the only thing that makes it possible to continue reading is the requirement to do so, as well as the involvement of the character known as Luciente.
Just wondering how it is that Luciente will make this story a science fiction story is enough of a drive to read through all the terrible events in Connie’s life. There is also a desire to see thing turn around for Connie. Its a cliché for a character to be nothing in the beginning, but through the course of the story become stronger and be able to handle their past problems. Its overused because it works well, everyone wants to see how the protagonist will turn things around and conquer their past issues. I don’t think that will happen exactly like that here, but there is a desire to see Connie pull herself from the deep hole she is in. When Connie first entered the future there was hope that here she would be able to better herself, physically and mentally, but Luciente states that she is not actually in the future and she cannot be improved physically, as when Connie was eating (Piercy, 70). This dashed the hope for Connie to get better. This won’t be an underdog story, but then what will it be about?
These first few chapters just state the point that Connie is doing terribly and is doing worse as she is thrown into an insane asylum. It does introduce the future setting through Luciente, but it seems like a minor thing compared to everything else that is happening in Connie’s life. It makes one wonder why the author made Connie’s life so terrible. These things do make Connie the person she is, but its hard to read about it all and be reminded consistently as one can get angry and depressed reading this. I am hoping the rest of the book goes more into the science fiction element.