Promised Land by Connie Willis and Cynthia Felice
Delanna Milleflores is returning her home planet, Keramos, for the first time since she was five years old. She believes she is returning long enough to settle her inheritance then continue on to her next planet of call. Unfortunately things do not work the way she planned.
She discovers she is married. Next she is part of a caravan crossing a salt desert to her childhood home. The Keramos laws are specific. She must live there on her property with her husband, Sonny Tanner, for a year before she is allowed to sell and settle the inheritance. Otherwise both she and Sonny lose all their land. While she doesn’t want to stay, and doesn’t appreciate Sonny, she does not want to be responsible for losing his land. She returns to a land she barely remembers and does not understand.
Take this well written story and place the property in the far reaches of the Outback and Delanna in school in Sydney, and it would never be classified science fiction. It is so classified because of its setting. Otherwise it is a story of struggle and romance. Willis and Felice drew me in from the beginning. It is a plot I’ve read more times than I will ever remember. Yet they make it fresh and believable.
My only annoyance with the book is that we never learn why Delanna’s mother hated Keramos so much and passed those convictions to Delanna. If you like adventure stories or romance stories, forget that this one is also science fiction. Pick it up and read it for the characters and the story. I highly recommend it.