This was the first Tepper book that I read. My cousin lent it to me saying, "This was weird,it's your kind of book." She was right. I have never read anything quiet like it and I wish that Tepper wrote a sequel. Very entertaining. One of my favorite books.
A New York Times notable Book, by the author of The Gate to Women's Country. This sci-fi novel is imaginative and meditative on the problem of ecological disaster. "Grass" is the name of a world that has been left untouched by a deadly plague. A woman from earth has been sent there to discover the secrets of the planet's immunity.
From Publishers Weekly
Generations in the future, when humanity has spread to other planets and Earth is ruled by Sanctity, a dour, coercive religion that looks to resurrection of the body by storing cell samples of its communicants, a plague is threatening to wipe out mankind. The only planet that seems to be spared is Grass, so-called because that is virtually all that grows there. It was settled by families of European nobility who live on vast estancias and indulge in the ancient sport of fox hunting--although the horses, hounds and foxes aren't what they what they appear to be. Rigo and Marjorie Westriding Yrarier and family are sent to Grass as ambassadors and unofficial investigators because the ruling families--the bons--have refused to allow scientists to authenticate the planet's immunity from the plague. The egotistical Rigo sets out to prove himself to the bons while Marjorie remains wary about the relationship between the hunters and the hunted. She gains allies in her search, but invasion strikes from an unexpected quarter before the truth about an alien species comes to light. Tepper ( The Gate to Women's Country ) delves into the nature of truth and religion, creating some strong characters in her compelling story.
When I first read Grass ten years ago, it blew me away with its masterful world building and strange emotional tension. I went on to read most of Shari Tepper's other work, some of which link together loosely in what her readers call the "Arbai World," but I believe that Grass is considered her masterpiece. This is the one to start with. I like this book so much that I have gotten several copies to give away.