Completing a book from notes left by a dead author is almost always a mistake. But Robert Heinlein apparently isn't really dead---he was obviously standing at the side of Spider Robinson as he wrote this book, guiding his hand.
When Joel Johnston first met Jinny Hamilton, it seemed like a dream come true. And when she finally agreed to marry him, he felt like the luckiest man in the universe.
There was just one small problem. He was broke. His only goal in life was to become a composer, and he knew it would take years before he was earning enough to support a family.
But Jinny wasn't willing to wait. And when Joel asked her what they were going to do for money, she gave him a most unexpected answer. She told him that her name wasn't really Jinny Hamilton--it was Jinny Conrad, and she was the granddaughter of Richard Conrad, the wealthiest man in the solar system. And now that she was sure that Joel loved her for herself, not for her wealth, she revealed her family's plans for him: he would be groomed for a place in the vast Conrad empire and sire a dynasty to carry on the family business.
Most men would have jumped at the opportunity. But Joel Johnston wasn't most men. To Jinny's surprise, and even his own, he turned down her offer, and then set off on the mother of all benders. He woke up on a colony ship heading out into space, torn between regret over his rash decision and his determination to forget Jinny and make a life for himself.
But then . . .
Ordinarily, I would agree with many book critics that a different author finishing or writing from the original author's outline is a gross mistake. This instance, however, briskly kicks that theory in the trash.
Spider Robinson is a very entertaining author in his own right and he demonstrates that in this story. He is obviously a serious Heinlein fan and the many Heinlein echos throughout the story help immensely. It also did not hurt that he worked from a partial outline originally written by Heinlein fifty years ago.
It is very obvious that this was not written by Robert Anson Heinlein, but is still a very good science fiction story.
Per my husband, "this is done in the classic style of all Heinlein novels." A good read!
Written by Spider Robinson from notes written by Robert A. Heinlein, it is a typical excellent Heinlein story, from the height of his writing style. Spider Robinson did an excellent job capturing the Heinlein style, with more modern content.