Tackling any one of the topics of religion, faith and politics is a risky business when writing any fictional work. Each of them offers something for people to stand by, to cling to when they feel challenged by others and ultimately to provide a solid base upon which to construct their own belief. In Grass Sherri S. Tepper bravely utilises these themes to weave an amazing story set years in the future when man has spread his reach out into the stars.
With unflinching honesty, Tepper creates a most amazing world, a world of Grass where medieval estates hold an assumed superiority over the 'common' inhabitants of the planet. However, there is something bigger happening on Grass, bigger than the “Little Beings” than inhabit it realise. It is only with the arrival of outsiders, sent to unearth a cure for a universe wide plague, that the realities of what is happening on the isolated planet come to light.
Using the beliefs of Christianity as a guide, Grass explores what it really means to be human – questioning why we follow our chosen beliefs and confronting our arrogant beliefs that we are the central race in the universe.
Superbly written and frighteningly real, Grass is one of the best novels I've read in a good while.