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Review: A Psalm for the Wild Built

Title: A Psalm for the Wild Built
Author: Becky Chambers
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Page Count: 160
Publisher: Tordotcom
Date Published: July 13, 2021
You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s been centuries since the robots of Earth gained self-awareness and laid down their tools.

Centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again.

Centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.

They’re going to need to ask it a lot.


There is a theme weaving throughout stories more and more so lately: What is my purpose in this life? What will I be remembered for? What is my worth? Popular novels such as The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, Writers & Lovers by Lily King, Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and even Sally Rooney’s upcoming Beautiful World Where Are You? appears to take a stab at it … you get my point. 

But of all this canon, Becky Chambers’ exploration on this well trodden conversation, between a non-binary tea monk and a robot with self-awareness, simply discusses it best. I adored this little novella. For only 150-ish pages, this story is packed with emotional nuances, tender moments, fantastic insight and most importantly a whole heaping dash of comfort. I think that is what makes this story really special, it is so wholly comforting, and never tries to be bigger than it needs to be to pad a page count. It doesn’t need more. 

For those who need an afternoon to escape, for those who enjoy adorable robot-human friendships, and for those who need to know they aren’t alone in their feelings of being overwhelmed and unsure … A Psalm for the Wild Built comes in like a big hug. 

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The Midnight LibraryThe Midnight Library

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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRueThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

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