I suspect the first time I tried to read this story, I abandoned it because of the setting and the set-up. I’m not fond of post-tech cultures, if indeed that’s what this is. It has the sense of a certain kind of made-up world fantasy to me.
No matter. The story’s a classic for a reason. I fell so deeply into the story that when I hit the emotional heart of the piece, I gasped out loud and scared the cat on my lap. Heartbreaking, real, beautifully done.