This story on understanding comes in the unexpected shape a science-fiction novel — although anyone who has read Orson Scott Card’s books before would not be so surprised. It’s very different from its prequel, Ender’s Game: Speaker for the Dead is about understanding others, be it different individuals, families or even alien races — and it’s meditative in the clarity of thought it expresses.
At its core lies a deeply meaningful book that is about unraveling differences and misunderstandings in language and rituals — and even biology. Yes, at times it’s preachy (“Sickness and healing are in every heart; death and deliverance in every hand), but any book with a message is. The main message is a beautiful one:
The difference between ‘them’ and ‘us’ is not in the person being judged, but in the person judging. When we declare a stranger to be a friend, it does not mean that they have passed a threshold of moral maturity. It means that we have.