I won’t drop any spoilers from The Moon Hunters here, but one important supporting character in the book is Lady Samilla Ani, the protagonist’s grandmother. One thing Samilla does is give Leilani some money, coins she secreted away from household funds over the years. Women in the Village of Lehom aren’t usually allowed to keep money for themselves because that would make them too independent. Controlling societies often keep people marginalized by isolating them and restricting their economic means.
This event was inspired by my maternal grandmother. When I was about six, my grandmother told me she’d bought diamond necklaces for me and my younger sister. She also told me she’d skimmed money from her household money and personal shopping allowance to buy them. I didn’t know what to make of it at that young age, but I do remember she told me not to tell my grandfather.
I never told, and after she died, my parents kept those necklaces for us. I still have it. It’s a little necklace, nothing gaudy, but I remember her every time I see it. My grandmother gave me that necklace, and perhaps my story shows some remembrance of her in the character of Samilla. Maybe.