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Restoree (1967) is Anne McCaffrey's first full-length novel.

Plot summary

It is the story of Sara, an introverted, beak-nosed, 24-year-old virgin librarian from New York who is abducted by the Mil, amorphous alien creatures that eat human flesh. She is kept alive, with her skin removed and in a catatonic state from the physical and mental shock, on a meat hook as a Mil meal until the alien ship she is on is captured by inhabitants of the planet Lothar, who look surprisingly like humans. Without her skin, some Lotharians mistake her for one of their own and perform controversial restoration procedures on her, as well as giving her a free nose job.

Sara comes to her senses in a mental institution on Lothar with no memory of what happened, little knowledge of the local language, and a beautiful, golden-skinned body. At the institution, she is treated as if she were retarded and given menial tasks to do, as are other "restorees" who have been clandestinely salvaged from Mil ships; it is apparently some factor of Sara's Terran origins that allows her to fully recover from the shock of the Mil ordeal, while Lotharian restorees are of limited intellect at best. One of her jobs is to care for Harlan, the deposed planetary regent, who is being drugged into a moronic state. Recognizing what is being done, Sara helps Harlan to regain his senses and escape the mental institution. Sara and Harlan then gain the advantage over Harlan's political enemies, defeat the Mil, solve some of Lothar's emerging domestic problems and, of course, fall in love.


This book was originally written as a comment on the way women were portrayed in science fiction in that time period, cowering in a corner awaiting rescue by the hero.[1] Many readers, not realizing this, consider the book to be formulaic and of a lesser quality than McCaffrey's other works.


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