Picture coming soon (I realized the one I took from Amazon didn't work, so I will have to do my own.)
Here's another one I recently finished and enjoyed immensely. Now, I'm not impartial, I love books like this - ones with the lush feel of a fable, with liberal sprinklings of seemingly impossible things, mixed in with all-too-human relationships - but I know they're not for everyone. Find me an author that treats his/her stories with dream-like logic, where it makes perfect sense that a woman's hateful words would conjure a fleet of angry bees, or a staircase can stretch or shrink depending on what is happening at it's base, and I will probably be a happy reader.
But, beyond the fantastical plot elements, I really enjoyed the quality of Erick Setiawan's writing. There's a certainty, an assured feeling of truth-telling that any good oral storyteller would appreciate, that makes it a pleasure to read. The closest book I can compare it to is "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which is high praise indeed, as I happen to think "One Hundred Years.." is one of the best books ever written, ever.
Short synposis (written quickly by me) is:
Meridia has grown up in a house filled with heavy silences, dark mutterings, mysterious mists, and obstinate ghosts. But life doesn't get easier when she meets her true love and moves in with his family, where she washes up against the soft-edged cruelty of her mother-in-law, who can wield words like weapons (or, in this case, ferocious bees) and is used to controlling the world as she sees fit. Meridia, taking lessons from her own mother as well as her mother-in-law, develops from a shy young girl to a woman of formidable strength and heart.
So, yeah, I loved this book. I loved the storytelling, I loved the feeling of gently being pulled along the narrative, I loved the characters of Meridia and Ravenna, Malin and Permony. I loved the sounds of the names, and how they rolled around on the edge of my tongue.
Read this if you like: Magic Realism, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Oral storytelling traditions
Don't Read it if: you don't enjoy books that play with fantastical elements to impart a story
Bonus! I got this in the Sale section of a Chapters. It's a beautiful hardcover version I picked up for less than $7.00! You may find it there, too! (Good luck!)
Up Next: The Order of Odd-Fish