Top Fiction of 2017

The Blind Assassin by Margaret AtwoodDragon Springs Road by Janie ChangWhat Is the What by Dave EggersHag-Seed by Margaret AtwoodGirl in Translation by Jean KwokHistory of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund struck me as a particularly heavy read due to my upbringing in Christian Science. That being said, I found myself thinking and rethinking this story over and over again, trying to come to some conclusion about the ethical dilemmas present in this book. The characters were not some that I particularly liked, but they stuck with me, and I almost liked the story more for not liking the characters. Much better this way than the other way around!

Girl in Translation (2010) by Jean Kwok is a beautiful and troubling story of a young immigrant and her family. Kwok invites readers into a family scene that is not a pretty picture, and shows readers resilience. This fiction should hit home for a lot of people, and hopefully give insight into some of the behind the scenes lives of undocumented immigrants. And the end was rather hopeful, which in a way makes this story even more tangible for a wider audience.

Hag-Seed (2016) by Margaret Atwood fell into my TBR at an excellent moment while I was hiking the Appalachian Trail this summer. I’ve been slowly chipping away at the massive Atwood collection, and I loved listening to the audio-book telling of this story. I tend to find that you can’t go wrong with Shakespeare retellings (that, or I’ve been very privileged to read only good retellings). The characters are delightful and the imagery is fantastic, and this is a beautiful tale of revenge.

Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang was one I read as an ARC and loved. Magical realism abounds in this tale, and Chang does a wonderful job of incorporating history, culture, and religion into this story without making any of those elements overbearing. In fact, Chang’s book was fast-paced and filled with action.

What is the What (2006) by Dave Eggers took me absolutely forever to read, yet it was so worth it. I loved learning the history of the Sudanese civil war, and Eggers gave readers beautiful and tangible characters with which to fall in love with and have our hearts broken.

The Blind Assassin (2000) by Margaret Atwood is another classic I felt compelled to read, and I was not disappointed. Although dense (as many Atwood books are), The Blind Assassin was a remarkable read. It definitely took me some time to adjust to the storytelling, as much of the novel is spent jumping into and out of stories within stories.

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