I love this one. It chilled me and made me cry—chapter after chapter, page after page.
And despite largely positive reviews (barring comments about likely lack of appeal), it’s received only one star and I haven’t heard a peep about this gem. I’m not sure anyone besides me and that handful of reviewers read it, and that’s a shame, because this is worth reading.
Fair warning: like so many of the books that number among the best written of the year, this won’t be a popular read. It’s a fantasy, I guess, but there’s no magic. It’s sort of historical fiction, but for a time and place that never actually was. It’s a novel, but it’s told in vignettes and the connections emerge slowly, so that it often reads more like interconnected short stories. It’s about a young man, except when it isn’t. I wouldn’t say it’s a genre-blender, which is a category often recognized by the committee, so much as it’s a book that defies the very idea of genre. [Read more…]