Oh yes, I’ve been reading some rather fantastic books recently.
Andrea Levy’s A Small Island doesn’t really need any introduction from the likes of me. Intelligent, passionate, non-preachy, yet fiercely critical of the values that made Britain great.
Louise Erdrich’s Master Butcher’s Singing Club is one of those epic novels of migration, love, loss and the American Dream that can go so badly wrong if the writer isn’t careful. Her characters draw on Erdrich’s own rich cultural heritage to create an emotional portrait of a mid-West town in the early 20th century, with slightly gothic undertones.
Valerie Martin’s Property is a savage, unsentimental masterpiece. Set in the American South of the 1820s, it explores the effects of slavery on both masters and oppressed. The masters are monstrous, but not complete monsters: the slaves are oppressed, but not complete victims. The narrator is a selfish, slightly unhinged woman whose ambivalence and longing for love betrays her at every step.