For Your Friend or Relative Who Loves a Good Book Club
Room by Emma Donoghue
I know I’m not the first to recommend this novel, which was truly the best book I read in 2010, but I’m surely the most relentless at putting it in people’s hot little hands. Narrated by 5 year-old Jack, Room is the story of Jack and his mother and the single room in which they dwell. Despite Ma’s best effort, the horror that keeps them in the room is always looming and readers will be literally clutching their throats at an escape attempt and its aftermath.
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow
Rachel’s life is coated with a strange patina of violence and fate. Rachel, her mother, and her siblings fall from the roof of their Chicago apartment building. Rachel is too young to fully remember the circumstances that led them to the roof, leaving her and those who witnessed the aftermath of the tragedy a lifetime to wonder if Rachel’s family jumped or were pushed.
White is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
This is one strange, magical book. The narrator is a malicious house (you read that correctly) who has possibly driven three generations of Silver women mad. Miranda Silver is the female half of fraternal twins and the heir apparent to madness. Oyeyemi has crafted a book of malevolent magical realism that is also masterfully political.
One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divajaruni
A massive earthquake traps a groups of strangers in the Indian consulate of an unnamed American city. As they struggle to physically survive the ordeal and pray for rescue, they also try to keep their minds sharp and prevent despair from overtaking them. To that end, they each share “one amazing thing”. Each story is a revelation about the characters and the human spirit.