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  • Writer's pictureGaili Schoen

3 Great Literary Novels of 2019

Some of the finest books I have ever read were published in 2019. These books fascinated, surprised, enraptured and took my breath away:

1) Drive Your Plow Over The Bones of the Dead

Janina Duszejko is an astute but reclusive older woman who works as a translator of William Blake's poetry into Polish, as well as a caretaker for a few summer homes in her neighborhood. She studies astrology and is a great lover and protector of animals. Suddenly people are getting murdered left and right in her small Polish town, and she and her neighbors are trying to figure out who the perpetrator is. Duszejko posits that it is the animals taking revenge on the citizens who are mistreating and killing them, but they all think she is just old and deranged. This thriller by Olga Turarczuk won the Nobel Prize for literature.

2) The Dutch House

This engaging story by Ann Patchett is about a brother and sister who are forever damaged by the exodus of their mother at a young age. They live with their father and a greedy, manipulative step-mother until the father dies and the step-mother claims their beloved family mansion for her own. The brother and sister Danny and Maeve are quite close and watch over each other through the 5 decades covered by this book, but they never quite get over the loss of their mother and The Dutch House. I enjoyed the details of the story, Danny and Maeve's reflections, beliefs and opinions, and how they grow and gain wisdom as adults. I loved Patchett's rich language, and the slow unfolding of the story. But perhaps the best thing about it is listening to Tom Hanks read the audio book! Hanks makes the story come alive, and will leave you longing to hear his narration again and again.

If you like magical realism, check out this gorgeous story by Sofia Segovia set in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution and the influenza pandemic of 1918. Francisco and Beatriz Morales adopt a little foundling named Simonopio, whom they love dearly in spite of his disfigurement and his strange connection with bees. Simonopio has prescient visions that help guide the family in times of need. Amazon Prime members can read this wonderful book for free on their Kindle.

Did you read any of these titles? Leave your comments below- I want to hear what you thought of these books, or tell us about your favorite titles from 2019.


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