Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
A group of eccentric folks live in little cabins in the woods above a small Polish village. The main character is an elderly woman who has many quirks; people think she is a little nuts. As the reader sees everything through her eyes, she does not seem all that quirky. In her world, she makes perfect sense -- that is, within her quirkiness and her reliance on astrology -- she still makes perfect sense.
The story is revealed slowly as we see it unfold through her eyes. It's a fascinating character study alongside a whodunit storyline. I must say, I have never before read a whodunit quite like this one.
I absolutely loved the beautiful writing! I kept stopping to read sentences out loud. This book was translated into English from Polish. The translator must be top notch. All the descriptions and the nuances just blew me away. There even is a section where the characters are working on translating Blake, presumably from English into Polish. How does a translator handle that in a translation back into English?? Fascinating to my interpreter-mind.
If you are looking for high-adrenaline action, this book is not it. Yet I loved it, loved the characters, and especially loved the exquisite writing. I have zero ability to predict whether any of my friends will like this book. At least for the beautiful writing, give this one a try, and then let me know what you think.
The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare
A girl in Nigeria is tuck in an arranged marriage to a much older man. She longs for an education and to find her "louding voice" -- her right and ability to speak up for herself and for other girls. Her experiences are harrowing, some are touching, while she searches for her life's path.