The Door, by Magda Szabó
Three and a half stars, read in August 2018.
The story of a strange, dysfunctional relationship between two strange women who are both uniquely intimate with and completely closed off to each other. I found it difficult at times, how deeply (and pretty frequently) they hurt each other, but the exploration of their perverse relationship is compelling. Strangely enough, though this is one of the lower-rated of the books I read for this challenge, it’s one of the ones I find myself thinking about most frequently since finishing it.
The Green Shore, by Natalie Bakopoulos
Four and a half stars, read in September 2018.
I found this book deeply engaging and absolutely loved the way it ended, after having spent most of the book unable to guess where it might go. It’s about the military coup in Athens in the 1960s, following multiple members of a Greek family through their experiences fighting and living under the junta. This seems to be Bakopoulos’s only novel so far, but she does excellent character development; though there are bombs and arrests and violent encounters with the police, the majority of the drama in this book comes from characters’ internal and interpersonal struggles. Which is funny because I just pulled up Goodreads and saw that many people said the exact opposite, feeling the characters weren’t developed enough, so maybe it’s a matter of personal taste.
The Tiger’s Wife, by Téa Obreht
Four stars, read in August and September 2018.
I didn’t know much about this book, just that I remembered wanting to read it a few years ago when it came out. It was a little hard to follow, though that may have been exacerbated because I was listening on audio instead of seeing it in print. The story moves between past and present, following multiple threads and characters through war and medical school and family and the ugliness of people who hurt others because they’re afraid.