The World We Found, by Thrity Umrigar
They’re not sisters by blood, but they’re bonded in a way that endures across the world. I don’t find Thrity Umrigar’s work particularly earth-shattering, which is a good thing. This is my second book of hers in as many months, and I find myself reading chunks of 40 or 50 pages at a time to relax. It’s not that the book is fluff; the four women it features are dealing with serious issues, and reading their rich inner lives and complicated outer worlds is satisfyingly complex. But there is something that makes this teading readimg easy…. maybe the way she thoroughly explains each character’s emotional journey, so that while there are difficult things discussed, I’m not left guessing. I am left with some really beautiful writing language, though.
We the Animals, by Justin Torres
Three brothers live a feral and troubled childhood. There are moments of joy followed by a great unraveling. In terms of reading experience, this one was quite different from my usual way of being with a book. It was both beautiful and vicious…. I loved the writing but reading this book left me feeling raw. There is a great weight of trauma and disorientation that kicks in towards the end of the book, so I struggled with it a bit in that way. But I am intrigued to read more work by this author.
p.s. One of my reading challenges this year is reading more diverse books. My rule is 1/4 or more fiction books are by authors of color. So far this year I am at 2/3. Can you suggest more books about dysfunctional families and functional non-families by great diverse authors?