As Seattle Book Mama turns the corner of its seventh year, I find myself looking for patterns in my favorite novels. Of the hundreds I have read for review during these years, seven of the eight works of fiction that I have read a second time are solidly working class in their orientation; not terribly surprising. If that sounds good to you, have a look:
Hardscrabble Southern fiction; true Grit Lit. Made me want to stand up and cheer!
Women that play ball, and some complicated family dynamics. LGTB. Seldom have I laughed so hard! The Flood Girls, by Richard Fifield*****
Bryn Greenwood keeps it real. Quirky and endearing. The Reckless Oath We Made, by Bryn Greenwood*****
I had a history degree, but I didn’t understand the French Revolution until Piercy laid it out from a woman’s point of view. City of Darkness, City of Light, by Marge Piercy*****
Himself, by Jess Kidd***** It’s rare for just one book to make me swear allegiance to an author forever after, but this one did it. I laughed myself silly and came away a little misty, too.
I was stunned that this book didn’t scoop up a bunch of awards; it was at least nominated for an Edgar. I carried these characters with me for a long time after I read it. It remains a personal favorite.
What can I say? I do love Piercy’s historical fiction. There are a massive number of World War II novels out there, but nobody except Kristin Hannah even comes close to this. Brilliant.