I read many wonderful books in 2017! I can’t quite put my finger on the common thread of my three favorite fiction books that I read in 2017, but maybe I can identify it by the end of these recommendations. Thank you to all of the great recommendations from friends, family, and books groups!
Commonwealth: A Novel by Ann Patchett
This novel explores the delightful and challenging interweaving of two families. I loved how my understanding of the characters evolved over the course of the story, as well as their understanding of themselves.
I laughed and cried. Bonus material for attorneys.
Perfect for anyone who enjoys complex family sagas with characters that are not perfect. Not so great for readers who want clarity and clear resolution.
The Alice Network: A Novel by Kate Quinn
Oof, well, if my first recommendation is an intro to imperfect characters, this spy novel takes it another level. I was deeply invested and deeply annoyed at the characters at different points. An intense read that flashes back and forth between WWI and post-WWII, I ripped through this book over a weekend.
I cried. And laughed some too. By the end, I wished I had gotten to know the characters in real life (except that they are fictional).
Great for people who like spy thrillers and high-emotion. Not so great for readers who like suspense with minimal emotional involvement.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
I find myself drawn to post-apocalyptic novels, and then begging for a break. I had been on a break for about a year when I finally caved to the multiple independent recommendations that I would love Station Eleven. And all my friends were right: Station Eleven had the perfect mix of a collapsed society and traveling performers that I adored.
I read this book while on vacation, while the story is dark, I also found it uplifting and hopeful. And I think I found my theme: I cried again! So much crying with my three favorite fiction books read in 2017.
Great for people who like to imagine life after the end of civilization (and perhaps civilization rising from the ashes). Not good for people who don’t enjoy imagining the end of our society as we know it.