In a book that promises by its very title and opening lines that many characters will be expected to die, the author has to do some coaxing to convince readers that they can invest emotionally in the story.
Garth Greenwell’s debut novel What Belongs to You is a beautiful and heartbreaking meditation on how we learn to fill the emotional space between ourselves and others.
Louise Erdrich’s most recent triptych of novels—The Plague of Doves (2008), The Round House (2012), and LaRose (2016)—all feature children more prominently than adults. Children are confronted with a many-layered moral question that their experiences over the course of the novel will help them to process.
Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster, about the nuclear reactor meltdown at Chernobyl on April 26, 1986, opens with Lyudmilla Ignatenko, whose husband Vasily was one of the first firefighters to respond to the scene.