I mentioned this one in a previous post, so this is going to be even quicker than the other two.
I’ve always been a sucker for an odyssey style story. I love the odd encounters and the obstacles and the straight up “he/she is here, he/she needs to get here” plots. While this is a pretty fucking bleak example of that, about one of the bleakest I’ve ever read (and yes, I’ve read The Road) I never felt dragged down by it. I was always entertained and engaged. It may have been dark, but it was never boring or drab. And even in the parts that were the hardest, either the most violent or the driest, I found that my love of the characters was enough to pull me through and keep me invested in whether or not they make it. I also have a real, genuine love for the sections of a novel that are just about work: people figuring out certain aspects of work and, eventually, getting good enough at it to start to see the fruits of their labour. I have no idea why that kind of stuff gives my brain such a boner, but I eat that shit like cake and this book has it in spades. Tough-ass ladies learning to run a farm and take care of their own shit should be a sub-genre of book, because I would buy Every. Single. One of them.
Anyways, this book is beautiful, brutal, and often oddly quiet. If your tastes run to the dark and contemplative, you should give it a read.