Raised From the Ground, by José Saramago (translated by Margaret Jull Costa)
Reviewer: William Belcher; age 34; married with two children; Greenwich, New York.
William’s assessment: Rooted in the harsh, unsettled landscape of southern Portugal in the 1900s, this book is a sweeping family saga that spans three generations and explores the stirrings of revolutions during the establishment of the Portuguese Republic and in the lives of rural workers throughout the 20th century. At times, reading it can be slow and laborious, but it’s worth your while to persevere. The book is a fascinating, personal portrait of a nation and its people. What’s more, this is a great example of Saramago’s distinct voice and style, famous for its insightfulness and inventiveness and keen use of parable and irony.
To buy: $26, amazon.com.