This time I’ve decided to recommend some books that have unique perspectives when it comes to the narration. As always, I would love this to be a collaborative series, so by all means recommend some of your own favourite books with interesting points-of-view in the comments.
The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James
The Tusk That Did the Damage surrounds an orphaned elephant known as The Gravedigger that has broken free from its captivity and become a fearsome menace, terrorising the countryside and becoming local legend, feared almost as though a God. This lyrical tale is told from three perspectives; a poacher, a journalist working on a documentary, and most uniquely, The Gravedigger itself.
George by Alex Gino
George is a middle grade novel suitable for adults and children alike. It’s a heart-warming story about a little girl born in the wrong body who simply wants to find a way to show the world who she truly is. I think it’s fantastic to see such an accessible book exploring transgender issues in a sensitive, honest way.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Room follows the perspective of a 5-year-old boy who has only ever known a single room; the room in which his mother has been held captive since before his birth. To protect him from this terrible reality, his mother has crafted the best life she can for him between the walls, letting him believe it encapsulates the entire world and personifying its few contents, until she sets in motion a plan to escape. The naïve, limited outlook of a child on such hard-hitting circumstances is what really hits home the power of this story.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The thriller element of The Girl on the Train wasn’t anything particularly new, and if you’re well versed in the genre the twists themselves may not exactly blow you away, but I did think it was an interesting read if only for the narration. Our protagonist is an alcoholic, constantly struggling to make sense of her situation because of blackouts and forgotten memories brought on as a result of her excessive drinking.
The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
The Enchanted is written from the perspective of an inmate awaiting his execution on death row. He is omniscient, telling us in lyrical prose about events both inside and outside the prison, most notably those surrounding the woman whose job it is to investigate cases involving the inmates in an effort to get them off death row. Though we don’t know what they are, we know he is guilty of heinous crimes to which he admits he is guilty, juxtaposing his sensitive narration with his evidently dark past and making him a very unreliable narrator. Add to this the magical realism elements, in which he hears golden horses galloping within the walls, and this is a memorable, haunting read.
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
At its core, Elizabeth is Missing is a mystery novel, and whilst this element didn’t wow me as such, it was still a fascinating, hugely worthwhile read for its incredibly realistic portrayal of dementia. Our protagonist is a vulnerable elderly woman who, upon becoming convinced that her friend has gone missing, sets out to find out what happened to her, whilst calling back similar events from her own past. Her confusion and memory loss make piecing together the parts of the puzzle a difficult and stressful task, and it’s this in-depth exploration of her mental decline that is the memorable and often moving aspect of the novel.
Have you read any books with interesting or unique narrators?