The main character’s journey is double-sided: she’s putting together the story of her grandfather, what he’s told her and what she finds out after traveling to his hometown; she’s also finding a piece of magic in herself. And along the way, each character contributes something to your understanding of the world.
I loved that Tea Obreht made even the most hateful characters redeemable in some small way. The narrator, and we readers, begin the book skeptical of the inherent magic of folklore that drives the story, but by the end it’s become part of the tapestry of life. This is the kind of book that makes me want to be a part of it.
I recommend this book for fans of magical realism (like Sarah Addison Allen books), fans of mirrored physical and internal journeys, fans of female protagonists, and anyone curious about the lives of villagers in the Balkans.