I'm always hoping people will read Wendell Berry at my recommendation. I contend he is one of the greatest writers of prose we have. I first read his non-fiction, the most recent of which was Citizenship Papers , which I gave away in mass quantities over the Christmas holiday. My favorite novel of his was Jayber Crow , and I also have recently cherished the short stories in That Distant Land . But now his newest novel has captured my love, at least in part because the prose and voice of the narrator is so much like another novel I have read recently, Marylinne Robinson's Gilead . Here's an excerpt from HC:
"I began to know my story then. Like everybody’s, it was going to be the story of living in the absence of the dead. What is the thread that holds it all together? Grief, I thought for a while. And grief is there sure enough, just about all the way through. From the time I was a girl I have never been far from it. But grief is not a force and has no power to hold. You only bear it. Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery."