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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

10 Very Evocative Novels (including snippet reviews)

Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl is hosting another week of Top Ten Tuesday. I enjoy participating each week for a couple reasons. I'm a compulsive list maker and love a good list. And, I love a connection with other readers as I wander their book blogs.

This week's prompt is a freebie - make up my own theme. I settled on Evocative Novels. I'm including a snippet about each book - Here goes.

Evocative = bringing strong images or feelings to mind

I couldn't put this oft-nominated book down! Set in early 1900s Japan, it's the story of the Dutch trying to settle/convert Japan. Jacob is a young. devout clerk come to make his fortune. Then he meets and falls for the disfigured daughter of a Samurai doctor. Poor decisions are made, far reaching consequences occur.

Evocative: both of era and place

Although controversial for some valid reasons, I really liked this book and was totally immersed in the experience of the woman and her child fleeing for their lives. Lydia, her son, and her journalist husband live a good life in Mexico City that is destroyed when her husband publishes a tell-all article about the newest cartel in the area. The cartel leader takes an interest in the wife, forcing her to take her son and run for their lives. Tense and grim as the unimaginable experiences stack up.

Review here

Evocative: terrified immigrants trying to escape terrible circumstances

Running almost 1,000 pages, this book is definitely a commitment. But TOTALLY worth every page. Follett is able to create such a believable sense of the time and place and people of this book that I felt like I was right there with them. This book is about the building of a church in medieval England, the people and the politics involved. An absolutely terrific story.

Evocative: particularly of the era, but also of the place

I remember being surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Another one set in medieval England, this story has a bit of suspense around a missing little girl, told with a touch of magical realism and with the feeling of a fairytale. Really it's about loss and how a small community reacts; it's about how a community is tied to the land (and river) and the stories that come to life over the years. The book is full of likable characters, a little heartbreak, a touch of evil, lots of love, a bit of a mystery, and even a bit of mysticism, all told in a gentle, calm (but definitely not boring), lyrical way. I felt carried along by the river that is at the heart of this story.

Review here

Evocative: such a strong sense of time and place

I've read a lot of books set in India - I'm fascinated by the culture. This book starts a bit grimly, but when you make it past the first 50 pages or so, it becomes SO gripping. It's the story of 4 strangers forced to share a tiny apartment together in 1975 India. Through struggles to survive, the people move from distrust to friendship to love in this moving story. This magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India and I couldn't put it down.

Evocative: STRONG sense of place

Set in WWII, it's the journey through the hell of war as experienced by two French sisters - one who stays at home and tries to keep her small son safe, and one who joins the French resistance. Touching, heartbreaking, yet also filled with love and hope, always hope. Because, what else can you have when faced with such horror and hell?

Review here

Evocative: of strong women in the midst of war

Set in modern day India, this is the story of two women - a wealthy Parsi housewife in an abusive marriage and her illiterate servant woman. It's a story of class and the power of money with excellent character portrayals, especially the old servant; a heartbreaking but optimistic ending.

Review here

Evocative: strong sense of place and culture

The story of a small African village that is being damaged by the environmental problems caused by an American oil company. One young woman stands up for her family and village.

Review here

Evocative: certainly of rural African village life

Set in the hills of Kentucky in 1936, it's the story of a young woman determined to deliver books to the people living in the remote hollers of the area.

Review here

Evocative: of the era and place

This award winning debut novel is fast paced and filled with substantial characters as a Federal investigator returns to his home town to look into the death of 3 family members, one a friend of his. Set in Australia during a drought, the environment almost becomes a character!

Evocative: the weather and setting of central Australia

And that wraps up my suggestions for ten evocative, immersive novels. Which one might you try? Leave me a comment and let me know an evocative book you've read recently!

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