Saturday, 3 July 2021

Books With Unique Structure or Narrative


I love it when I discover a book/author who offers a twist on a traditional fictional narrative. Here are a few of my favourites.

Plot - Cyril Avery was born out of wedlock in a small Irish town. He spends his life discovering himself and where he comes from.
Structure - Beginning with his birth, this story visits Cyril every seven years of his life.

Plot - Fiction that reads like non-fiction about a house that is larger on the inside than it is on the outside.
Structure - A deliberately complex mix of everything. Manuscripts, footnotes, poetry, letters, backwards text, upside down text, and more.

Plot - The battle of Anna Anderson to be recognized as Anastasia Romanov.
Structure - Alternating chapters between Anna and Anastasia. Anastasia's chapters are in chronological order, while Anna's are in reverse, culminating in the truth when the timelines meet.

Plot - A family history is intimately tied to the forests in British Columbia. Also, what will the future look like when trees are rarely found in the world?
Structure - A multi-generational family saga told as though the reader is travelling through rings of a tree. Starting with the youngest generations, the narrative works itself towards the middle with the oldest generation, and then back out again.

Plot - The rise of an infamous 1970s rock band and their mysterious breakup.
Structure - Structured as a documentary, I had to google this book to see if it was true! 😂

Plot - Follows two women from Africa who are half-sisters and don't know it.
Structure - Each chapter is from the point of view of one character, and as the chapters move chronologically and without skipping generations, each protagonist is the child of one the reader has formerly met.

Plot - Historical fiction about the French Revolution from the perspective of women who were there before, during, and after.
Structure- Each section of this book is written by a different author, focusing on a different woman, but all six stories flow seamlessly into one larger narrative about the role of women in French Revolution.

Plot - Ana is an ESL student starting at a new high school.
Structure -  When Ana doesn't understand something said to her, the author has blacked out the text, so the reader misses it as well.

Do you have any you'd add to this list?