“Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead”

“By no means a conventional crime story” – according to the blurb on my copy of Olga Tokarczuk’s “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead”. Let’s face it, a conventional crime story is the last thing you’d expect to emerge from the slightly surreal worlds of the Nobel Prize winning Tokarczuk. And in a way, this isn’t actually a crime story at all – even with the deaths..!

The writing is fluent and fluid, accomplished and engaging. Tokarcuk’s ‘heroine’ (or anti-heroine) is well drawn, a super depiction of an elderly woman at home with her love of animals and her unshakeable faith in astrology and the cosmos. Not only that, but she is clearly rooted in the world in which she lives, with her friends, comfortable in her opinions and prejudices. In some respects it is difficult not to like her – even if she is a little ‘unhinged’.

Perhaps Tokarczuk’s style is something of an acquired taste, but “Bones” is worth trying.

And “Plow”? The title’s a quote from William Blake – and I’ll leave it at that!