Rated of 5
2007 Favorite Book for a reason!
The Ministry of Special Cases, by Nathan Englander, tells the story of a Jewish family caught up in the political corruption and upheaval of mid-70's Argentina. As one of BookBrowse's Best Books of 2007, it has all the things you'd expect from high-quality fiction: Great writing, deep characters, involving plot.
One of the things that makes this book so interesting, though, is that it changes character throughout, gradually shifting from a light tale that almost feels like a fable, to a serious family drama, to a tale that's ... well, much darker. Its intensity really sneaks up on the reader. It's rare that a novel takes me completely by surprise, but this one sure did!
It's a very powerful book, and one I highly recommend.