Milkman won the Man Booker Prize for a reason. The story--set during the Irish Troubles in the 70s--centers around the unnamed narrator, called Middle Sister, who is being stalked and intimidated by a charismatic local paramilitary figure nicknamed "Milkman." Because she reads while walking, Middle Sister is considered slightly odd to begin with, and she's an easy target for gossip and innuendo. Soon rumors about her supposed liaison with Milkman multiply, to an extent that threatens her physical and psychological safety. But this dry summary doesn't get at the heart of the book. Not only is the voice inimitable and perfect, but Middle Sister's intuitive understanding of the social constraints in which she lives is spot-on and often very funny. Few books have so deftly explored the effects and human costs of political division: the us-and--them mentality promoting intolerance and paranoia, the paranoia leading to the paralysis of joy, initiative, trust, intimacy, and ultimately, self-understanding. It's hard to read it without thinking about present divisions in our own world. But you'll miss Middle Sister's voice--its good sense, vulnerability and drollery---once you finish the book.