Katherine Carlyle by Rupert Thomson
Katherine is a young woman who was an IVF baby - this fact informs the way she feels about her place in the world.
She has lost her mother to cancer recently and feels that her father is disinterested in her as his work takes him all over the world. She decides to leave her current home in Rome without telling anyone where she is going - this book follows her thoughts and physically experiences of random encounters and places mostly in Germany, Poland and Russia. Her final destination are the remote northern towns of Arkhangelsk and the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard where it's dark for 6 months of the year. Katherine's character is utterly convincing, the storytelling is sublime and I will definitely now be reading everything Rupert Thomson has written.