‘Class, we are very lucky today,’ began Mr Watts. ‘Mrs Kabui has agreed to share with us the remarkable life and times of the heart seed.’A short but very powerful book, about the power of literature to transcend the horrors of humanity. Mr Watts brings education to a remote part of Bougainville in the middle of the war there (probably the most horrible conflict in the Pacific since WW2, with 15-20,000 killed of a population of less than a quarter million). Pip from Great Expectations becomes a focal cultural reference point for Matilda and her neighbours, before war comes and destroys their world. After the dust has settled, Matilda finds out where Mr Watts actually came from; and her memories of him are not tarnished but enhanced as a result. It's a grim read in places, but ultimately encouraging.
This came to the top of my list as the most popular of my unread non-sf/fantasy books on LibraryThing. Next on that list is Selected Stories by Alice Munro.