Samuel Park—This burns my heart *****

Samuel Park—This burns my heart *****

Soo-Ja grows up in a wealthy family, loved by everyone. With the war ended, she dreams of going to Seoul to become a diplomat, but her father does not want to lose the daughter he idolizes. Soo-ja feels trapped and believes the only way she can succeed is to marry a weak man whom she can convince to accompany her to Korea’s capital. She sets her hopes on Min, a man who claims to be in love with her and not long before their wedding, Yul, who wants to marry her too, warns her that Min is a bad choice. Young and eager to fulfil her dreams, will Soo-ja heed Yul’s warning or, like her father said of a daughter-in-law who marries the oldest son, will she live a life with nothing but drudgery, slaving for everyone else in her new family?

Peter Pagnamenta and Momoko Williams’—Falling Blossom *****

Peter Pagnamenta and Momoko Williams’—Falling Blossom *****

With Japan’s success at invading China and Korea, and Britain afraid a rising superpower might take over their jewel, India, the British government makes a pact with Japan. In the early 1900s a group of British soldiers are then sent to Japan to learn Japanese and war tactics. In Tokyo, Arthur meets Masa, a Japanese woman who has been rejected by her husband and sent back to her family. The pair fall in love and even though Arthur is transferred to other destinations, their connection doesn’t end until forty years later with the outbreak of the second world war.

This memoir is based on research and the hundreds of letters from Arthur discovered in Masa’s trunk after her death. These letters reveal an in-depth insight into their lives and the dramatic changes that took place in both countries—a book I couldn’t put down.

Suzanne Simard’s—Finding the mother tree

Suzanne Simard’s—Finding the mother tree

Suzanne’s journey begins the day her father and uncle dig a hole over a metre deep into the ground and she becomes fascinated by the layers in the soil. Growing up in the interior of British Columbia amongst forests, Simard went into forestry, but soon became disenchanted with the practice of cutting down every tree, spraying chemicals over destroyed sites, and replanting one variety of tree. She joined the B.C. forestry sector where she conducted experiments that revealed that government policies were not only destroying the environment, but their practices did not produce greater yields. Simard’s long struggle against entrenched archaic views and misogynistic mentality eventually lead to major findings with change beginning to take place, but at what personal cost?

Kate Grenville’s—A room made of leaves*****

Kate Grenville’s—A room made of leaves*****

At the death of Elizabeth’s father, she and her mother move in with her grandfather. And while Elizabeth’s mother doesn’t care for her daughter, her grandfather dotes on her and teaches her all he knows about farming and sheep. After her mother remarries and abandons her daughter, Elizabeth is taken in by her best friend, Bridie’s parents. They are close friends until Elizabeth makes the biggest mistake that will change her life forever.

Continue reading “Kate Grenville’s—A room made of leaves*****”