Anchee Min’s — Pearl of China *****

Anchee Min’s — Pearl of China *****

Pearl’s father is a missionary in China. When Pearl befriends a Chinese girl her own age, Pearl and Willow become inseparable. But under Mao’s repressive regime, Pearl’s family is forced to flee China. For years, the friends have no contact with each other because Pearl fears this could endanger Willow’s family, but will they ever meet again?

This story is based on Pearl S. Buck’s early life in China where she developed a deep love of the country.

Saleema Nawaz’s — Bone and Bread *****

Saleema Nawaz’s — Bone and Bread *****

Set in Montreal, Beena and Sadhana are close because of the death of their parents in their teens. While their uncle takes care of them, Beena sees a change in her sister. It’s only with Sadhana’s death, that Beena tries to unravel the cause of her sister’s life.

This is a well written powerful story, but because of Sadhana’s tragic decline and eventual death it sometimes made this emotionally hard to read.

Sahana Singh’s — The educational heritage of ancient India *****

Sahana Singh’s — The educational heritage of ancient India *****

This book explores the many universities that flourished all over India from the 6th century onwards, and how students travelled from many parts of Asia to study in these prestigious institutions. At its height, universities specialized in subjects from mathematics, medicine and logic to the arts and military training. Much of this knowledge was translated into Arabic and then from Arabic into European languages where the knowledge was claimed as their own.

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Ann Patchett’s — Bel Canto *****

Ann Patchett’s — Bel Canto *****

A South American government tries to lure Mr Hosokawa to a party so he will invest in their country, but the Japanese tycoon is not interested in doing business with this regime. When he is not working long hours at his company, Nansei, he is passionate about opera, especially opera singer Roxane Coss. So when the South American government invites him to attend his birthday party where this very opera singer will perform, he cannot refuse.

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