Min Jin Lee’s — Pachinko *****

Min Jin Lee’s — Pachinko *****

In the early 1900s when Sunja falls pregnant, she refuses to be mistress to a wealthy man she discovers is already married. Instead she accepts an offer of marriage from a minister and they soon leave Korea for Japan.

This is a four generational tale exploring Japan’s attitude towards Koreans as well as the family’s struggles to survive. A compelling story.

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Alan Duff’s — Both Sides of the Moon *****

Alan Duff’s — Both Sides of the Moon *****

Because Jimmy’s father is a Pakeha and his mother Maori, he struggles to discover where he fits in. After his mother leaves to live with another man, Jimmy turns more to his uncle who tells his about his Maori family history.

This is a tough read, but a telling narrative of a family caught between two cultures.

Latita Tademy’s — Cane River *****

Latita Tademy’s — Cane River *****

This is a generational saga of Tademy’s family beginning during the slave era in the United States. We learn the struggles of four prominent women who fought for their freedom while at the same time trying to keep their family together.

This is an extremely interesting account because it examines in depth, the lives these women led and how often they were tied to their masters.

Kim Echlin’s — The Disappeared*****

Kim Echlin’s — The Disappeared*****

After Anne and Serey, a Cambodian refugee, meet in a Montreal jazz club, they are drawn to each other. But when Pol Pot’s reign of terror ends, Serey is compelled to return to Cambodia to find his family. When he doesn’t return, Anne follows. She soon learns the depths of the tragedy and its after effects on the survivors.

Anchee Min’s — Pearl of China *****

Anchee Min’s — Pearl of China *****

Pearl’s father is a missionary in China. When Pearl befriends Chinese Willow they are inseparable. It is only under Mao’s repressive regime that Pearl’s family is forced to flee China. The friends have no contact with each other because Willow fears this could endanger her family. Continue reading “Anchee Min’s — Pearl of China *****”