Author: Mallee Stanley

Shani Mootoo’s — Cireus blooms at night

Shani Mootoo’s — Cireus blooms at night

When Mala Ramchandin, suspected of murder, arrives on a stretcher at Paradise’s alms house, the only male nurse, Tyler, is given his first assignment. With Mala’s slow recovery, Tyler learns about her extraordinary life on the Caribbean island.

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Learning from authors

Learning from authors

One of the writing tips I’ve heard repeatedly is read, read, read. About a year back I read Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. What an uninspiring title, right? The book had been recommended, so I ploughed through the 900 or so pages and kept repeating to myself, I wish I could write like this. Continue reading “Learning from authors”

Indu Sundaresan’s — Twentieth wife

Indu Sundaresan’s — Twentieth wife

After a regime change in 14thcentury Persia, Ghia, along with his wife and children flee to Qandahar. There he meets a merchant heading to India. When they arrive, the merchant introduces Ghia to Emperor Akbar who soon employs him. Ghia believes his good fortune is due to his youngest daughter, Mehunnisa. At age eight, she first glimpses at Akbar’s son, Prince Salim at his wedding when her ambitions stir.

Lisa See’s — The island of sea women *****

Lisa See’s — The island of sea women *****

When I first began this book, I expected it to be like White chrysanthemum because both books focus on Haenyeo women of Jeju Island, South Korea, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. White Chrysanthemum lent towards comfort women while The island of sea women was about friendship among Haenyeo groups during the country’s turbulent times and the need to forgive.

Not only was the story a page turner, but the lives of these unique groups of women along Jeju’s coastline who support their families while the husbands stay home to care for their children was a fascinating background setting.

Katherine Marsh’s — Nowhere boy *****

Katherine Marsh’s — Nowhere boy *****

Thirteen year old Max is not one bit happy his parents have moved from Washington D.C. to spend a year working in Brussels. To make matters worse, Max has to repeat grade six in a French school. The boys in his class make fun of him and the only one who helps him with his French is Farah. But Max’s life takes a dramatic turn when he discovers a Syrian refugee hiding in their cellar. Will he tell his parents or will be inspired by a neighbour, Albert Jonnart who hid a Jewish child during the WW11?

A well crafted YA novel that examines the challengers facing refugees and the fear and prejudice in the countries they move to.

Lisa See’s — Dreams of Joy *****

Lisa See’s — Dreams of Joy *****

When Joy’s father commits suicide and she learns a secret Aunt May and her mother, Pearl have hidden from her all her life, she leaves Los Angeles and enters China. She hopes to forget her life back in America and find her birth father. Joy is elated by her father’s status and by village life under Mao. After Pearl reaches China in search of her daughter, she finds Joy dazzled by a poor country peasant and nothing she says can convince Joy of her ill fated match.

May and Pearl are characters from Shanghai Girls. Now the tale continues a generation later and is just as riveting.

Laura E. Weymouth’s — The light between worlds *****

Laura E. Weymouth’s — The light between worlds *****

While the Hapwell children, Phillippa, Jamie and Evelyn wait for their parents to dash into their London bomb shelter, they are mysteriously whisked away to another world — The Woodlands. But after five years with the Woodland creatures Phillippa and Jamie are desperate to return to their world. The readjustment to their original ages when they are transported home is hard on the three of them. For Evelyn who hardly remembers her previous life, it is the most difficult. Will she be able to cope back in England when she cannot breathe a word of her life in the Woodlands?