Category: Canadian 5 out of 5s

Anosh Irani’s — The parcel *****

Anosh Irani’s — The parcel *****

This is the story of how Madhu, a hijra, survives in Mumbai’s notorious red-light district. Madhu is too old for prostitution, so begs on the street until called for a special job when the parcel arrives. Continue reading “Anosh Irani’s — The parcel *****”

Jen Sookfong Lee’s — The conjoined *****

Jen Sookfong Lee’s — The conjoined *****

After Jessica’s mother dies, she discovers two dead girls in her mother’s basement freezer. Jessica cannot believe her mother is responsible because of the number of children she had helped foster over the years.

I liked how this tale, Lee’s best to date, leaves you pondering. This cleverly woven tale cannot help but impress on the reader the problem with the system. This is not the only profession where the most capable people are constantly given the most challenging to deal with.

Rohinton Mistry’s — Family matters *****

Rohinton Mistry’s — Family matters *****

Nariman, the aging patriarch of a Parsi family, is shuffled from one family household to another as his ability to care for himself deteriorates. Mistry takes us on a journey through the lives of this Bombay family that is both sad and often funny.

In his classic style, this is probably my favourite of his novels to date, though not the only one I’ve enjoyed.

Shyam Selvadurai’s — Funny boy *****

Shyam Selvadurai’s — Funny boy *****

Arjie is a young Tamil boy unsure of his identity in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. When racial riots break out in 1983 with the burning and killing of Tamils and their property, Arjie’s life is in danger.

Although this was Selvadrai’s debut novel, its tale has stayed with me more than any other of his more recent novels. To me it’s still his finest work.

New Beginnings edited by Erik D’Souza

New Beginnings edited by Erik D’Souza

This is a collection of short stories written by British Columbian writers. Because Canada has a diverse population, there are tales from Africa, Asia and Europe as well as local stories. The collection contains both fiction and non-fiction and I was proud to include two of my own short stories both set in Tanzania.

Emma Donoghue’s — The wonder *****

Emma Donoghue’s — The wonder *****

Lib, an English nurse, arrives in an Irish village in the 1850s to keep watch over Anna so as to confirm that she doesn’t eat. The child’s fast is driving the faithful on pilgrimages to her house and Lib is suspicious.

This is not only a book about the politics of religion, but blind faith and Lib is determined to get to the bottom of why Anna fasts.

How did this author keep me engrossed in her tale when most of the story is set in Anna O’Donnell’s bedroom? It’s no wonder, this book is beautifully written as well as an intriguing tale.

Yann Martel’s — Life of Pi *****

Yann Martel’s — Life of Pi *****

A Man Booker prize winner, this novel traces Pi Patel’s journey from Pondicherry by sea. His father has brought the animals from the zoo they once owned in the coastal city, but not long into the journey, the boat sinks and Pi and a few of the animals are the only survivors.

While the movie of this book was beautifully filmed with a well chosen cast, it failed to capture the philosophical essence that made the book a memorable read.