Category: On Books

Isabel Allende’s — Island beneath the sea *****

Isabel Allende’s — Island beneath the sea *****

On Valmorain’s arrival from France, he finds he is responsible for the sugar cane plantation on the island of Saint-Domingue after his father’s death. He purchases nine year old Tété who soon learns to manage his house. In her teenage years, he rapes her and uses her as his concubine. When he removes their first born child, Tété’s life couldn’t be worse. With a slave rebellion in site, Tété’s moves Valmorain’s son from his first wife to New Orleans.

This historical fiction set in Haiti during the slave trading era held a mixture of points of view: from plantation owners to the slaves who practised voodoo and tried to maintain their African roots.

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Linda Holeman’s — The moonlit cage *****

Linda Holeman’s — The moonlit cage *****

Darya grows up in an Afghan village in the 1850s under an overbearing father. After he brings home a second wife, he has a son he’s always wanted. But the second wife is not what she seems. She eventually leaves, but before she does, she curses Darya so no one will marry her.

Darya is forced to marry Shaliq from a Ghilzai tribe whose cruel treatment makes her flea. This leads to a long and dangerous journey Darya could never have dreamed of.

Denise Chong’s — The concubine’s children *****

Denise Chong’s — The concubine’s children *****

This is a fascinating tale of Chan Sam, who left his wife in China to find gold in British Columbia. In Vancouver, he bought a concubine who worked in Chinatown to support both families.

This memoir gives a deep insight into the early lives of Chinese immigrants to Canada — the hard work they endured, the loneliness they faced, and the deep prejudice.

M. Wylie Blanchet’s — The curve of time *****

M. Wylie Blanchet’s — The curve of time *****

After being widowed in 1927, Blanchet took off with her children as skipper in her seven metre boat every summer to tour deserted inlets and abandoned First Nation villages. She cruised from her home on Vancouver Island along the Straight of Georgia between the Gulf Islands braving storms and engine breakdowns single handed.

This is a wonderful memoir that made me feel I was on an extended holiday to these isolated and pristine locations.

Belinda Bauer’s — Black Lands *****

Belinda Bauer’s — Black Lands *****

When Billy disappears and Avery admits to killing six other children, everyone assumes he also killed Billy. His mother, standing by the window overlooking the Moors, is the only one convinced he’s still alive.

Meanwhile, her grandson, Steven searches with his friend, Lewis over the Moors looking for a possible grave, but all he finds is the bones of a sheep. What strategy can he use next to discover Billy’s whereabouts so his grandmother can find closure?

Camilla Gibb’s — Sweetness in the belly *****

Camilla Gibb’s — Sweetness in the belly *****

After Lily’s English parents are killed in an alleyway in Morocco, she is brought up by the Great Abdal so that Lily has no affiliation with England. She trains as a nurse and moves to Ethiopia where she lives with Amina while working with Doctor Aziz. Soon the pair form a bond but political upheaval separates them when Lily flees to England, a country she has never known. While Amina searches for her husband, Lily desperately searches for Aziz.

Ami MacKay’s — The Virgin Cure *****

Ami MacKay’s — The Virgin Cure *****

When Moth escapes the cruel servitude of Mrs Wentworth, she ends up in a brothel where the madam sees her as an innocent prize. Although she is warned of the dangers, she is anxious to escape from the hard life she has endured.

I couldn’t help see a parallel between this book and the belief in some countries that a virgin will cure someone of AIDs.

If you enjoy this book, don’t miss MacKay’s The Birth House which is equally as good.