When Hassanali heads to his Kenyan mosque one morning, he encounters an Englishman who collapses at his feet. Hassanali takes care of him until he can pass the Englishman on to the colonial officer. After his recovery, he visits Hassanali’s house to thank him where he encounters the man’s sister, Rehana. The Englishman immediately falls in love with the beautiful woman and begins a taboo love affair.
Several years after Wang Lung marries O-lan, they begin to prosper from their hard work. But a lazy uncle soon wants to take advantage of Wang Lung’s success. At the same time, mismanagement within the emperor’s court leads to its decline.
This Pulitzer prize winning novel may have been written sixty years ago, but it is still captivating in its portrayal of the upheaval that took place in China at the beginning of the 1800s, seen through the eyes of this farming family.
While Leiyin observes her own funeral, she is confused as to why she cannot enter into the afterlife. Her two other souls join her on a journey back in time to solve her dilemma. In spite of her unwanted marriage and domineering father, it is her own actions that she must make amends for before she can enter the afterlife.
Kate has three brothers, but it is her elder brother she adores. His passion for nature inspires her to become a biologist. But after a tragic car accident, the children are separated, but when she tries to reconnect with her brother she is overcome by the loss of the brother she once knew.
While Natalia works in a Balkan orphanage, her mind is drawn back to the recent death of her beloved grandfather. She cannot understand why he set off for an unknown place when, as a doctor also, he must have known he would die. Natalia reflects over the stories her grandfather told her as a child until she discovers a connection that leads her to a greater understanding of him.
After Emma, a talented ballerina, damages her knee and her career is ruined, she leaves London and returns to Australia where she learns of her grandmother Beattie’s death and her inheritance — Wildflower Hill. Emma heads to the property that was once a prosperous sheep station, where she discovers her grandmother’s possessions packed away in boxes. As she sorts through each box, she uncovers the mystery of her grandmother’s past and a new beginning for herself.
In the 17thcentury, when a young girl from a Persian village loses her father, she and her mother journey to Isfahan. A distant relative, Gordiyeh invites them to their magnificent house where they are treaded like servants. While the mother strives for some financial independence selling herbal remedies, her daughter tries to learn all she can about rug making from Gordiyeh. But once they are abandoned and no longer under Gordiyeh’s protection, they have to learn to survive alone.