Category: Other 5 out of 5s

Lily King’s — Euphoria *****

Lily King’s — Euphoria *****

In the 1930s, Nell is an anthropologist with a grant to study a New Guinea tribe. When Nell and her Australian husband, Fen and another anthropologist, Andrew find the group they want to study, Fen changes. He’s jealous that his wife has received the grant and he begins to break all the rules amongst the tribe. Nell grows wary of his behaviour, but not careful enough for what lies ahead.

Not only a great tale, but an interesting setting. In 2014 this book was nominated as one of the ten best books by the New York Times.

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Joanne Harris’ — Five quarters of an orange

Joanne Harris’ — Five quarters of an orange

On a farm on the outskirts of a small French village, Framboise, the youngest of three children, survives with her mother by selling their produce on market day. Their father has already been killed in battle, and the Germans occupy the country. While her mother may be a great cook, she has an acid tongue when her eyes rest on Framboise.

What follows after a German soldier witnesses Framboise stealing an orange that turns the entire community against the family?

Kate Quinn’s — The Alice Network *****

Kate Quinn’s — The Alice Network *****

In 1947 when Charlotte’s mother escorts her across to Europe for a discrete abortion in Switzerland, Charlotte escapes on a train to London. She clutches an address in the hope of locating her childhood friend, cousin Rose, who disappeared towards the end of WW11 in France. But behind the door of the address she grips is a broken drunk of a woman and an ex con. Can they help her find her beloved cousin?

This is an exciting read made more fascinating by the author’s use of a number of real characters, women who acted as spies during WW1. As well, she wove real events into this well written fiction.

Abdulrazak Gurnah’s — Desertion *****

Abdulrazak Gurnah’s — Desertion *****

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.

Another five out of five

Pearl S. Buck’s — Good earth *****

Pearl S. Buck’s — Good earth *****

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.

Anita Amirrezvani’s — The blood of flowers *****

Anita Amirrezvani’s — The blood of flowers *****

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.

Daphne Kalotay’s — Russian winter *****

Daphne Kalotay’s — Russian winter *****

When Nina was a Russian ballerina, she manages to escape Stalin’s dangerous regime after her artistic friends become victims. In Boston, she buries her past until she decides to sell her jewellery collection. But when an associate from the auction house and a professor of Russian delve into the unique jewellery, they unravel a mystery that changes all their lives.