Category: Other Asian 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 *****”

Yangsze Choo’s — The night tiger *****

Yangsze Choo’s — The night tiger *****

At Ji Lin’s part time job as a dance hall girl in Ipoh, she stumbles upon a preserved finger left by one of her dance partners. With the finger in her possession, frightening events happen. The previous finger owner dies and strange dreams of a boy, Yi recur. With the help of her stepbrother, Shin, Ji Lin tries to get rid of the finger. At the same time, Ren, a Malayan houseboy is searching for the finger because he believes he must bury his previous boss’s digit with the rest of his body. Another death occurs that locals believe is caused by a weretiger and when Ji Lin and Shin tidy Batu Gajah hospital’s storeroom, they discover other preserved fingers are missing. What is it about the increasing number of deaths in the district, the fingers, Ji Lin’s contact with Yi through her dreams and the houseboy, Ren that connects them in this mysterious and sometimes dream like world?

Lisa See’s — China dolls

Lisa See’s — China dolls

In the 1930s Grace escapes from her abusive father to follow her dream of becoming a star in San Francisco. She meets Helen, and drags her to an audition where they encounter Ruby. The three become fast friends, but all are hiding secrets from their past and are jealous when one becomes more successful than the other. Truths cannot be hidden forever, especially once U.S.A. becomes involved in WW11. Will they remain friends through their triumphs and tragedies?

Yoko Ogawa’s — Hotel Iris

Yoko Ogawa’s — Hotel Iris

Mari quits school after her father’s death to help her demanding mother run the Hotel Iris. Behind the reception desk she witnesses a prostitute scream abuse and storm out of the hotel, then hears the voice of the man from the hotel room and is intrigued. She spots him in the street one day and follows.

There are rumours about this man — that he killed his wife, but Mari can’t quell her attraction. Will she be safe with a man so much older than her? Will the rumours prove true? Or will something darker occur?

Read the Guardian’s review on the book cover — this is absolutely true of this macabre tale that I couldn’t put down.

Tan Than Eng’s — The garden of evening mist *****

Tan Than Eng’s — The garden of evening mist *****

Yun Ling is the only survivor from a hidden Japanese prison camp in Malaya’s highlands during the second world war. Trying to swallow her hatred of the Japanese, she becomes an apprentice to the skilled Aritomo to learn the techniques of creating a Japanese garden she wishes to dedicate to the sister she lost in the prison camp. But there are secrets she wants to uncover — where was the prison camp she was locked up in for over three years? Where are her sister’s bones? Why has Aritomo never returned to Japan?

This is an insight into Malay before independence and its struggles to overcome WWII and the internal fighting after the war as well as principles in designing a Japanese garden.

Jeff Talarigo’s — Pearl Diver

Jeff Talarigo’s — Pearl Diver

In the late 1940s the youngest pearl diver works on Shodo Island. But four years after diving off the waters of Japan, she’s rejected by her family and society when she contracts leprosy. Sent to a leper colony on Nagashina Island, her disease doesn’t spread once a new medicine is discovered, but can she regain her freedom to live a normal life again?

Roma Tearne’s — Mosquito

Roma Tearne’s — Mosquito

When Theo returns to Sri Lanka from London to write his novel he is distracted by Nulani who draws him out of his beach side home. After Mrs Mendis reminds him of earlier racial riots when her husband was drenched in petrol and set alight, Theo cannot shut out the rising racial tension outside his door, nor his love for Nulani.

Can their love survive when Theo’s Sinhalese ethnic group is rioting against Nulani’s Tamil minority?