In the deep south, twins, Desiree and Stella grow up in a small country town obsessed with whiteness. They could pass for white, but their family has a long black history connected to the foundation of the settlement. When the twins witness the brutal murder of their father at the hands of a mob of white men who storm their house, Stella has nightmares. This memory haunts her so that in their teenage years, the twins run away to New Orleans. In the room they share over the next couple of years, Desiree finds a note — Stella has packed and left. Where has she gone? And what will Desiree do once she realizes that the man she marries several years later is becoming more violent?
Angie Kim — Miracle Creek*****
The Yoo’s business is burnt down — Miracle Submarine that offered oxygen therapy to autistic children. The night of the fire, Elizabeth set her son, Henry under the oxygen helmet that later burst into flames. It’s the first time she never sits in the chamber with Henry during the treatment. Instead, she lazes under a tree with a bottle of wine not far away. When she’s arrested for murder of her son and her friend Kitt whom she’d argued with, everyone is convinced she’s guilty. A Camel cigarette resulted in the fire and there are people who were there that night hiding that they smoke that brand. Young Yoo discovers her husband’s lies and grows suspicious. Janine uncovers lies her husband, Matt told her in connection with the Yoo’s daughter, Mary, and he in turn finds out she’s lied to him.
Was Elizabeth at breaking point from looking after an autistic son? Did the Paks set fire to their own business to claim the insurance money? Or was it one of the protestors demonstrating that the business be shut down? This gripping novel takes place mainly in a court room where the facts and lies are exposed and the real culprit is anyone’s guess.
Carroll’s well written memoir begins when she is a child given up for adoption by her white mother to a white family in New Hampshire where she is the only black child. Her childhood is carefree until she not only grows aware of the underlining prejudice of both teenage boys and their parents but reconnects with her controlling birth mother. Carroll’s journey is one of discovering her identity through perseverance and overcoming racist obstacles in her path.
Mahindan’s life in Sri Lanka where he was a mechanic was at the mercy of both the Lankan government and the Tigers before he escapes by boat to Canada. Grace, a hard line adjudicator has a tough stance on those who don’t arrive through the proper channels. And Priya, a lawyer is dragged into working with the refugees when she wants to specialize in corporate law. What will happen to the refugees who are turned back? How will the Canadian officials’ characters change after working with the Tamil boat people for months?
This 2018 Canada Reads contented book is the best book on the crisis in Lanka (that still continues today for anyone not Buddhist) and what Tamils endure to stay alive.