Tilly, living in the 19thcentury and Nina, living in the 21stcentury are both connected to Nell Holt. After the death of her grandfather and a disasterous short marriage, Tilly takes the first available boat out of England to Australia. She is employed as a governess to Nell on Amber Island — a Moreton Bay island where prisoners are jailed. But Nell keeps memories of her haunting past close to her chest until an error of judgement forces her to expose her past.
Nina’s great-grandmother was Nell. She’s a successful author struggling with her forth novel. She holds a secret that’s about to be exposed by a scathing journalist.
Can both women survive their past?
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?
When Mala Ramchandin, suspected of murder, arrives on a stretcher at Paradise’s alms house, the only male nurse, Tyler, is given his first assignment. With Mala’s slow recovery, Tyler learns about her extraordinary life on the Caribbean island.
After a regime change in 14thcentury Persia, Ghia, along with his wife and children flee to Qandahar. There he meets a merchant heading to India. When they arrive, the merchant introduces Ghia to Emperor Akbar who soon employs him. Ghia believes his good fortune is due to his youngest daughter, Mehunnisa. At age eight, she first glimpses at Akbar’s son, Prince Salim at his wedding when her ambitions stir.
When I first began this book, I expected it to be like White chrysanthemum because both books focus on Haenyeo women of Jeju Island, South Korea, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. White Chrysanthemum lent towards comfort women while The island of sea women was about friendship among Haenyeo groups during the country’s turbulent times and the need to forgive.
Not only was the story a page turner, but the lives of these unique groups of women along Jeju’s coastline who support their families while the husbands stay home to care for their children was a fascinating background setting.
Thirteen year old Max is not one bit happy his parents have moved from Washington D.C. to spend a year working in Brussels. To make matters worse, Max has to repeat grade six in a French school. The boys in his class make fun of him and the only one who helps him with his French is Farah. But Max’s life takes a dramatic turn when he discovers a Syrian refugee hiding in their cellar. Will he tell his parents or will be inspired by a neighbour, Albert Jonnart who hid a Jewish child during the WW11?
A well crafted YA novel that examines the challengers facing refugees and the fear and prejudice in the countries they move to.
When Joy’s father commits suicide and she learns a secret Aunt May and her mother, Pearl have hidden from her all her life, she leaves Los Angeles and enters China. She hopes to forget her life back in America and find her birth father. Joy is elated by her father’s status and by village life under Mao. After Pearl reaches China in search of her daughter, she finds Joy dazzled by a poor country peasant and nothing she says can convince Joy of her ill fated match.
May and Pearl are characters from Shanghai Girls. Now the tale continues a generation later and is just as riveting.