Tag: Book review

Indu Sundaresan’s — Twentieth wife

Indu Sundaresan’s — Twentieth wife

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.

Lisa See’s — The island of sea women *****

Lisa See’s — The island of sea women *****

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.

Katherine Marsh’s — Nowhere boy *****

Katherine Marsh’s — Nowhere boy *****

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.

Lisa See’s — Dreams of Joy *****

Lisa See’s — Dreams of Joy *****

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.

Laura E. Weymouth’s — The light between worlds *****

Laura E. Weymouth’s — The light between worlds *****

While the Hapwell children, Phillippa, Jamie and Evelyn wait for their parents to dash into their London bomb shelter, they are mysteriously whisked away to another world — The Woodlands. But after five years with the Woodland creatures Phillippa and Jamie are desperate to return to their world. The readjustment to their original ages when they are transported home is hard on the three of them. For Evelyn who hardly remembers her previous life, it is the most difficult. Will she be able to cope back in England when she cannot breathe a word of her life in the Woodlands?

Cherie Dimaline’s — The marrow thieves *****

Cherie Dimaline’s — The marrow thieves *****

With the world nearly at an end from global warming, First Nation people are hunted for their bone marrow. When the Recruiters discover Mitch and Frenchie’s hideout, Mitch sacrifices himself to allow his younger brother to flee. Fenchie escapes and heads into Northern Canada until he is found by a group of First Nation escapees trying to avoid capture and certain death. But can they avoid the new schools that remind the elders of residential schools where they will be slaughtered for their bone marrow?

Janie Chang’s — Dragon Springs Road *****

Janie Chang’s — Dragon Springs Road *****

When the Fong’s estate near Shanghai is sold and the Yangs arrive, Jialing’s mother disappears and Jialing becomes a bond servant to the new family. Through her friendship with the spirit fox and Anjuin, the Yangs oldest daughter, she survives. A group of teachers rent a section of the estate and Jialing is given an opportunity to go to school. But even with her education and perfect English no one will employ her because she is zazhong— half Chinese, half Eurasian. How will she survive once the Yangs move to Shanghai leaving her behind?