How We Disappeared is set during the Japanese invasion of Singapore in 1942. When Japanese troops storm through the small village, only a few survivors remain, including a small child. In a nearby village, a seventeen year old named Wang Di is bundled into the back of a troop carrier and taken to a Japanese… Continue reading How We Disappeared
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne follows the story of Cyril Avery, born out of wedlock to a young Irish girl who is cast out of her rural Catholic community. Adopted by an eccentric pair of rather unloving parents, Cyril is adrift and finds fascination (and infatuation) in his charming and dangerous school friend, Julian Woodbead.
Ava leaves Ireland aged 22. She takes a low paid teaching job in Hong Kong and becomes friends with an emotionally unavailable man named Julian, a wealthy banker spends lots of money on her and allows her to live in his spare room while he's away on business. Ava soon meets Edith, a more emotionally intelligent new friend who takes an interest in her life. Thoughts on money, love, family, home and relationships circle around in Ava’s mind, as she navigates the “exciting times” of being a 20-something living abroad.
Set in St Constance, a small Caribbean village on the island of Black Conch, this novella follows the story of a fisherman called David who one day unwittingly lures a creature he doesn’t expect towards his fishing boat - a beautiful woman named Aycayia who was cursed to live as a mermaid under the Caribbean Sea for centuries. On hearing David's songs, she is captivated. But it's not long before her captivation leads to her capture.
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi, begins with the story of Effia and Esi, two half sisters born in different villages in the eighteenth century Ghana. Effia is forced to marry a rich Englishman, while the sister she never knew is sold into the slave trade and boards a one-way ship to America. The novel spans centuries,… Continue reading Review: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
While taking a wintery walk on Hampstead Heath in 1980, Elise Morceau meets the bold, successful writer, Constance (Connie) Holden. Falling in love fast, Elise soon becomes infatuated with this enigmatic, brilliant older woman. She is so drawn to Connie that she follows her to LA, where Connie’s first novel is being made into a major motion picture. But as time goes by, Elise feels increasingly lost and out of her depth. In a catalytic moment of spontaneity, Elise makes a choice that will upend her life as she knew it. Fast forward thirty or so years, Rose Simmons is searching for the mother she doesn’t remember. Raised by her father, Rose’s mother left many years ago without a trace. Now, dissatisfied with so much of her life and relationships, Rose wants to track down her allusive mother. The search takes her to Constance Holden, the last person to see her mother before she disappeared.
And just like that, September has come to an end! I’ve really enjoyed the last four weeks, trying to eke out as much of the summer as possible before the inevitably grey days of October set in. My trip up to the Northumberland coast gave me a chance to switch off and slowly read through… Continue reading Everything I read in September
Dominicana by Angie Cruz tells the story of fifteen year old Ana Canción, a young girl who lives with her family in the Dominican Republic in the mid 1960s. When Juan Ruiz, a man twice her age, proposes and offers to take her with him to New York, Ana’s mother insists she must say yes. Juan is the Canción family’s golden ticket to America. Miserably stranded in a dank New York apartment, Ana conspires to leave. That is, until Juan’s younger brother, Cesar, convinces her there are reasons to stay.