In My Hands Today…

The Secret Children – Alison McQueen

12849374Assam, 1925. James MacDonald is a son of the empire who has no yearning for England. Running a tea plantation, he loves India and is reluctant to choose a British bride from the eager crowds sent over. But when he takes a beautiful young Indian woman as his courtesan, he can little imagine what he has begun.

So starts the story of Mary and Serafina. Born of two worlds, accepted by neither. Growing up beloved but hidden away, their childhood is one of contradiction. It is only as the shadow of war falls and the turmoil of Indian partition begins, that the girls must face the truth about their parents and begin the search for somewhere to belong.

It will be a journey full of forbidden questions, hidden answers, heartbreak and determination. As Serafina and Mary grow into women, they must risk everything and make choices with a legacy that will last a lifetime, and beyond.

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In My Hands Today…

The Prisoner of Paradise – Romesh Gunesekera

11558129When Lucy arrives in Mauritius she is unprepared for the disquieting attractions of Don Lambodar, a young translator from Ceylon. Under the surface there is growing unease, it is 1825: Britain has wrested power from France and is shipping convict labour across the oceans. The age of slavery is coming to its messy end

In My Hands Today…

The Hungry Ghosts – Shyam Selvadurai

12846205The novel centres around Shivan Rassiah, the beloved grandson, who is of mixed Tamil and Sinhalese lineage, and who also—to his grandmother’s dismay—grows from beautiful boy to a striking gay man.

As the novel opens in the present day, Shivan, now living in Canada, is preparing to travel back to Colombo, Sri Lanka, to rescue his elderly and ailing grandmother, to remove her from the home—now fallen into disrepair—that is her pride, and bring her to Toronto to live our her final days. But throughout the night and into the early morning hours of his departure, Shivan grapples with his own insatiable hunger and is haunted by unrelenting ghosts of his own creation.

In My Hands Today…

The Favorites – Mary Yukari Waters

6186163Fourteen-year-old Sarah Rexford, half-Japanese and half- American, feels like an outsider when she visits her family in Japan. She quickly learns that in traditional Kyoto, personal boundaries are firmly drawn and actions are not always what they appear.

In the midst of her acculturation, Sarah learns of a family secret. During World War II, her grandmother was forced to give up one of her daughters for adoption. The child was adopted by the grandmother’s sister-in-law, and the siblings were brought up as cousins, growing up on the same lane where both the biological and adoptive mother lived. Even into the present, the arrangement is never discussed. But as Sarah learns, its presence looms over the two houses. In this carefully articulated world, where every gesture and look has meaning, Sarah must learn the rules by which her mother, aunts, and grandmother live.

In My Hands Today…

Everything Was Goodbye – Gurjinder Basran

15812220The youngest of six daughters raised by a widowed mother, Meena is a young woman struggling to find her place in the world. Originally from India, her family still holds on to many old-world customs and traditions that seem stifling to a young North American woman. She knows that the freedom experienced by others is beyond her reach. But unlike her older sisters, Meena refuses to accept a life dictated by tradition. Against her mother’s wishes, she falls for a young man named Liam who asks her to run away with him. Meena must then make a painful choice—one that will lead to stunning and irrevocable consequences.

Heartbreaking and beautiful, Everything Was Good-bye is an unforgettable story about family, love, and loss, and the struggle to live in two different cultural worlds.

In My Hands Today…

School for Scumbags – Danny King

3000874Habitual teenage delinquent Wayne Banstead is expelled from yet another school for sticking up the tuck shop and finds himself hauled off to Gafin School for Misdirected Boys: a ‘special school’ for ‘special children’. It plays host to the worst of the worst, the cream of teenage offending – thieves, bullies, arsonists, and flashers. The teachers should have their work cut out, but things aren’t quite what they seem at Gafin School. Far from rehabilitating the boys, the teachers seem intent on instructing them in how to get away with things. The pros, the cons, and the downfalls are all set out like an algebra equation. Even the school motto is a bit dodgy: Heliarnos Eto Umminass, or Help Yourselves Boys.

With careful tutoring, Wayne Banstead and his classmates are about to take a step up into the big leagues. But in the big leagues, the big boys play for keeps. With scores of dead arms, a playground’s worth of ‘F’ words and a slam-bam robbery at its heart, this tale is definitely not for kids.