In My Hands Today…

The Abyssinian Proof – Jenny White

1036389The Ottoman Empire is plagued by thefts of antiquities from mosques and churches that, within days, appear for sale in Europe. Among them is a reliquary, presumed lost for four hundred years and around which an elaborate and mysterious sect has grown.

In Istanbul, magistrate Kamil Pasha is under pressure to break the smuggling ring amid rising tensions between Christians and Muslims. He confronts a mysterious adversary who will stop at nothing to get the reliquary first. With the Balkans aflame and Kamil’s personal life in upheaval, the search into the old neighbourhoods where Istanbul’s crime rings reside may cost Kamil not only his position but also his life.

Weekend Quotes #137

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I love this quote – it’s everything why you should read!

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I know! The lands I have visited and the places I have seen ….all through the eyes of an author….

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Yup! Literally everywhere!

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How can cleaning, actually make that any other activity compare with reading?

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Before all the smart devices came into the picture, guess which smart device helped us become more creative and well, smart?

Fasting, Feasting – Anita Desai

271734A wonderful novel in two parts, moving from the heart of a close-knit Indian household, with its restrictions and prejuices, its noisy warmth and sensual appreciation of food, to the cool centre of an American family, with its freedom and strangely self-denying attitudes to eating. In both it is ultimately the women who suffer, whether, paradoxically, from a surfeit of feasting and family life in India, or from self-denial and starvation in the US. or both.

Uma, the plain, older daughter still lives at home, frustrated in her attempts to escape and make a life for herself. Her Indian family is difficult, demanding but mostly, good hearted. Despite her disappointments, Uma comes through as the survivor, avoiding an unfulfilling marriage, like her sister’s or a suicidal one, like that arranged for her pretty cousin.

And in America, where young Arun goes as a student, men in the suburbs char hunks of bleeding meat while the women don’t appear to cook or eat at all – seems bewildering and terrifying to the young Indian adolescent far from home.

In My Hands Today…

A House for Mr Biswas – V.S. Naipaul

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Mohun Biswas has spent his 46 years of life striving for independence. Shuttled from one residence to another after the drowning of his father, he yearns for a place he can call home. He marries into the Tulsi family, on whom he becomes dependent, but rebels and takes on a succession of occupations in a struggle to weaken their hold over him.”

In My Hands Today…

Monsoon Memories – Renita D’Silva

17694603Exiled from her family in India for more than a decade, Shirin and her husband lead a comfortable but empty life in London.

Memories of her childhood – exotic fragrances, colours, stifling heat and tropical storms – fill Shirin with a familiar and growing ache for the land and the people that she loves.

With the recollections, though, come dark clouds of scandal and secrets. Secrets that forced her to flee her old life and keep her from ever returning.

Thousands of miles away, in Bangalore, the daughter of Shirin’s brother discovers a lost, forgotten photograph. One that has escaped the flames.

Determined to solve the mystery of an aunt she never knew, Reena’s efforts will set in place a chain of events that expose the painful trauma of the past and irrevocably change the path of the future.

In My Hands Today…

The Last Lesson of Mrs de Souza – Cyril Wong

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One last time and on her birthday, Rose de Souza is returning to school to give a final lesson to her classroom of secondary school boys before retiring from her long teaching career.

What ensues is an unexpected confession in which she recounts the tragic and traumatic story of Amir, a student from her past who overturned the way she saw herself as a teacher, and changed her life forever.