In My Hands Today…

The Graphologist’s Apprentice – Whiti Hereaka

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When January’s obsession with a married man begins to jeopardise her emotional stability, she decides to risk it all and respond to a mysterious card with the words Tell me a secret? Not content with her home life or workplace, January takes comfort in reading romance novels but is suddenly brought back to reality when she meets the secret keeper, Mae, a graphologist. The Graphologists Apprentice is a story about friendship and love and how both can be found in unexpected places.

In My Hands Today…

The Red Kimono: A Novel – Jan Morrill

17074998In 1941, racial tensions are rising in the California community where nine-year-old Sachiko Kimura and her seventeen-year-old brother, Nobu, live. Japan has attacked Pearl Harbor, people are angry, and one night, Sachiko and Nobu witness three teenage boys taunting and beating their father in the park. Sachiko especially remembers Terrence Harris, the boy with dark skin and hazel eyes, and Nobu cannot believe the boys capable of such violence toward his father are actually his friends.

What Sachiko and Nobu do not know is that Terrence’s family had received a telegram that morning with news that Terrence’s father was killed at Pearl Harbor. Desperate to escape his pain, Terrence rushes from his home and runs into two high-school friends who convince him to find a Japanese man and get revenge. They do not know the man they attacked is Sachiko and Nobu’s father.

In the months that follow, Terrence is convicted of his crime and Sachiko and Nobu are sent to an internment camp in Arkansas, a fictionalised version of the two camps that actually existed in Arkansas during the war. While behind bars and barbed wire, each of the three young people will go through dramatic changes. One will learn acceptance. One will remain imprisoned by resentment, and one will seek a path to forgiveness.

In My Hands Today…

My Lost Cuba – Celso Gonzalez-Falla

18086453Dramatic history, lush scenery, and a colorful cast transport us to the time of Cuba’s turning point – the late 1950s Set against the tropical landscape of Cuba’s countryside and the glamour of 1950s Havana, this moving story of Cuban life at a pivotal time in the country’s rich history will resonate with anyone who has experienced the loss of family or homeland.

It is 1958, the last year of Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship. Mike, the son of Don Miguel, a wealthy land owner and rancher, is summoned home from his MBA studies in the United States because of his father’s failing health. Still recovering from the loss of his wife, Mike’s return is an immediate tonic for Don Miguel. Caught between his family obligations and his desire to pursue his own dreams, Mike quickly finds himself succumbing to his father’s desire for him to take over the responsibilities of running the family ranch.

As Mike settles back into the life he was groomed for, Don Miguel, reinvigorated, spends more and more time socialising in Havana. Changes are happening everywhere. The government is encroaching on civil liberties and social and political upheaval is in the air. There are rumblings about Castro’s guerillas organising in the mountains. On the ranch, long-time employees of Don Miguel resent the changes that Mike is making, setting the stage for a confrontation that changes the lives of everyone involved.

In My Hands Today…

City of Veils – Zoë Ferraris

7168509The body of a young woman is discovered on the grimy sands of Jeddah beach; soon afterwards, a strong-minded American woman finds herself alone and afraid in the most repressive city on earth when her husband suddenly disappears.

Investigating police officer Osama Ibrahim, forensic scientist Katya Hijazi and her friend, the strictly devout Bedouin guide Nayir Sharqi join forces to search out the truth in the scorching city streets and the vast, lethal emptiness of the desert beyond.

Breathtakingly fast-paced, sure-footed and thrilling, this novel paints in dazzling colours a city of veils in which more is hidden than is revealed, and nothing is what it seems.

In My Hands Today…

Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure – Sarah Macdonald

3858In her twenties, journalist Sarah Macdonald backpacked around India and came away with a lasting impression of heat, pollution and poverty. So when an airport beggar read her palm and told her she would return to India—and for love—she screamed, “Never!” and gave the country, and him, the finger.

But eleven years later, the prophecy comes true. When the love of Sarah’s life is posted to India, she quits her dream job to move to the most polluted city on earth, New Delhi. For Sarah this seems like the ultimate sacrifice for love, and it almost kills her, literally. Just settled, she falls dangerously ill with double pneumonia, an experience that compels her to face some serious questions about her own fragile mortality and inner spiritual void. “I must find peace in the only place possible in India,” she concludes. “Within.” Thus begins her journey of discovery through India in search of the meaning of life and death.

Holy Cow is Macdonald’s often hilarious chronicle of her adventures in a land of chaos and contradiction, of encounters with Hinduism, Islam and Jainism, Sufis, Sikhs, Parsis and Christians and a kaleidoscope of yogis, swamis and Bollywood stars. From spiritual retreats and crumbling nirvanas to war zones and New Delhi nightclubs, it is a journey that only a woman on a mission to save her soul, her love life—and her sanity—can survive.