Child of Dandelions – Shenaaz Nanji
A breathtaking account of one girl’s determination to triumph over a devastating historical event. In Uganda in 1972, President Idi Amin, also known as the Last King of Scotland, announces that foreign Indians must be “weeded” out of Uganda in ninety days. Fifteen-year-old Sabine’s life is changed forever. The president’s message, broadcast on the radio every day, becomes Sabine’s “countdown monster,” and it follows her through days of terror. Sabine’s father is convinced that, as Ugandan citizens, their family will be unaffected, but her mother insists it’s too dangerous to stay. When her beloved uncle disappears and her best friend abandons her, Sabine begins to understand her mother’s fears. She becomes desperate to leave, but Bapa, her grandfather, refuses to accompany her. How can she leave him, and where will her family go to begin a new life?
The Virgin’s Knot – Holly Lynn Payne
She is called Nurdane, the famed weaver of Mavisu. From her remote mountain village in southwestern Turkey, she creates dowries for young brides: dazzling rugs that are marvels of shape and colour, texture and light. Her unique rugs possess remarkable healing qualities that have inspired a local legend, but it is her hands that are at the heart of her mystery. An artist’s hands. A virgin’s hands. An extraordinary series of events drives Nurdane to question the limitations of her faith and culture as she is caught between the cost of remaining pure in body and spirit…or risking everything for the chance to live a loving life.
Coolie – Mulk Raj Anand
Coolie portrays the picaresque adventures of Munoo, a young boy forced to leave his hill village to fend for himself and discover the world. His journey takes him far from home to towns and cities, to Bombay and Simla, sweating as servant, factory-worker and rickshaw driver. It is a fight for survival that illuminates, with raw immediacy, the grim fate of the masses in pre-Partition India.
The Exile of Sara Stevenson – Darci Hannah
In 1814, Sara Stevenson, the well-bred but high-spirited daughter of celebrated Scottish lighthouse designer Robert Stevenson, falls in love with a common sailor, Thomas Crichton.
On the day of their clandestine elopement, Thomas mysteriously disappears, leaving Sara heartbroken, secretly pregnant, and at the mercy of her overbearing family. Refusing to relinquish her hopes that Thomas will someday return to her, Sara is banished to an eerie lighthouse on lonely and remote Cape Wrath. There she meets William Campbell, the reclusive yet dashing light-keeper who incites her ire—and interest.
Soon Sara begins to accept her life on the cape and her growing attraction to William—until a mystifying package from an Oxford antiquarian arrives, giving intriguing clues to Thomas’s whereabouts. Through her correspondence with the antiquarian, Sara slowly uncovers the story of her beloved’s fate. But what she doesn’t immediately grasp is that these letters travel an even greater distance than she could have imagined—as the boundaries between time and space unravel to forge an incredible connection between a woman and a man many years apart.
The Calligrapher’s Daughter – Eugenia Kim
In early-twentieth-century Korea, Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, longs to choose her own destiny. Smart and headstrong, she is encouraged by her mother—but her stern father is determined to maintain tradition, especially as the Japanese steadily gain control of his beloved country. When he seeks to marry Najin into an aristocratic family, her mother defies generations of obedient wives and instead sends her to serve in the king’s court as a companion to a young princess. But the king is soon assassinated, and the centuries-old dynastic culture comes to its end.
In the shadow of the dying monarchy, Najin begins a journey through increasing oppression that will forever change her world. As she desperately seeks to continue her education, will the unexpected love she finds along the way be enough to sustain her through the violence and subjugation her country continues to face?
The Lotus Eaters – Tatjana Soli
On a stifling day in 1975, the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon. As the fall of the city begins, two lovers make their way through the streets to escape to a new life. Helen Adams, an American photojournalist, must take leave of a war she is addicted to and a devastated country she has come to love. Linh, the Vietnamese man who loves her, must grapple with his own conflicted loyalties of heart and homeland. As they race to leave, they play out a drama of devotion and betrayal that spins them back through twelve war-torn years, beginning in the splendor of Angkor Wat, with their mentor, larger-than-life war correspondent Sam Darrow, once Helen’s infuriating love and fiercest competitor, and Linh’s secret keeper, boss and truest friend.
The Concubine’s Tattoo – Laura Joh Rowland
Twenty months spent as the shogun’s sosakan-sama — most honourable investigator of events, situations, and people–has left Sano Ichiro weary. He looks forward to the comforts that his arranged marriage promises: a private life with a sweet, submissive wife and a month’s holiday to celebrate their union. However, the death of the shogun’s favourite concubine interrupts the couple’s wedding ceremony and shatters any hopes the samurai detective had about enjoying a little peace with his new wife.
After Sano traces the cause of Lady Harume’s death to a self-inflicted tattoo, he must travel into the cloistered, forbidden world of the shogun’s women to untangle the complicated web of Harume’s lovers, rivals, and troubled past, and identify her killer. To make matters worse, Reiko, his beautiful young bride, reveals herself to be not a traditional, obedient wife, but instead, a headstrong, intelligent, aspiring detective bent on helping Sano with his new case. Sano is horrified at her unladylike behaviour, and the resulting sparks make their budding love as exciting as they mystery surrounding Lady Harume’s death. Amid the heightened tensions and political machinations of feudal Japan, Sano faces a daunting complex investigation.