After Birth by Elisa Albert

Review Summary A year has passed since Ari gave birth to Walker, though it went so badly awry she has trouble calling it “birth” and still she can’t locate herself in her altered universe. Amid the strange, disjointed rhythms of her days and nights and another impending winter in upstate New York, Ari is a …

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Review Summary  In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying, but before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in a …

The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto

Summary [The Lake] tells the tale of a young woman who moves to Tokyo after the death of her mother, hoping to get over her grief and start a career as a graphic artist. She finds herself spending too much time staring out her window, though … until she realizes she’s gotten used to seeing …

The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw

Review Summary The Harmony Silk Factory traces the story of textile merchant Johnny Lim, a Chinese peasant living in British Malaya in the first half of the twentieth century. Johnny’s factory is the most impressive structure in the region, and to the inhabitants of the Kinta Valley Johnny is a hero—a Communist who fought the …

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

Review   Summary Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash …

Roving Pack by Sassafras Lowrey

Review   Summary Roving Pack is set in an underground world of homeless queer teens. The stories follow the daily life of Click, a straight-edge transgender kid searching for community, identity, and connection amidst chaos. As the stories unfold, we meet a pack of newly sober gender rebels creating art, families and drama in dilapidated punk …

ARC: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Review Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was sent to the library where I worked, and I took it home for review. This review was not requested by the publisher. Summary Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, …

A Different Sky by Meira Chand

Review   Summary Singapore, 1927. Three young people are starting to question whether this in between island can ever truly be their home. Mei Lan comes from a famous Chinese dynasty but yearns to free herself from its stifling traditions. Ten year old old Howard seethes at the indignities heaped on his fellow Eurasians by …

In the Language of Miracles by Rajia Hassib

Review   Summary Samir and Nagla Al-Menshawy appear to have attained the American dream. After immigrating to the United States from Egypt, Samir successfully works his way through a residency and launches his own medical practice as Nagla tends to their firstborn, Hosaam, in the cramped quarters of a small apartment. Soon the growing family …

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Review   Summary For over a decade, Jenna Metcalf obsesses on her vanished mom Alice. Jenna searches online, rereads journals of the scientist who studied grief among elephants. Two unlikely allies are Serenity Jones, psychic for missing people who doubts her gift, and Virgil Stanhope, jaded PI who originally investigated cases of Alice and her …