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 …

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 …

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

Review   Summary  Inspired by a Senegalese folktale, Redemption in Indigo is a tale of adventure, magic, and the power of the human spirit. Paama’s husband is a fool and a glutton. Bad enough that he followed her to her parents’ home in the village of Makendha—now he’s disgraced himself by murdering livestock and stealing …

The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat

Review   Summary We meet him late in life: a quiet man, a good father and husband, a fixture in his Brooklyn neighborhood, a landlord and barber with a terrifying scar across his face. As the book unfolds, moving seamlessly between Haiti in the 1960s and New York City today, we enter the lives of …

The Bees by Laline Paul

Review   Summary Born into the lowest class of her society, Flora 717 is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive. Living to accept, obey and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen. Yet Flora has talents that are not typical of her kin. And …

Girl at War by Sara Novic

Review   Summary Zagreb, summer of 1991. Ten-year-old Ana Jurić is a carefree tomboy who runs the streets of Croatia’s capital with her best friend, Luka, takes care of her baby sister, Rahela, and idolizes her father. But as civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, soccer games and school lessons are supplanted by sniper fire …

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Review   Summary In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to …

Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje

  Review Summary Anil’s Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman born in Sri Lanka who returns to her homeland as a forensic anthropologist. An international human …

ARC: Chronicle of a Last Summer: A Novel of Egypt by Yasmine El Rashidi

Summary In Chronicle of a Last Summer: A Novel of Egypt, Rashidi takes us on a winding path through the political and social climates of Cairo from the 1980s to 2014. The first section is narrated from the point of view of a child who is trying to make sense of the fear and change …

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

Review Summary As you settle into the first page of The Garden of Evening Mists, Tan Twan Eng and his majestic prose will gently transport you into a painfully beautiful past. It’s Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambridge and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, herself the scarred lone survivor of …