Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen – Marilyn Chin
Raucous twin sisters Moonie and Mei Ling Wong are known as the “double happiness” Chinese food delivery girls. Each day they load up a “crappy donkey-van” and deliver Americanized (“bad”) Chinese food to homes throughout their southern California neighbourhood.
United in their desire to blossom into somebodies, the Wong girls fearlessly assert their intellect and sexuality, even as they come of age under the care of their dominating, cleaver-wielding grandmother from Hong Kong. They transform themselves from food delivery girls into accomplished women, but along the way, they wrestle with the influence and continuity of their Chinese heritage.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation – Lauren Willig
Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard’s Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803. Eloise has found the secret history of the Pink Carnation the most elusive spy of all time, the spy who single-handedly saved England from Napoleon’s invasion.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, a wildly imaginative and highly adventurous debut, opens with the story of a modern-day heroine but soon becomes a book within a book. Eloise Kelly settles in to read the secret history hoping to unmask the Pink Carnation’s identity, but before she can make this discovery, she uncovers a passionate romance within the pages of the secret history that almost threw off the course of world events. How did the Pink Carnation save England? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly find a hero of her own?
Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure – Sarah Macdonald
In 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.
My Lost Cuba – Celso Gonzalez-Falla
Dramatic 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.
A Different Sky – Meira Chand
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 Howard seethes at the indignities heaped on his fellow Eurasians by the colonial British. Raj, fresh off the boat from India, wants only to work hard and become a successful businessman.
As the years pass, and the Second World War sweeps through the east, with the Japanese occupying Singapore, the three are thrown together in unexpected ways, and tested to breaking point.