The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota

Well, if The Year of Runaways isn’t a heart-breaking work of staggering genius, then I don’t know what is. To me, it was like a modern, immigrant follow-up to A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, which has long been one of my favorite books.  Continue reading

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The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende

The Japanese Lover by Isabel AllendeDon’t judge a book by its cover. Seriously, are we back to that old adage? But so, so true. I picked up The Japanese Lover for two reasons: I haven’t read anything by Isabel Allende in years and based on the cover I assumed it was a war time novel set in Japan. I was close. The Japanese Lover is a novel partially set during WWII in San Francisco.  Continue reading

Let Me Explain You by Annie Liontas

Let Me Explain You by Annie LiontasFirst off, the thing that attracted me to Let Me Explain You by Annie Liontas was the title and the cover. I instantly had an idea about what it was going to be about: a Greek family tale with a strong, and perhaps quirky, patriarch. And my guess was pretty dead on. Continue reading

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

Pigeon English by Stephen KelmanPigeon English by Stephen Kelman is one of the books I’ve received as part of my monthly subscription to the Willoughby Book Club. They always send me the best books! But the reason I picked up Pigeon English now is because Kelman will be appearing at the Edinburgh International Books Festival this year. His new book, Man on Fire, looks amazing but isn’t out until August so I don’t know if I’ll get it read before seeing him. Continue reading

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

The-boston-girl-anita-diamantI don’t know how it is possible that i’ve made it this far into life without having read Anita Diamant, but I have. It may be precisely because The Red Tent was so popular, that I never read it. So when I saw that she has a new book out, The Boston Girl, I thought, now is my time to read Diament without any preconceived conceptions. Continue reading

The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar

the-story-hourI don’t know who introduced me to Thrity Umrigar – it was years ago- but I must thank them. They gave me a copy of her second book, The Space Between Us, and it was magnificent. Since then, I’ve always tried to keep my eyes open for new books by her, so I leaped at the chance to read The Story Hour. Continue reading

Landing Gear by Kate Pullinger

Landing-GearI wasn’t sure what to make of Kate Pullinger‘s latest novel, Landing Gear. I really enjoyed her Governor General’s Award winning The Mistress of Nothing (2009), but in many ways it could not be more different than Landing Gear. The Mistress of Nothing was a historical novel set in colonial Egypt, Landing Gear is a novel that grew out of a multimedia digital project called Flight Paths: A Networked Novel and is very much set in the here and now.

Ostensibly the story is about Yacub, a Pakistani man who stows away in the landing gear of a plane bound for London. As the landing gear descends on it’s approach to Heathrow, he falls and lands on Harriet’s car. Miraculously, he is alive and unscathed and she takes Yacub home and adopts him into her family. And to a large extent family is really what the novel is about. What constitutes a family in modern society? How do you remain true to that family and how does it impact your identity as an individual? Continue reading