Book Connections, Review

Five Diverse Books I’ve Read in 2019

Banner

Reading can take us beyond what we experience from people and events and culture immediately around us. These books did that for me. I think after the mass shooting we saw happening in the mosques in Christchurch New Zealand, I challenged myself to be more aware of picking up books that helped me explore the wondrous diversity existing in our world.

book cover

Ayesha at Last is set in Toronto, Canada and is about Ayesha and Khalid, both belonging to a Muslim community. It’s a romance that is full of twists and turns, has humour and a tad bit of revenge which I always enjoy when a baddie gets his desserts. Ayesha and Khalid have a love/hate thing going on, plus interfering relatives to add to it. I loved the diverse aspect of the Muslim religion, how they live and what’s important to them. Not everything in the story is completely wrapped up for every character, which really just made it feel more real. I’ll certainly want to read another book from this author – this is a debut novel, with flavourings of pride and plenty of prejudice.

book coverPride Prejudice and Other Flavors is set in California, however it involves a high ranking Indian immigrant family and DJ Caine a chef who is a mix of Indian/African. While the two main characters have their share of pride and prejudice, the book also touches on the prejudices white people have towards those with darker skins. The many tasty flavours of Indian cooking is a large component. I enjoyed this read, it explores the roles in family, sibling relationships, illness (Trish the heroine is a neurosurgeon) and betrayal. It does have romance but its more mainstream than outright romance. My kind of read.

book coverThe story of three sisters, who visit India, in response to their dead mother’s request. Each has a secret or challenge they are hiding from the others. While they have not been that close, due really to growing up circumstances, the trip eventually bonds them together. I liked the Indian setting and the cultural values shown. Some very shocking from my viewpoint. I liked though how the book highlighted and dealt with the issues raised. The only question I still wonder about is the sore ankle the eldest sister had. It went nowhere. Excellent on audio -the narrator did a very good job on the whole and added to my enjoyment of the book.

Book coverField Notes on Love has  two delightful main characters who come from diverse backgrounds. Hugo is bi racial and has throughout his life had to put up with slurs, but with the support of his siblings (one of sextuplets) Hugo has come through it well. Mae is the wonderful daughter of two Dads and with the side support of a special Nana she too is a well balanced individual. They both have dreams and throughout a week long train trip they will discover what that really means. It is YA and I loved the read.

Book CoverThe Stationery Shop of Tehran is partially set in Iran and shares the story of the coup of 1953. A prime minister who had been elected democratically was ousted by the Shah,and foreign powers! All because of oil! This story gives insight into a family life and the love of two people whose lives are disrupted by this event. It’s sad because two young people who love each other are separated by others. Who? Well it will take them many years to realise. In the meantime they have lived good lives but what might have been? I liked this story even though it was a little outside my usual.  I especially liked the insight into Persian life and cooking.

Uncategorized

Passing Through Perfect. Bette Lee Crosby

book cover

Passing Through Perfect
Bette Lee Crosby
Published: Bent Pine Publishing
Date: January 2015
Format: ebook
Pages: 256
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: from the author
Add to Goodreads

It’s 1946. The war is over. Millions of American soldiers are coming home and Benjamin Church is one of them. After four years of being away he thought things in Alabama would have changed, but they haven’t. Grinder’s Corner is as it’s always been–a hardscrabble burp in the road. It’s not much, but it’s home.

When Benjamin attends a harvest festival in Twin Pines, he catches sight of Delia. Before their first dance ends, he knows for certain she’s the one. They fall madly in love: happily, impatiently, imprudently, in love. It doesn’t matter that her daddy is staunchly opposed to the thought of his daughter marrying a cotton farmer, never mind a poor one.

It’s true Benjamin has little to offer; he’s a sharecropper who will spend his whole life sweating and slaving to do little more than put food on the table. But that’s how things are in Alabama. Benjamin is better off than most; he has a wife, a boy he adores, and a house that doesn’t leak rain. Yes, Benjamin considers himself a lucky man until the fateful night that changes everything.

My thoughts banner
Passing Through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby is #3 in the Wyattsville series.  This is the story of Benjamin, his dad Otis, his wife Delia and his son Isaac. It has the warm depth of family weaving through its pages and sadly also discrimination is alive and active.
When the story opens in Alabama Benjamin has just returned from the war, he then works alongside his father to farm the land, a hard and sometimes rewarding work.  When he marries Delia they have a son Isaac.  
Benjamin is a hard worker, he loves his family and they mean everything to him.  Life is full of struggles and challenges but when there is love you can get through.  However Benjamin also experiences loss and it is that experience that catapults him into moving north.  
I loved meeting up with the Klaussners again and Paul and Ruby.  It was wonderful to see them so settled and happy and open to being good friends with Benjamin and Isaac.  I loved their loyalty, thoughtfulness and deep heartedness.  Really they embodied one path people can take in life, in my view the better path as opposed to those who were so bigoted. 
This novel explores the best of family and the thoughtfulness and kindness toward strangers.  It also explores the discrimination that African Americans suffered at that time, and sadly has not yet resolved yet in today’s world.  A book like this highlights the need for a change of heart. So where is Perfect? Well read the book and find out. It’s a perfect title I do believe.
4 stars
Book Challenge Badge
Featuring Diversity