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All the Rivers – Dorit Rabinyan


35126186.jpgBanned in the author’s home nation of Israel, All the Rivers tells the story of Liat (an Israeli) and Hilmi (a Palestinian) who meet while she is studying in New York.

The story is largely Liat’s and while their romance is passionate and all-consuming, she knows that the relationship has no real chance of surviving when she returns home.

You can read her thoughts on the banning of her novel here 


Yong, the journey of an unworthy son – Janeen Brian

Designed for younger high school readers, this novel is based around the lives of Chinese immigrants who left their homeland to find their yong-195x300.jpgfortunes in Australia during the goldrush.

Yong accompanies his father and other families from their small village in Guangdong, to the goldfields of Ballarat.

The story provides a strong understanding of traditional Chinese family values and in particular, honour.

Very readable.


Necessary Lies – Diane Chamberlain

Necessary LiesSet in rural Grace County, North Carolina in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension, Necessary Lies tells the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy.  Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: how can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?

While this story is fiction set in the 1960’s, it is based upon the very real eugenics program that was practiced in the United States up until 1975.  I found this book to be eye opening, informative, have characters that felt real, and did a great job of painting a clear picture of many of the issues involved in this program of legally enforced sterilization of women from lower class parts of society and ‘feeble minded’ intellect.

I would recommend this as an interesting, well written read.