Jeanne Peterson: Falling to Heaven
The story of a Quaker couple in Tibet before and after the Chinese invasion unfolds from three different perspectives, giving the reader a great insight into the struggles both locals and outsiders have to brave with their ideals of peaceful ways of living and a harsh imperialistic reality. Informative, emotional and philosphical.
Dalia Sofer: The Septembers of Shiraz
A great example of telling the story of a country through the eyes of one family and their experience of the changing times. A Jewish family in Tehran feels the consequences of regime changes and is forced to make difficult personal decisions to survive. Very gripping.
Ellen Feldman: Scottsboro
A much more enjoyable read than the subject may suggest, this is the re telling of the famous trial against two alleged black rapists. Focusing on a journalist who follows the case this delivers insights into accusers and accused, public opinion and the justice system. Well written.
Patricia Wastvedt: The German Boy
The emotional story of a British woman who adopts her German nephew in 1947 deals as much with the consequences for a family split by national loyalties as it illustrates the difficulties between the two sisters long before the war. Added intriguing historic details make this also a rather informative read.
Tessa Hadley: The London Train
Two seemingly unrelated stories of individuals travelling between London and Wales. Full of well developed characters and atmospheric charm this is about loose and unbreakable connections between couples and families, told with a few unexpected turns making it a delightful read.