DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS – Sue Lynn Tan

Sue Lynn Tan’s Daughter of the Moon Goddess (HARPER Voyager 2022), with its gorgeous cover and intriguing premise, was a book I wanted to love more than I actually did.  It’s far more juvenile and tropey than I expected, and I had issues with the pacing, world building, and character development.  Xingyin is poorly developedContinue reading “DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS – Sue Lynn Tan”

BLACK CAKE – Charmaine Wilkerson

Spanning more than half a century, Charmaine Wilkerson’s Black Cake (Ballantine Books 2022) is a sprawling family saga about family legacies, secrets, and treasures all wrapped up in those ties that bind.  There’s a slow burn of a mystery that vibrates on the surface, but the heart of the novel is in the delicate threadsContinue reading “BLACK CAKE – Charmaine Wilkerson”

PEACH BLOSSOM SPRING – Melissa Fu

Family sagas are one of my most favorite genres. They tend to be epic, chunky novels that hit that sweet spot for me. When I saw Melissa Fu’s Peach Blossom Spring (Little, Brown and Company 2022), I knew I had to have it. It boasts a stunning cover, and it follows a time in ChinaContinue reading “PEACH BLOSSOM SPRING – Melissa Fu”

THE TOBACCO WIVES – Adele Myers

Adele Myers’s The Tobacco Wives (HarperCollins 2022) hit several of my boxes: debut author, NC setting, and the author is a fellow UNC alumna.  It’s one of the few new releases I’ve prioritized in my TBR, and while there are some notable issues, I don’t regret it. Quick & dirty summary: After 15-year-old Maddie’s fatherContinue reading “THE TOBACCO WIVES – Adele Myers”

RADIANT FUGITIVES – Nawaaz Ahmed

“My mother’s name is Seema. Which means face, something of her I will never see, or frontier, something I must leave behind.” I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with Nawaaz Ahmed’s debut novel Radiant Fugitives (Counterpoint Press, 2021).  I’d read a blurb months before publication in a failed attempt to get an advanced copy,Continue reading “RADIANT FUGITIVES – Nawaaz Ahmed”

A PLAY FOR THE END OF THE WORLD – Jai Chakrabarti

In 1942, a prominent Polish Jewish children’s author, Janusz Korczak or Pan Doktor,staged a performance of Rabindranath Tagore’s play The Post Office. The Indian play is about a very sick boy who will die.  Korczak, consistently refusing sanctuary and insisting he stay with the nearly 200 orphans in his care, wanted to prepare the childrenContinue reading “A PLAY FOR THE END OF THE WORLD – Jai Chakrabarti”

THE SWEETNESS OF WATER – Nathan Harris

Nathan Harris’s debut The Sweetness of Water (Little, Brown and Company 2021) was a highly anticipated novel that was immediately met with applause.  An instant bestseller, it is an Oprah’s Book Club Pick and it made President Obama’s summer reading list.  Additionally, it was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.  Everyone loves this book. EveryoneContinue reading “THE SWEETNESS OF WATER – Nathan Harris”

THE OTHER BLACK GIRL – Zakiya Dalila Harris

Zakiya Dalila Harris’s The Other Black Girl (Atria Books, 2021) is a surprising, unsettling, laugh out loud, edge of your seat sort of read that comfortably sets you down one path before abruptly shifting gears and leaving the reader gulping up each page to the end in what becomes one hell of an unexpected ride. Continue reading “THE OTHER BLACK GIRL – Zakiya Dalila Harris”

THE MERMAID FROM JEJU – Sumi Hahn

From the battle torn France of World War II, to the women warriors of Ethiopia during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, and now to the haenyeo in post-WWII Korea, I’ve been on a bit of a “women at war” kick.  The Nightingale, The Shadow King, and The Mermaid from Jeju are all three written by women andContinue reading “THE MERMAID FROM JEJU – Sumi Hahn”

BESTIARY – K-Ming Chang

Jie says she once saw two girl ghosts kissing in the creek. I mishear her and think she means they were cleaning the creek. Why? I say.  Jie says, Because a god made them want but didn’t give them a word for it. Bestiary (One World, a Random House imprint, 2020)is K-Ming Chang’s gritty andContinue reading “BESTIARY – K-Ming Chang”