Guardian of the Dawn by Richard Zimler
Picking up where he left off in The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon, Zimler tracks the travails of a young Jewish manuscript illustrator who flees with his family from Portugal to India to escape the Portuguese Inquisition in the last decades of the 16th century. Tiago Zarco, whom his family calls Ti, is the precocious protagonist, and he and his family constantly face religious persecution, particularly when Ti's sister Sofia develops an ill-fated attraction for her cousin, a Moor nicknamed Wadi. Ti, meanwhile, has his own troubles, which revolve around his romance with Tejal, the beautiful Hindu girl he hopes to marry. Family betrayal eventually leads to the arrest of Ti's father for his involvement with the "secret Jews," a group targeted by the Catholic authorities. Ti ends up in prison as well, but, upon his "confession" and release, he embarks on a complex mission to avenge his father. The narrative and dialogue are occasionally melodramatic, but the historical authority in Zimler's prose is impressive, as is his surefooted plotting and formidable character writing. The riveting final chapters pick up the pace, a welcome change from the novel's overall slow burn. Still, Zimler's treatment of an obscure period of history makes for an exotic, colorful novel.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A hundred and One Days by Asne Seierstad
I picked this up because I read the Bookseller of Kabul and fell absolutely in love with it. This book comes after the Bookseller of Kabul and I can't wait to continue reading on Asne Seierstad's future explorations of Baghdad.
This is an international bestseller that has been made into the movie starring Patrick Swayze. The story centers on the slums of Calcutta, ironically known as Anand Nagar or 'City of Joy'. It's a tale of resilient human spirit, compassion and love in the worst conditions. A tale that is bound to tug at heartstrings and make you ponder.
Separated by Time
From his grandmother, Alex Cross has heard the story of his great-uncle Abraham and his struggles for survival in the era of the Klu Klux Klan. Now, Alex passes the family tale along to his own children in a novel he's written - a novel called Trial.
Connected by Blood
As a lawyer in early-twentieth-century Washington DC Ben Corbett represents the toughest cases. Fighting against oppression and racism, he risks his family and his life in the process. When President Theodore Roosevelt asks Ben to return to his hometown to investigate rumours of the resurgence of the Klu Klux Klan there, he cannot refuse
United by Bravery
Arriving in Eudora, Mississippi, Ben meets the wise Abraham Cross and his beautiful daughter, Moody. Ben enlists their help, and the two Crosses introduce him to the hidden side of the idyllic Southern town. Lynchings have become commonplace and residents of the town's black quarter live in constant fear. Ben aims to break the reign of terror - but the truth of who is really behind it could break his heart.