Here are 4 books, set around the world, that should make it to your reading list this summer.
1. Girl in Translation - Jean Kwok
Set in New York, this is the story of Kimberly Chang who emigrates from Hong Kong with her mother. The novel describes the incredible challenges faced by the Chang women, who work at a Chinatown sweat shop while Kimberly works hard to learn English and move through the school ranks to better their lives. An incredible story, a tough protagonist and an ending to warm your heart. This book has you questioning how working conditions like this can have survived in modern day America.
2. The Tea Planter's Wife – Dina Jeffries
1920’s Ceylon, modern day Sri Lanka, is the setting for this novel. It describes the story of a young English couple, their life on the tea plantations and the social and political changes taking place within the colonial rule of the country. If you’re travelling to Sri Lanka anytime soon, it’s a lovely book to bring on your trip.
3. My Year of Meats - Ruth Ozeki
Japanese American Jane Takagi-Little is the heroine of the novel which gives us a peak into how she straddles both her Japanese and American cultures. Working for the meat industry in the 90s, Jane’s changing views on the production of meat also changes her approach to her work where she creates commercials to promote beef sales in Japan. A controversial and thought-provoking read, which might make you turn vegetarian if you aren't already.
4. Lyrebird - Cecelia Ahern
Published in 2016, this Sunday Times Bestseller tells the tale of a young woman who lives a life of solitude in the Irish countryside. She is discovered by a film crew, who stumble upon her in the woods. Hearing her incredible talent for mimicking sounds, they nickname her the ‘The Lyrebird’. We follow The Lyrebird through the media circus around her, a budding romance and her stepping into the world that she has never known.