First Books

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I just finished two books that I read reviews of in either Booklist or Publisher’s Weekly. They had a section devoted to first-time authors. So of course I loaded up my hold list and they all came in at once and I’ve been reading furiously since then. Of course being sick for two weeks in a row helps things along. Both books Roopa Farooki’s Bitter Sweets and Anya Ulinich’s Petropolis were about the immigrant experience. It seems like most of the books I’ve read lately have caused me to be heart-broken in some way or other, but both of these books were more uplifting. In Petropolis, the main character, Sasha, grows up in the town of Asbestos 2 in Siberia. She comes to American as a mail-order bride and ends up searching for her long-lost father. One of my former classmates interviewed Anya Ulinich on Maud Newton’s blog. Bitter Sweets follows a family from Bangladesh to London where their tightly woven lies begin to unravel. Love and deception seem to go hand and hand for the members of the Karim family until one of them finally decides she’s had enough.


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