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Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

A lesser known title in Jane Austen's collection of novels, Mansfield Park is certainly a wild ride and does not disapoint in all that is ridiculous and full of drama. Heroine Fanny Price is born to a poor family with many, many siblings, and is taken in by her aunt and uncle who can afford to give her a proper, respectable upbringing. Her experience in her new home, Mansfield Park, is something to be desired as her family members constantly treat her as their servant, entertainment, and charity case, while they behave in the most selfish, unobservant way possible.

The Secret River by Kate Grenville

Kate Grenville takes us back to the colonization of Australia in this hauntingly atmospheric tale. Thornhill, a British convict, is sentenced to be deported to Australia for a petty crime committed in his quest to survive poverty. It’s a common story for the many people who were sent half way around the world to begin a new life in a harsh land.  

Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim

Beasts of a Little Land is an epic saga set during Korea’s tumultuous history of Japanese occupation and the fight for Korean independence. It follows the lives of several characters; the most memorable being Jade, a young girl sold into a courtesan apprenticeship, and JungHo, an orphan struggling to survive on the streets of Seoul. 

Still Life by Sarah Winman

Still Life by Sarah Winman is a love letter to the city of Florence, Italy, its art, and its inhabitants. An ode to chance encounters, love and found family. A delightful story of a tender-hearted English soldier and an eccentric art historian who serendipitously meet on the outskirts of Florence towards the end of WWII. Filled with lovable characters and gorgeous prose, this is not a book to miss! 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

What do you do when your whole world changes? That is the question Vasya must answer in Katherine Arden’s gorgeous story of Russian history and mythology.

Vasilisa Petrovna has always been a strange girl. Everyone in her village says so; her face looks like a frog’s, she runs around in the woods like some sort of wild thing, and she has a habit of talking to the air. What the villagers don’t know is Vasya has the sight and can speak with the chyruthi – spirits of nature and the home. And the chyruthi are afraid.