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Sunday, 16 December 2012

Our top reads for 2012

Looking back over our (almost) first year of Tripfiction, one of the wonderful things we can say is that we have been introduced to glorious novels that we might never otherwise have encountered. 

Here we choose some of the books that have crossed our path this year, and that have really caught our imagination - both because they are evocative of location and offer a great storyline. These are the TripFiction top books of the year!

NO. 1. In the quiet of a New Zealand winter's night, a rescue helicopter is sent to airlift a five-year-old boy with severe internal injuries. He's fallen from the upstairs veranda of an isolated farmhouse, and his condition is critical. At first, Finn's fall looks like a horrible accident; after all, he's prone to sleepwalking. Only his frantic mother, Martha McNamara, knows how it happened. And she isn't telling. Not yet. Maybe not ever. Tragedy isn't what the McNamara family expected when they moved to New Zealand. (UK release 3rd January, 2013)
Set in Hawke's Bay and Napier, New Zealand


NO.2. A young woman travels from Edinburgh to Peking in the early 20th century,and writes about her experiences in diary form. She is trapped in a loveless marriage to a stiff and conventional man, and then falls in love with a Japanese warrior and pays dearly for that passion. It is then that Mary's real journey begins, as she begins to forge a new life for herself in Tokyo.
Set in Peking, China and Tokyo, Japan

NO.3. Harmattan (from an Arabic word meaning destructive wind ) tells the story of Haoua, a young girl growing up in a remote village in the Republic of Niger. Spirited, independent, and intelligent, Haoua has benefitted from a stable home life and a loving and attentive mother. She finds contentment in her schoolwork, her dreams of becoming a teacher and in writing assiduously to the family in Ireland who act as her aid sponsors. But for her, there are new storm clouds on the horizon. Haoua's mother's illness is much more serious and further advanced than anyone had recognised and her father's plans are turning out to be far more threatening than she could have ever imagined. Approaching her twelfth birthday, Haoua is alone and vulnerable for the very first time in her life.
Set in Niger, Africa

NO.4. Having left her job and boyfriend, thirty-year-old Sandra decides to stay in a Spanish village in order to take stock of her life and find a new direction. She befriends Karin and Fredrik, an elderly Norwegian couple, who provide her with stimulating company and take the place of the grandparents she never had. However, when she meets Julian, a former concentration-camp inmate who has just returned to Europe from Argentina, she discovers that all is not what it seems and finds herself involved in a perilous quest for the truth.
Set in Javea, Spain

NO.5. For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital. Soon the family's world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus. Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labour, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood - the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival.
Set in Cambodia

Please add your personal top reads for this year - evocative of location together with a great storyline - in the Comments Box below.

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