Shirley Quan

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PREMIUM

She and Her Cat: Stories

Reminiscent of the animated film The Secret Life of Pets, this work may be short, but it’s a surprisingly engrossing and entertaining light read. Readers looking for a quick and overall uplifting work should consider picking up this title, and it’s sure to be appreciated by pet lovers all around.
PREMIUM

Daughters of the New Year

It’s disappointing that Xuan and her daughters are not revisited once the narrative returns to the past, but Tran’s debut is an engrossing story of the ties among mothers, daughters, and sisters, sprinkled with humor and intrigue. Fans of the strong women protagonists of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s The Mountains Sing will likely appreciate this less intensively told family story. Also good for book groups.

Our Missing Hearts

Ng’s beautiful yet chilling tale will resonate with readers who enjoyed Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Jessamine Chan’s more recent School for Good Mothers. As with her previous novels, her storytelling will not disappoint.

Kaleidoscope

True to its title, Wong’s overarching account of one family’s business is told with beautiful imagery but reveals individual pieces that show how things are not what they appear to be. This story of people, culture, and lifestyles will be appreciated by readers who enjoy novels involving families and their secrets, like Celeste Ng’s Something I Never Told You and Jean Kwok’s Searching for Sylvie Lee.
PREMIUM

Nuclear Family

Han successfully depicts the love binding the Cho family and the struggles they face, and themes of unity, assimilation, and acceptance run deep, whether it be for the country of Korea, the people of Hawai‘i, or humankind more generally. Filled with campy humor, Han’s novel will be appreciated by readers looking for a light, fun, yet meaningful read.
PREMIUM

When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East

This probing personal portrait leads Barry to a larger story that will appeal especially to readers who appreciate being swept into richly realized landscapes and cultures.

The Swimmers

Otsuka is noteworthy for her skilled storytelling and her ability to immerse readers in her characters’ emotional journeys. Essential reading for those already familiar with Otsuka’s work; those who haven’t read her are likely to be duly impressed.
PREMIUM

Disorientation

Chou’s debut opens with promise and an intriguing premise, but as it moves along, multiple story lines are left open, and many characters (like Ingrid’s fiancé Stephen Greene and her academic nemesis Vivian Vo) are left underdeveloped. Nevertheless, readers who enjoyed Vanessa Hua’s River of Stars will appreciate this similarly humorous if sometimes unbelievable romp.

O Beautiful

While the conclusion could have been fleshed out more, this multilayered and suspenseful tale is filled with unexpected and satisfying twists. A definite page-turner offering much to contemplate.
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