Here are two very different books that would be great to read on a rainy afternoon. The first one is called Aunty Lee’s Delights: A Singaporean Mystery by Ovidia Yu. his one reminded me of Diane Mott Davidson’s Goldy mysteries. This one takes place in Singapore where Aunty Lee has opened a restaurant where she serves some yummy sounding and spicy meals…that I would love to try! Sadly, there are no recipes. However, there is a mystery that involved her stepson, his wife, a few girls that work at the restaurant and a few unusual customers. It all begins with a missing person which leads to the discovery of a dead body and then another missing person….you catch the pattern. Aunty Lee provides comic relief and some mad sleuthing skills.
The other book is historical fiction and is called Swimming in the Moon by Pamela Schoenealdt. Historical Fiction is one of my favorites. This one starts in Naples, Italy in 1905 with a 14-year-old girl named Lucia who lives in a villa with her mother where the two are servants to the Contessa Elisabetta Monforte. Lucia is happy in the villa and with her life. She was born in the villa to her mother who was just 14 years old, and has grown up with the Contessa. Lucia’s mother Teresa is another story….she is not happy. Teresa has the gift of song…she sings like an angel, but she is tormented by her past. This torment leads to a confrontation that forces the mother and daughter to flee the country in order to save their lives. With the help of the Contessa, they find passage to America and move to Cleveland where they hope to find happiness. Unfortunately, America proves to be unkind to immigrants and being alone with her tormented mother, Lucia quickly grow up and takes care of them both. She has dreams of college, a better life, but her circumstances create obstacles. The working conditions, the wages and her mother’s deteriorating mental health make it difficult for a young immigrant girl to make her way in the early 1900’s. Quite a compelling read.