'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 15 August 2011

Review: Little Paradise

In Little Paradise, author Gabrielle Wang has woven an entrancing tale set during the Second World War – a tale inspired by a true story… that of her own parents (Wang’s father was born in Shanghai and her mother is third generation Chinese-Australian).

Set in Melbourne in 1943, the book’s central character, 17-year-old Mirabel, is the Australian-born daughter of a Chinese fruit merchant. She is a creative young woman who whiles away the hours creating beautiful dress designs.

Mirabel meets and falls madly in love with a visiting Chinese soldier – JJ – and when their forbidden affair is discovered and the young soldier is posted back to China, Mirabel travels to glamorous, politically corrupt Shanghai to search for her love and their unknown future.

This is not just a love story – it is a fascinating life story… and is not truth even more wonderful than fiction? The book offers an engaging insight into not only Chinese culture, but into the lives of Chinese-Australians during a turbulent time in history. Although the book is aimed at teens, Little Paradise would be of particular interest to adults with a passion for Chinese history – and a passion for great storytelling.

With a beautifully-threaded plot and characters that have clearly been infused with the author’s love, Little Paradise is an inspirational story about love, hope and following your dreams.

Title: Little Paradise
Author: Gabrielle Wang
Publisher: Penguin, $19.95 RRP
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 9780143011477
Publication date: 1 March 2010

For ages: 13+
Type: YA Fiction, Historical Fiction

Teacher's Notes