Title: Little Paradise
Author: Gabrielle Wang
Genre: Historical (fiction and romance), Coming of Age, Travel
Rating: 5 out of 5
Melbourne, 1943, and Mirabel is seventeen. She's leaving school, designing dresses, falling in love. Then fate intervenes, her forbidden affair is discovered, and JJ is posted back to China where a civil war is raging. Despite all warnings, Mirabel sets off for Shanghai to find him . . .From Penguin Books Australia
Little Paradise is inspired by a true story.
I'm going to do a dot-point review because I really don't have much time these days :(
- The little bits of historical facts were fascinating. E.g. There used to be a cemetery where Victoria Market is now!
- Reading about Melbourne in the 1940s... amazing. Recognising the suburbs and locations kind of made me zone out to imagine how it would be to live in the 40s in good ol' Mellie.
- Little Paradise could easily become a modern day love story if you add in the Internet, mobile phones (plus other 21st century things) and finding an equivalent for WWII and the Chinese Civil War.
- Mirabel is a very strong and independent girl, considering what she goes through at a young age. I loved her 'can-do' attitude, which many other readers would agree with.
- She's also not very fussy, which I appreciated, because during her time abroad, she is very open-minded, even through her difficulties! One would expect that a girl who's been brought up with everything(well... most things) she's wanted would be a princess, but not Mirabel.
- Gabrielle Wang's storytelling is very simple yet exquisite, and the 'magical' element (which readers are introduced to in the first chapter) adds to the tale.
- Reading about an Australian who isn't white was very refreshing, especially since it's set in the 1940s. I don't think I've come across a novel where the character is Asian and is living in a Western country during wartime.