The Year of the Woman by Jonathan Gash

The Year of the Woman

Jonathan Gash

This took me a while to get into - the Hong Kong dialect was tricky, and I didn't really identify with any of the characters. The plot was slow but OK once I'd picked up on all the different threads - Triads, business, gambling, ancestors, ghosts and customs.


Ghost Grandmother giggled, a weird high pitch that made KwayFay shudder. Some ghosts could laugh kindly; Grandmother's laugh was so horrid.
'No good settling arguments if women end up barren, ne?'
'You are so right, Grandmother,' KwayFay said, hoping praise would make her go away. 'Firecrackers are put in the teapot, with the Five Demon emblems also, as the yellow paper is waggled above. Then the firecrackers are lit. The explosions defeat the enemy woman.'
'You learned well for a change, lazy girl.'
'Thank you, Grandmother.'

  • Tai-Pan by James Clavell
  • The Interior by Lisa See

Books with similar mood

The Mysteries

Robert McGill

A Closed Book

Gilbert Adair

The Warsaw Anagrams

Richard Zimler

Fragrant Harbour

John Lanchester

Falling Out of Cars

Jeff Noon


Maureen Freely

Anatomy of a Soldier

Harry Parker

Silent House

Orhan Pamuk

Baghdad Fixer

Ilene Prusher

The Boat to Redemption

Su Tong

Double Vision

Tricia Sullivan

The Dogs of Riga

Henning Mankell

Bad Boy Brawly Brown

Walter Mosley


Michael Cordy


Janette Turner Hospital

Fugitive Pieces

Anne Michaels

Schopenhauer's Telescope

Gerard Donovan

A Book of Science and Antiquities

Thomas Keneally


Eugene Vodolazkin

Song for an Approaching Storm

Peter Fröberg Idling

Call It Dog

Marli Roode

The Missing

Tim Gautreaux

The Resurrectionist

James Bradley

Specimen Days

Michael Cunningham

The Bad News Bible

Anna Blundy

Night Calypso

Lawrence Scott

Double Vision

Pat Barker

He Kills Coppers

Jake Arnott

The Other Side of the Mountain

Erendiz Atasu

The Star Fraction

Ken Macleod

The Woman Who Knew Too Much

B Reece Johnson

Your Face Tomorrow 2: Dance and Dream

Javier Marias

What's Left of Me is Yours

Stephanie Scott

The Prophets of Eternal Fjord

Kim Leine

Hand Me Down World

Lloyd Jones


Susan Fletcher

Our Horses in Egypt

Rosalind Belben

Night Work

Thomas Glavinic

The Harmony Silk Factory

Tash Aw

The Promise of Happiness

Justin Cartwright

The English Years

Norbert Gstein

The Fifth Woman

Henning Mankell

The Separation

Christopher Priest

Mara and Dann

Doris Lessing

Skin Lane

Neil Bartlett

We That Are Young

Preti Taneja

The Kills

Richard House

San Miguel

T C Boyle

The Big Music

Kirsty Gunn