A lady cyclist's guide to Kashgar - Joinson
Summary: In 1923, Eva English and her devout sister Lizzie embark on a journey to be missionaries in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar, while in modern-day London, a young woman's act of kindness to a Yemeni refugee results in an unexpected journey.
Joinson's debut opens with a dramatic birth whose repercussions are felt for decades. The novel begins in 1923, with the story of two missionary sisters, Eva and Lizzie English. The pair and their leader, Millicent, are traveling to the Chinese city of Kashgar, where they will serve as missionaries and where Eva hopes to secretly write a cycling guide. Their journey is irrevocably altered when Millicent assists a young girl giving birth. When Eva, Lizzie, and Millicent are suddenly detained after the mother's death, their future remains uncertain. Shifting to modern-day London, Joinson picks up the story of Middle Eastern scholar Frieda, who returns home after months of travel to discover that an apartment has been left to her by a woman she has never met. Alternating between Frieda's and Eva's voices, Joinson slowly reveals what connects Frieda to the fateful desert birth decades before. This complex and involving historical novel examines the idea of home, the consequences of exile, the connection between mother and daughter, and the power dynamics of sexual relationships. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.