Beth Staunton

As the Earth Turns Silver

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Alison Wong, Picador, £10.99

New Zealand writer Alison Wong's first novel is a subtly emotive story that chronicles the progression of a clandestine love affair set amid the racial tensions of an early 20th century New Zealand city. Katherine, a recently widowed mother of two, is struggling to make ends meet when she meets and falls in love with Yung, a Chinese man who runs a greengrocer's shop in Wellington's rapidly growing Chinese community. Their affair is slow to evolve but once the fire is kindled the reader is drawn irreversibly into their heady romance.

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