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If you like Virgins of Paradise by Barbara Wood

Virgins of Paradise by Barbara Wood

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

Virgins of Paradise by Barbara Wood: "A magnificent saga about two sisters from a rich, aristocratic Egyptian family who come of age in postwar Cairo. Inside a beautiful mansion on Virgins of Paradise Street in post–World War II Cairo, Jasmine and Camelia Rasheed grow to womanhood under the watchful eyes of their grandmother and the other women of the prominent Rasheed family. Despite the glamour and elegance of the city, women still wear the veil and live in harems. But as Egypt begins to change, so do Jasmine and Camelia.

Rebelling against a society in which the suppression of women is assumed, Jasmine and Camelia embark on turbulent personal and professional voyages of discovery. Cast out of the family, Jasmine travels to America to become a doctor while Camelia sets out to become one of the foremost beledi dancers in the Middle East." (Book Description)

 If you enjoyed this book's elements of discovering other cultures, as well as the family saga aspect, here are some other titles you may enjoy:

The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan
Set in contemporary San Francisco and in a Chinese village where Peking Man is unearthed, "The Bonesetter's Daughter" is an excavation of the human spirit: the past, its deepest wounds, its most profound hopes. This is the story of LuLing Young, who searches for the name of her mother, the daughter of the famous Bonesetter from the Mouth of the Mountain. The story conjures the pain of broken dreams, the power of myths, and the strength of love that enables us to recover in memory what we have lost in grief. (worldcat.org)
 

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
The narrator of the story is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex. As often as she can, she slips away to explore the island's glistening beaches and observe its native Wampanoag inhabitants. At twelve, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a tentative secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other. (worldcat.org)
 

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
This moving, classic story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife O-lan is must reading for those who would fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during this century. (worldcat.org)

 

 

Hawaii by James A. Michener
Hawaii's prehistory and history appears through the eyes of its natives, missionaries and Asians who came to influence it. (worldcat.org)

 

 

House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Trueba family embodies strong feelings from the beginning of the 2 through the assassination of Allende in 1973. (worldcat.org)
 

 

 

The Invisible Mountain by Carolina de Robertis
Follows the story of the fiercely independent women of the Firielli family as their lives, relationships, and the pursuit of their dreams take them from Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and the United States. (worldcat.org)
 


 

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
A fisherman's daughter in 1930s Japan rises to become a famous geisha. After training, Sayuri's virginity is sold to the highest bidder, then the school finds her a general for a patron. When he dies, she is reunited with the only man she loved. (worldcat.org)
 


 

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i. Here her life is supposed to end - but instead she discovers it is only just beginning (worldcat.org)

 

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Afghan women Mariam and Laila grow close despite their nearly twenty-year age difference and initial rivalry, as they suffer at the hands of a common enemy--their abusive, much-older husband, Rasheed. (worldcat.org)