Elena Ferrante: My brilliant friend – First book in the cycle about Lila and Lenu and their life in Naples by Italian author who writes under the pseudonym. It begins when they were little girls in a working-class neighborhood of this big and hectic city. In four astonishing novels we follow almost forensic exploration of their complex friendship and their turbulent lives, their ups and downs, their loves and disappointments as they grow up.
Anne Brontë: Agnes Grey – Classic novel written by one of the sisters Brontë. Agnes is poor but educated woman who leaves her idyllic home to become a governess in different families. She is faced with tyrannical children and over-indulgent parents, with cruelty and neglect. But the generosity of spirit and warm candour never desert her, and when she meets Edward Weston, a country parson, her chances for happiness will arise.
Maya Angelou: I know why the caged bird sings – First part of the autobiografy of great American writer and poet. As a Black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope and joy, achievement and celebration. She evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American South of the thirties and shows us how strength of character and love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma.
Kathryn Stockett: The help – Set in the 1960s in Mississippi, the novel follows African Americans working in the white households. Aibileen is raising her 17th white child and mourning her own son’s tragic death while Minny, who often tells her employers what she thinks of them, is fired once again. They will cross all boundaries when they form a friendship with Miss Skeeter, a daughter from a wealthy white family. Outstanding, touching and funny novel.
Tracy Chevalier: Girl with a pearl earring – Fascinating novel based on the story of the famous painting of the famous Flemish painter. Young Griet enters in the household of Johannes Vermeer but when he discovers that she has an eye for art he secretly asks her to run errands for him, and soon she becomes part of his world and his work. Their growing intimacy spreads tension and deception in the ordered household, culminating when posing for the portrait.