Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity--My Own And What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos by Manal Omar
An American aid worker of Arab descent, Manal Omar moves to Iraq to help as many women as she can rebuild their lives. She quickly finds herself drawn into the saga of a people determined to rise from the ashes of war and sanctions and rebuild their lives in the face of crushing chaos. This is a chronicle of Omar's friendships with several Iraqis whose lives are crumbling before her eyes. It is a tale of love, as her relationship with one Iraqi man intensifies in a country in turmoil. And it is the heartrending stories of the women in Iraq, as they grapple with what it means to be female in a homeland you no longer recognize.
The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Every now and again, a storyteller comes along who can take us completely into her world and make us wish we never had to leave it. This is such a tale. When India Selwyn Jones, a young woman from a noble family, graduates from the London School of Medicine for Women in 1900, her professors advise her to set up her practice in London's esteemed Harley Street. Driven and idealistic, India chooses to work in the city's East End instead, serving the desperately poor. In these grim streets, India meets--and saves the life of--London's most notorious gangster, Sid Malone. A hard, wounded man, Malone is the opposite of India's aristocratic fiance, Freddie Lytton, a rising star in the House of Commons. Though Malone represents all she despises, India finds herself unwillingly drawn ever closer to him, intrigued by his hidden, mysterious past.