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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Happiness of Kati (The)
by Jane Vejjajiva
Age Range: 9-11
Every morning nine-year-old Kati is woken up by the clatter of her Grandma’s spatula and pan and every night she goes to bed longing for her mother. Why has Kati’s mother stayed away for so long and where is the father she has never known? Although Kati’s life has a gentle rhythm like the canal that flows past her door, she doesn’t have answers to these difficult questions. As she sets out on an unforgettable journey from her grandparents old fashioned house on the canal to a bungalow by the sea and an apartment in the big city, Kati discovers the true reason why her mother has stayed away.
This poignantly, moving debut novel is a bestseller in Thailand and deserves to be more widely known to UK audiences. Beautifully poetic, it evokes the rich and flower-filled landscape of Thailand giving a fascinating insight into daily life as well as dealing sensitively with the subject of incurable illness. This is a heart-warming story that can be enjoyed by both children and adults.