The Booklist Reader: Glorious Boy

Liu’s eponymous “glorious boy” exists at the intersection of families, communities, countries, cultures—and, for a while, life and death. His spirited, adventurous parents—Shep, a British doctor obsessed with the healing power of indigenous plants, and American Claire, a would-be anthropologist without an official degree—arrive in 1936 in the remote Andaman Islands in India’s Bay of Bengal. Ty is born into their near-idyllic paradise, colonial as it is, and is beloved by all, but his closest attachment is to the servants’ daughter Naila, who is eight years older. By 1942, looming war demands all expats to evacuate the islands. Hours before departure, Ty and Naila disappear. Having frantically thrust Claire onto the final rescue ship bound for Calcutta, Shep is left to search. Reunion is the only goal that keeps Claire alive. Best-selling Liu’s latest is a fascinating, irresistible marvel.