A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison

A harrowing novel about two sisters whose lives begin with a happy childhood on a house on the beach to a tsunami leading to them becoming trapped in the world of trafficking. The novel presents a genuine and in-depth understanding of how trafficking rings operate by not shying away from the things young girls trapped in the world of sex trafficking have to endure. It is certainly a very fast-paced novel but yet manages it to retain the constant emotional distress which pervades throughout. The settings are honest reflections of real life from the red light district to the celebration at the end. Those who haven't read A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison are missing out on one of the best novels of our time.

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

One of the longer novels on this list, Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes offers a brutally honest history of slavery with experiences which are often explained in such understated terms that they become emotionally charged on an even greater level. Whilst one should remember that the novel shouldn't merely be a replacement for factual research on slavery, it is certainly worthy of being an accompaniment to it thanks to the golden nuggets of wisdom littered throughout.

The World Unseen by Shamim Sarif

This beautifully written, lyrical novel tells the tale of two women falling in love in 1950s South Africa. The intensity of the setting combined with the subtle hypocrisy and prejudice of the times allows the reader to become deeply invested in this novel.

The characters are believable and three dimensional and although fictional, they will stay with you for long past the end page. This is the perfect novel for you summer reading list.

A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Unfortunately, Thiong'o's novel is constantly being compared to Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart but to do this is a complete injustice to one of the best African novels ever written. The story tells the tale of the lead up to Kenyan independence and manages to give a truthful account of life following colonialism through the interconnected stories of the characters. The underlying irony and symbolism permeating the novel expertly reiterates the concerns of the book and each time you read A Grain of Wheat, you are guaranteed to find something new, something which only the world's best literature manages to do.

The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee

From the numerous novels emerging from the Indian subcontinent, this has got to be one of the best and yet seems to have faded into the background.

An ambitious novel with an array of characters, each bring their own perspective to form a brutally honest depiction of Indian society following independence from the British Empire. Despite the large cast and numerous sub-plots, rarely does the reader get lost. The novel, in all its details and intricacies of different sections of society, Mukherjee manages to shock us into engagement in this novel which you won't be able to put down.