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Costa Book Awards 2018 Winners

By Charlotte Walker on 9th January 2019

The category winners of the Costa Book Awards have been announced. One of the most prestigious, not to mention one of the most popular literary prizes have announced the winners of the following categories:

Costa First Novel Award - Stuart Turton, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle 

Costa Novel Award - Sally Rooney, Normal People

Costa Biography Award - Bart Van Es, The Cut Out Girl

Costa Poetry Award - J. O. Morgan, Assurances

Costa Children’s Book Award - Hilary McKay, The Skylarks’ War

The overall winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award is announced on the 29th of January. 

Taking the prize for the Costa Children’s Book Award is Hilary McKay for The Skylarks’ War. We are so pleased that McKay has been announced as the winner, as we adored The Skylarks’ War and it has been featured on both LoveReading and LoveReading4Kids. It is also one of our Books of the Month for January! Julia Eccleshare M.B.E. reviewed this book for our site:

Award-winning Hilary McKay tells a captivating and deeply moving story of three young people growing up in the years before and during World War One… Hilary McKay has a rare gift for novels about families and their interplay. Here, she weaves her story round one of the most powerful backdrops in history. And she does so with the lightest of touch which makes her history come alive.

To read Julia’s full review head to The Skylarks’ War book page.

We must also mention Sally Rooney’s Normal People. She is the youngest winner of the Costa Novel Award at 27. The judges called her work: “A trailblazing novel about modern life and love that will electrify any reader”. Normal People has also appeared on LoveReading as an Audiobook of the month and also appearing on Episode 3 of the LoveReading Podcast.

The Costa Judges called The Cut out Girl by Bart van Es “The hidden gem of the year. Sensational and gripping, and shedding light on some of the most urgent issues of our time, this was our unanimous winner”. Bart van Es is the grandson of the couple who took in Lien, a child sent to safety and a foster family in the second world war. It is a powerful recreation of Lien’s childhood and wartime experiences as well as an account of the work put in by Bart to piece Lien’s story together.

Assurances by J. O. Morgan is a War poem. Incredibly topical as well as historical the poem begins during the cold war in the 1950s and includes both versed and unversed sections to portray many different voices and a calm reflection of the tension in the piece. The Judges said: “We were all gripped by this polyphonic book-length poem and dazzled by its originality and inventiveness.”

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a fascinating mystery. Evelyn Hardcastle attends a party thrown by her parents… again. Each time Evelyn has been murdered and Aiden Bishop has been too late to save her. Part of the trouble? every time the day begins again, Aidan wakes in the body of a different guest. The only way to break the cycle is to uncover evelyn’s killer, but someone is determined to stop them. The Judges reflected: “This ingenious, intriguing and highly original mindbender of a murder mystery gripped us all. We were all stunned that this exciting and accomplished novel, planned and plotted perfectly, is a debut. Fresh, enticing and completely unputdownable”.

Congratulations to all of the Category Winners!

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AmberiDeop A - 13th January 2019

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