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This is it. The place for the greatest writing: stories that transcend all other ‘genres’. Literary fiction goes above and beyond any specific genre in order to deliver stories that strike at the heart of what it means to be human.
A rather special, magically quirky yet deeply dark novel, with a potentially misleading title - until you’ve read the book and all becomes clear! Sisters Lilly and Neave set up a cosmetics empire as the USA becomes involved in the Second World War. When Lilly goes missing, Neave finds herself in incredible danger. Sharon Powell writes with a sparkling pen, adding just enough enchantment, while retaining a gritty feeling of reality. Mr Boppit became a firm favourite of mine, I quite fell under his spell, particularly regarding his choice of shoewear. Another tale runs alongside and inside the main storyline, adding an extra dimension to the read. There is a sparkling alchemy to the writing, yet an ominous undertone ensured I was kept on the edge of my seat as the tension increased. ‘The Romance Reader’s Guide to Life’ is a particularly charming, wonderfully compelling read, do I recommend it, why yes, I most assuredly do!
Gin-inspired joie de vivre and fresh starts abound in this surefire summer tonic for fans of Jenny Colgan. This spritely, lighthearted tale of loss, love and picking up the pieces with gin-infused panache sees soon-to-be-fifty-year-old Jen (Juniper to her loveably eccentric dad) take on the council when the museum she works in faces closure at the hands of a slimy local businessman and councillor she has history with. Jen has been having a tough time of late, what with her husband abandoning her for a younger woman, her son off travelling in Canada, her mum’s death and her daughter recently departed for uni. But with the support of her characterful colleagues and family, not to mention “sexy silver fox” Tom, Jen finds renewed vigor for life when they hatch a plan to save the museum by transforming it into a gin distillery. Serving up a cocktail of Victoria Wood-esque quips and droll domestic observations with a chaser of romance, this makes for a funny sunny day read.
When financial wealth means physical size, everyone wants to get big. Watch out for the little people… A stunning read. A fascinating and complex novel of ideas that is also a fast and brutal gangland thriller. Like such master pieces as Nick Harkaway’s The Gone Away World or Jasper Fforde’s Shades of Grey, Jesse Andrews asks the reader to accept a world similar to ours, with one vital difference. In this case it is the fact that wealth equates with physical size; the more you have, the bigger you can grow. Those who live in poverty are barely the size of rats. Our slick narrator is a street kid trying to help his family. His story starts with the bold statements that his father was stepped on and his mother was crippled by a cat. With nothing but street smarts, muscles and badly thought-out plans, he and his sister try to make it into the big rich people’s society. It’s a heart-wrenching human story. Its also a vital social commentary. Some rich people are literally too big to see the poor. It is a frightening look at how blind western society can be. The language is both simple and complicated, a rhythm of fast-speech and truncated words that brings the slums and gangs vividly to life. Enjoyable and thought-provoking, surprising and disturbing, this book is really something special.
Following the success of L.S. Hilton's Maestra series, it appears that wicked and murderous females are back in vogue (but had they ever truly faded away?). Alvina is down on her luck in London when she receives a call from her more successful and beautiful twin sister to join her in Sicily. Soon, she is murdering people with distracted aplomb and turning her life around in unexpected ways, accumulating male conquests on the way. It's the Talented Mister Ripley with a twist and a sharp sense of humour as the amoral Alvie rises and rises on the back of all opposition. Sisters, brothers in law, local Mafia studs, sculptor lovers next door, crooked priests... nothing can stop her in her quest for the perfect life she confidently believes she is owed. The first person narrative takes you into its conniving confidence and makes you almost an accomplice to her misdeeds. Wonderful guilty fun and the beginning of a trilogy with Bad and Dangerous to Know to come next. I can't wait!
Hippie is a spiritual journey of self-discovery. This autobiographical account of Paulo Coelho’s nomadic past is written in the third person as if it’s fiction, with the author drawing upon his own experiences on the hippie trail in the 1970s. The book focuses on a young Brazilian, Paulo, and his Dutch companion, Karla, who are travelling on a Magic Bus heading to Kathmandu, trying to define their place in the world. The author also gives voices to other characters, reflecting the diversity of those looking for adventure, spiritual enlightenment or an alternative lifestyle with few restrictions. At times, Hippie reads like a literary travelogue through Europe towards Nepal, with its vivid descriptions of people, places and cultures, evoking a great sense of place. And at other times, it reads like a guidebook of self-exploration. This is a book about liberation and freedom, set at a time where there was no political correctness to stifle people’s thoughts, actions and choices. Hippie is a nostalgic look at the drug-fuelled hippie culture, but also a snapshot of past memories that have shaped the author’s writing and outlook on life. Certainly an intriguing read.
Gosh, just stunning! For me, this is the very definition of a must-read… eloquent, absorbing, absolutely fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable. I thought The Last Hours (which you really do need to read first) was exquisitely engaging and satisfying, and I enjoyed The Turn of Midnight just as much, perhaps even more as the characters were known to me, beloved by me. Lady Anne and educated serf Thaddeus have joined forces to prevent the Black Death from decimating their community. As they attempt to secure the independence of Develish however, trouble continues to haunt them, to hunt them down. Maps and a summary of the people, places and events from The Last Hours ensured I was able to step straight into the story. Minette Walters has the most beautiful voice, my soul became at one with the words. I sank so fully into the story that I was surprised at the end of each chapter when I suddenly came to and became aware of my surroundings. The time, the place are vibrantly alive, I could touch kindness, smell bitterness, taste fear. Please, please, please let there be more! The Turn of Midnight is a powerful, gripping read, and yes I am gushing most effusively over it, that’s because it really is rather wonderful and I highly recommend buying yourself a copy.
This book is Melmoth. It's pages reach out, take you by the hand and walks you through each of the character's lives, making you bear witness to moral complexities navigated by each character. The Interweaving narratives introduced with the strange manuscript bound me to this book and didn't release me until the final page. I still feel the tingle on the back of my neck - like the book is nearby, watching and waiting... Sarah Perry's writing is a lesson in the mastery of the English language, with the poetic fluidity of the River Elbe. Although this book is rather demure, it packs a real punch and manages to combine history, folklore and morality to create a thrilling allegory of ignorance and narrow sightedness.
The wry, macabre, unforgettable tale of an ambitious orphan in Revolutionary Paris, befriended by royalty and radicals alike, who transforms herself into the legendary Madame Tussaud. In 1761, a tiny, odd-looking girl named Marie is born in a village in Alsace. After the death of her parents, she is apprenticed to an eccentric wax sculptor and whisked off to the seamy streets of Paris, where they meet a domineering widow and her quiet, pale son. Together, they convert an abandoned monkey house into an exhibition hall for wax heads, and the spectacle becomes a sensation. As word of her artistic talent spreads, Marie is called to Versailles, where she tutors a princess and saves Marie Antoinette in childbirth. But outside the palace walls, Paris is roiling: The revolutionary mob is demanding heads, and . . . at the wax museum, heads are what they do.
What? You haven’t read a Stella Rimington novel! Don’t worry, nor had I… and even better The Moscow Sleepers can easily be read as a standalone novel. If you are now feeling rather smug as you are already well on board this particular series then I trust you won’t be disappointed. I now plan to start at the beginning and read the first ten in the ‘Liz Carlyle’ novels as I trust they will be just as addictive. Liz Carlyle becomes embroiled in a case that appears to be fractured and confusing, gradually however the pieces begin to slide, one by one into deadly place. As you’d expect, Stella Rimington writes with a commanding pen, I felt in safe and secure hands as I sank below the surface into the dangerous world of international intelligence. An intricate web with a number of characters weaved together in the most utterly believable way. The Moscow Sleepers isn’t sexy, fickle, excitable fantasy, instead I felt as though I was in a completely plausible world, one that particularly at the moment, feels all too heart in mouth real - highly recommended.
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018 Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years. This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person's life - a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us - blazingly - about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney's second novel breathes fiction with new life.
The hilarious second novel, and Sunday Times No 1 Bestseller, from author of the smash hit Why Mummy Drinks. Welcome to Mummy's world... The Boy Child Peter is connected to his iPad by an umbilical cord, The Girl Child Jane is desperate to make her fortune as an Instagram lifestyle influencer, while Daddy is constantly off on exotic business trips... Mummy's marriage is feeling the strain, her kids are running wild and the house is steadily developing a forest of mould. Only Judgy, the Proud and Noble Terrier, remains loyal as always. Mummy has also found herself a new challenge, working for a hot new tech start-up. But not only is she worrying if, at forty-two, she could actually get up off a bean bag with dignity, she's also somehow (accidentally) rebranded herself as a single party girl who works hard, plays hard and doesn't have to run out when the nanny calls in sick. Can Mummy keep up the facade while keeping her family afloat? Can she really get away with wearing `comfy trousers' to work? And, more importantly, can she find the time to pour herself a large G+T? Probably effing not.
A quietly compelling read which is as much about the journey of discovery as the actual mystery contained within. Following on ten years after The Blue Book Hugh Mullion discovers a key down the side of a chair cushion and begins to search for answers. A maze sits centre stage, oppressive, dominating, yet reflected beautifully in the art surrounding it. The Amber Maze sits as a standalone short novel and you certainly don’t have to have read Hugh’s previous adventure to start here. Christopher Bowden encourages a simple, almost diary like feel to bring to life the past, as Hugh unravels the mystery in the present. The Amber Maze is a considered, intriguing mystery which unfolds at a gentle pace.
A beautiful debut. Before I read a single word I was sold on it because the idea of someone being a letter detective is fascinating to me. Their days are spent solving mysteries: missing postcodes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names are just a few of the puzzles that face them daily. William Woolf is the letter detective who becomes obsessed with the letters that arrive in the Dead Letters Depot in East London. The other characters in the novel are the other writers of letters; each letter creates a whole new character in the book. A mystical place, a myriad of stories, where reality and magic collide. The letters bring the internal emotional world into the open. Playful and profound. Featured in Episode 4 of the LoveReading Podcast
Winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2018 A darkly mesmerising and fascinating epic of a tale based in India, one that is all-consuming and fiercely beautiful. A family descends into a hellish nightmare when power, greed, and corruption begin to prowl through their lives. After his mother dies, Jivan returns home to his family and arrives to chaos. The first paragraph gently took hold of my thoughts, setting the departing view in my minds eye, setting my feet on the journey to India. I sank quickly and deeply into the page, Preti Taneja allows the words to sing, to explain, to show the world that Jivan is entering. I remained on edge, apprehensive, sometimes having to peek between my fingers as love and hate began a heady, swirling, burning dance, wrapping around one another until they became one. As a retelling of King Lear, it stands resolutely on its on merit and I almost didn’t want to mention the connection. ‘We That Are Young’ shocks, provokes, pushes and pulls at thoughts and feelings, it is also a ravishingly descriptive work of art. Featured in Episode 4 of the LoveReading Podcast
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018 Milkman is extraordinary. I've been reading passages aloud for the pleasure of hearing it. It's frightening, hilarious, wily and joyous all at the same time. - Lisa McInerney, author of The Glorious Heresies In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.
This book ratcheted the breath out of me so skilfully, that as soon as I'd finished, the only thing I wanted was to read it again. Jessie Burton Teenage Silvie and her parents are living in a hut in Northumberland as an exercise in experimental archaeology. Her father is a difficult man, obsessed with imagining and enacting the harshness of Iron Age life. Haunting Silvie's narrative is the story of a bog girl, a young woman sacrificed by those closest to her, and the landscape both keeps and reveals the secrets of past violence and ritual as the summer builds to its harrowing climax.
Vivian is one of life’s outsiders; an orphan oddity adrift from the world, whose parents told her she was a Changeling. She posts her aunt’s ashes to her aunt’s friends, and then to strangers from the phone book. She advertises for a friend who “Must Answer to Penelope: Pennies Need Not Apply.” Against the odds, a Penelope responds, and a bond is formed but still, Vivian wanders Dublin, doing the strange things that make perfect sense to her, but arouse alarm in others and the question, “Is everything, alright?” This charming, unsettling, magical story about loneliness, reaching out, friendship and hope is laced with dark humour and whimsy. It is at once briskly amusing and deeply moving, and makes a marvellous companion to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Stephen Leeds, also known as 'Legion', has a unique mental condition. He can become an expert on any subject in hours . . . and with every new area of expertise a new 'aspect' of Stephen is created. Is he schizophrenic? Possibly. Does that make him an incredible intelligence agent? Definitely. And this is his final, and perhaps his strangest, adventure. It begins with two unrelated events: the disappearance of Armando, one of Stephen's many aspects, and an unexpected cry for help from Sandra, the woman who, many years before, helped him learn to live with his condition . . . and the combination of the two leads to a sinister high-tech firm specializing in advanced methods of human incarceration. An original, challenging, and utterly absorbing story, this unmissable novella showcases Stephen Leeds at his best: a compelling hero, and a man constantly struggling to understand and control his own divided nature.
**LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018** 'Daisy Johnson is a new goddamn swaggering monster of fiction.' Lauren Groff Words are important to Gretel, always have been. As a child, she lived on a canal boat with her mother, and together they invented a language that was just their own. She hasn't seen her mother since the age of sixteen, though - almost a lifetime ago - and those memories have faded. Now Gretel works as a lexicographer, updating dictionary entries, which suits her solitary nature. A phone call from the hospital interrupts Gretel's isolation and throws up questions from long ago. She begins to remember the private vocabulary of her childhood. She remembers other things, too: the wild years spent on the river; the strange, lonely boy who came to stay on the boat one winter; and the creature in the water - a canal thief? - swimming upstream, getting ever closer. In the end there will be nothing for Gretel to do but go back. Daisy Johnson's debut novel turns classical myth on its head and takes readers to a modern-day England unfamiliar to most. As daring as it is moving, Everything Under is a story of family and identity, of fate, language, love and belonging that leaves you unsettled and unstrung.
** LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018 ** `Autumn makes me think of leaves, which makes me think of trees, which makes me think of The Overstory, the best novel ever written about trees, and really, just one of the best novels, period.' Ann Patchett 'It's a masterpiece.' - Tim Winton 'It's not possible for Powers to write an uninteresting book.' - Margaret Atwood A monumental novel about trees and people by one of our most 'prodigiously talented' (The New York Times Book Review) novelists. The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond: An Air Force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. These four, and five other strangers - each summoned in different ways by trees - are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent's few remaining acres of virgin forest. There is a world alongside ours - vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.
Classic stuff with Paris very much at its centre. Although set in the present, the past echoes through it as various people brush up against history, politics and atrocities. Our main characters are a 19-year old, illegal, Moroccan immigrant, Tariq, and a lonely, middle-aged American academic, Hannah, bruised by a love affair in Paris ten years earlier. Tariq works in a fried chicken shop with a couple of Algerians who discuss the brutality of the French in the war of independence. This echoes the interviews Hannah is transcribing for her research about women under German occupation. A quirk of fate allows Tariq to become Hannah’s lodger and then translator. Although a comparatively short book, at under three hundred pages, there is a huge amount within it. Faulks is without a doubt an impressive novelist. This is a must-read. Featured in Episode 5 of the LoveReading Podcast
Hildegard Wolf is a German psychiatrist who lives a comfortable life in Paris. When she encounters a client who claims to be Lord Lucan, she can't help but be intrigued. After all, he's the second man who has claimed to be the elusive lord. But which one is the imposter? This is one of the 22 novels written by Muriel Spark in her lifetime. All are being published by Polygon in hardback Centenary Editions between November 2017 and September 2018.
Often described as the perfect partner to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Spark's last novel is set in Switzerland where Rowland and his wife Nina run a finishing school. Murderous jealousy soon rears its head when a precocious young student shows promise in her writing career. This is `Spark at her sharpest, her purest and her most merciful' - Ali Smith. This is one of the 22 novels written by Muriel Spark in her lifetime. All are being published by Polygon in hardback Centenary Editions between November 2017 and September 2018.
Described by Gore Vidal as `a novel written at the top of her form and so unique', Reality and Dreams concerns the delirious, egocentric film director Tom Richards, who is recovering from injuries sustained while falling off a crane on set. His obsessive passion to make a film about a simple young woman sucks his wife, daughters, lovers and friends into a maelstrom of destruction. This is one of the 22 novels written by Muriel Spark in her lifetime. All are being published by Polygon in hardback Centenary Editions between November 2017 and September 2018.
Caroline is an esteemed senior research psychologist, formerly a woman who seemed to have it all - professional acclaim, financial comfort, handsome husband Jack, and adorable kids – but she’s lost everything due to her sadistically selfish ex convincing everyone that she’s a jilted madwoman, unable to look after herself, and certainly unfit to care for their children. As Caroline careers deep into self-destruction mode, seeking solace in booze, shopping and one night stands with married men, an administrative error sees her take delivery of Jack’s luggage. After discovering a diary recounting each of his affairs in painful detail – replete with intimate photographs and ratings of every woman he’s won over – Caroline embarks on an intense mission to exact revenge on Jack for his longstanding controlling behaviour and multiple betrayals. But, more than that, Caroline wants her children back. This is a seriously addictive thriller, with Caroline’s cunningly executed campaign providing plenty of heart-pounding moments, especially when her actions become increasingly risky. But she’s being played too; watched, stalked and threatened as she implements her revenge via a cunningly executed social media campaign. But it’s a hideously complicated situation, and Jack is nothing if not a master of manipulation. Penetratingly sharp on the complexities of psychological abuse and the human heart, this compulsive, disturbing debut will be relished by fans of Gillian Flynn and Paula Daly.
Certain states are hard to shake, or so Catherine Lacey's characters find in these twelve tales of love, loss and longing. A grieving wife gives away the shirts her husband has left behind. A flirtatious widow takes a honeymooning couple to see her husband's grave. A businessman working for a shadowy organization known as 'The Company', checks-in to a room in a strange and remarkable hotel.
Dust off your dance cards and practice your repartee, as the Bennet sisters are back. Kitty Bennet is lonely, with three of her sisters married, she begins to consider her previous antics. Spending time with both Jane and Lizzy, Kitty’s eyes open to new possibilities. I adore anything that lengthens my forays into Jane Austen’s world and I immediately felt at home. I could see, hear, almost reach out and touch the much-loved characters as they walked in my mind. This is such a gentle, loving, and beautifully readable novel, you don’t actually need to have read Pride and Prejudice to step into the pages. Carrie Kablean perhaps sees certain well-loved characters with a slightly different eye to my own, which was fascinating as I felt myself evaluating my own impressions and thoughts. What Kitty Did Next is a delightful, thoroughly enjoyable read, and I fairly skipped through from beginning to end.
A deeply reflective and moving debut novel about a Pakistani immigrant family in America trying to find out what happened to their rebellious son. Featured in Episode 4 of the LoveReading Podcast.
A feverishly seductive story, it whispers, cajoles, beckons from history until the past forcefully assaults the present. When Ruth’s estranged father dies she returns to Edinburgh and discovers the hidden diary of her ancestor Thomas Erskine. Fascinated by his story Ruth finds herself in extraordinary danger when she starts to delve into the past. The prologue offers a warning, while the first chapter thoroughly sets the scene in 1760 as 10 year old Thomas witnesses a murder and sees the shadow of the dead man as it leaves the body. Barbara Erskine has based the story on her own family history, she paints a picture with a beautiful delicate balance and inner strength as the drama starts to unfold. Ruth’s story stands resolute in this time, and with a delicious shiver of fear I let the story take me where it willed. I always knew where I was, even as the past pushed ever closer. Spellbinding and gorgeously readable, as all becomes clear The Ghost Tree really is the most perfect title - highly recommended.
Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years. This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person's life - a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us - blazingly - about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney's second novel breathes fiction with new life.
We are in a small English town, big enough for a hospital and strong police presence but small enough for everyone to know everyone's business. 20 years ago a teenager girl went missing. Our protagonist, Naomi is blind, still in love with her ex-husband and suicidal. Twice she goes to the cliff top to contemplate jumping. On her way home in a depressed state she stumbles upon a recently murdered girl and possibly disturbs the murderer. The investigating police seem, as far as the new DS Marcus Campbell can tell, to be hiding something and he clashes badly with his superior, DI Lisa Elliott. Tension runs high and we the reader, are as involved with the machinations within the police force, as we are with finding the murderer. Then there is another body, a young female police officer. Why? During a fierce and physically violent argument between Naomi and her ex-husband's new girlfriend, a third murder is attempted, only this time the victim lives. This is a complicated, intriguing and multi-layered thriller. A fast paced tale that really keeps you guessing and then turns everything on its end in the final chapter.
Described by Time Magazine as `a lethal comedy', Symposium centres around a dinner party and the lives of the five couples in attendance, including a burglary ring, a convent of Marxist nuns and several unexplained deaths. A devilish tale. This is one of the 22 novels written by Muriel Spark in her lifetime. All are being published by Polygon in hardback Centenary Editions between November 2017 and September 2018.
A sparkling, witty, occasionally rather sexy debut that made me nod in agreement and splutter with laughter. 30 year old Polly works for Posh! magazine, she excels in making the aristocracy look spectacular on paper, however her love life is wilting dramatically… and she needs a Plus One for her best friend’s wedding. Polly quickly settled into a fabulous friend status, we sat together gossiping, I giggled, winced, and regularly raised my eyebrows as I read. Sophia Money-Coutts has a wonderfully light touch, she also keeps laughing gas in her pen, and isn’t afraid to use it. I alternated in reading bits out loud to my husband (who was as shocked as I’d hoped he’d be), and just sinking into, and enjoying the story. There is a heart-felt reality kick along the way, however for me this was an outrageously feel-good read. ‘The Plus One’ became my best friend while I read it, very funny, sometimes shocking, always extremely entertaining.
In Fairytale, Danielle Steel weaves a captivating story of a daughter's love and courage, and the hope that good really can prevail over evil. Camille Lammenais had a perfect childhood growing up in California's beautiful Napa Valley, surrounded by acres of her family's vineyards. Her parents, Christophe and Joy, still deeply in love after two decades of marriage, have built a renowned winery and chateau inspired by Christophe's native Bordeaux. After graduating, Camille returns to fulfil her lifetime ambition - helping to run Chateau Joy. But the fairytale suddenly ends with her Joy's death. Six months after losing his wife, Christophe is easy prey for a mysterious, charming French countess visiting the valley. Camille, still grieving for her mother, is shocked that her father risks being trapped, and cannot seem to see past the alluring looks, designer clothes and elegant manners. As Camille's world falls apart, it will take all of her strength and all the help she can get to fight for her family's legacy.
`You know those cracks in your heart, Lorna, where things didn't work out, but you picked yourself up and carried on? That's where the fear gets out. And where the light gets in.' It was Betty, defiant to the end, who sent Lorna back to Longhampton. If Lorna's learned one thing from Betty it's that courage is something you paint on like red lipstick, even when you're panicking inside. And right now, with the keys to the town's gallery in her hand, Lorna feels about as courageous as Betty's anxious little dachshund, trembling beside her. Lorna's come home to Longhampton to fulfil a long-held dream, but she knows, deep down, there are ghosts she needs to lay to rest first. This is where her tight-knit family shattered into silent pieces. It's where her unspoken fears about herself took root and where her own secret, complicated love began. It's not exactly a fresh start. But as Lorna - and the little dog - tentatively open their cracked hearts to old friends and new ones, facing hard truths and fresh promises, something surprisingly beautiful begins to grow around the gallery, something so inspirational even Lorna couldn't have predicted the light it lets into her world . . . An inspiring, life-enhancing novel that will make you see your life afresh . . . Fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Diamond and Veronica Henry will love it.
The sequel to Jonas Jonasson's international bestseller The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared It all begins with a hot air balloon trip and three bottles of champagne. Allan and Julius are ready for some spectacular views, but they're not expecting to land in the sea and be rescued by a North Korean ship, and they could never have imagined that the captain of the ship would be harbouring a suitcase full of contraband uranium, on a nuclear weapons mission for Kim Jong-un ... Soon Allan and Julius are at the centre of a complex diplomatic crisis involving world figures from the Swedish foreign minister to Angela Merkel and President Trump. Things are about to get very complicated ... Praise for The Hundred-Year-Old Man: `A mordantly funny and loopily freewheeling debut novel about ageing disgracefully' Sunday Times `Imaginative, laugh-out-loud . . . a brilliant satire on the foibles of mankind' Daily Telegraph `Fast-moving and relentlessly sunny' Guardian
In this crackling debut collection Nafissa Thompson-Spires interrogates our supposedly post-racial era. To wicked and devastating effect she exposes the violence, both external and self-inflicted, that threatens black Americans, no matter their apparent success. A teenager is insidiously bullied as her YouTube following soars; an assistant professor finds himself losing a subtle war of attrition against his office mate; a nurse is worn down by the demand for her skills as a funeral singer. And across a series of stories, a young woman grows up, negotiating and renegotiating her identity. Heads of the Colored People shows characters in crisis, both petty and catastrophic. It marks the arrival of a remarkable writer and an essential and urgent new voice.
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE FROM THE MAN BOOKER AND ORANGE PRIZE SHORTLISTED AUTHOR OF HALF BLOOD BLUES 'A masterpiece' Attica Locke 'High adventure fraught with cliffhanger twists mark this runaway-slave narrative, which leaps, sails, and soars ... broadens inventive possibilities for the antebellum novel' Kirkus starred review When two English brothers take the helm of a Barbados sugar plantation, Washington Black - an eleven year-old field slave - finds himself selected as personal servant to one of these men. The eccentric Christopher 'Titch' Wilde is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor and abolitionist, whose single-minded pursuit of the perfect aerial machine mystifies all around him. Titch's idealistic plans are soon shattered and Washington finds himself in mortal danger. They escape the island together, but then then Titch disappears and Washington must make his way alone, following the promise of freedom further than he ever dreamed possible. From the blistering cane fields of Barbados to the icy wastes of the Canadian Arctic, from the mud-drowned streets of London to the eerie deserts of Morocco, Washington Black teems with all the strangeness and mystery of life. Inspired by a true story, Washington Black is the extraordinary tale of a world destroyed and made whole again.
Insightful, International, Thought-provoking
Literary fiction is a bit of a “catch-all” phrase. Some call it “Serious Fiction” but we prefer to think of it as all of the greatest stories ever told, all in one place. This is where you will find literary classics from literary masters past and present.
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