Looking to try something new? Check out our Debuts of the Month selection. You never know, one might become your favourite new author and a special discovery!
July 2013 Debut of the Month. A beautifully written, moving and redemptive debut about families, expectations and rebuilding relationships. An idyllic facade hides the turmoil of the Adair family. Broken marriages, lost faith, abandoned dreams are all brought into sharp focus after the controlling patriarch William has a stroke. Desperate to bring the family back together the three sisters come together to restore the father’s most beloved place The Carriage House. Set in contemporary Philadelphia and likened to Jane Austen’s Persuasion, this debut has deservedly received some stunning reviews. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Carriage House a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'A stunningly beautiful tale of family expectations, consequential change and relationships...Full of heartwarming poignancy' - Lucinda Fountain. Scroll down to read more reviews. A 'Piece of Passion' from Viking Publisher Venetia Butterfield... 'Warm-hearted, intelligent and hugely compassionate, The Carriage House is a beautifully written novel about families and expectations, growing up and finding your place in the world, and rebuilding lost lives - from fantastic debut author Louisa Hall. William Adair, patriarch, doting father of three girls, Men’s Tennis Club Champion from 1967-1974 wakes up in his hospital bed and realizes that his family are less extraordinary than he had believed. For more than thirty years, his faith in life was grounded on two indisputable principles: his daughters’ exceptional beauty and talents and the historical resonance of a carriage house built by his grandfather. Now, both have begun to collapse. The three Adair daughters once so brilliant have all returned home; Elizabeth, the divorced but once promising actress, tennis ace Diana, now a University dropout and beautiful, sorrowful 18 year old Isabelle. Having lost their father’s pride they struggle to define themselves. To help him recover, William’s daughters take on the battle for their dilapidated carriage house and attempt to recapture some of the promise of their former selves. Told through the alternating perspectives of the family, a dramatic fire jolts them out of their self-absorbed misery and each of the Adairs start to overcome their wrong turns and to find the promise of a fresh start.' A message from the author... 'Just before starting The Carriage House, I re-read Jane Austen's Persuasion and realized that it was, in part, about a young woman who's forgotten how to be her previous self. Anne Elliot is twenty-eight years old, and everything about her has changed; she's lost her looks and her confidence, and she can barely remember how she used to carry herself when she was her younger, prettier version. At the time I also felt as if I'd wandered out of a previous existence. When I left my early life as a professional squash player to pursue a literary career, I lost all of the ways I used to measure myself, I found it hard to imagine life without the reassurance of a numerical ranking.Between my own and Anne Elliot's loss of a former persona, I became fascinated by the idea of characters who are suspended between two iterations of their life. I wanted to see how each of them could move forward, whilst mourning the loss of a former version of their self and their family. The Carriage House is my exploration of such characters.' – Louisa Hall
One of our Books of the Year 2013. Winner of The Melissa Nathan Award For Comedy Fiction About Life and Love 2013. I don’t like books written in emails, journals, notes etc and had not realised this was, just as I hadn’t realised Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was! This has the same feel, same contagious look, same wacky scenario (well not quite), same relentless pull. From page one I was smitten, my dislike for emails forgotten. It is the mother/daughter relationship which is so brilliant, that and the character of Bernadette – a prize-winning architect who doesn’t realise that what she needs in life is a new project. Clever, witty and hugely satisfying. July 2013 Debut of the Month. Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013. The Lovereading view... The Curious Incident meets A Visit from the Goon Squad meets The Simpsons - this is a wildly imaginative, laugh-out-loud but also very poignant novel that will generate huge word-of-mouth buzz... A "Piece of Passion" from the Arzu Tahsin, Deputy Publishing Director, Weidenfeld and Nicolson Fiction... 'It’s the sort of novel that you can’t wait to finish and then feel bereft when you have. It is also an extremely satisfying novel to give to friends and family while you can guarantee they’ll love it too. I don’t think I’ve read anything as irresistibly funny or deeply poignant for a very long time. Bernadette is a wonderful character and there is something of her in us all which is why I found her so compelling. She puts her family under a lot of pressure, but there is something about Bernadette that keeps them on her side. She is a delightful conundrum, and her daughter Bee adores her unconditionally. So, when Bernadette disappears and her husband appears to have reached the limits of his compassion, it is left to Bee to try and find her. And then the novel plunges into a journey to the wild seas and devastating chills of Antarctica. But redemption is a very distant location and almost a hard to navigate as Antarctica itself. I can promise that it is almost impossible to put this book down.'
All it takes is one second for everything to change. One moment to realise that it's the people you love who hurt you the most. Compelling, heart-breaking and unforgettable; this is the American Dream ripped apart. Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Cat Patrick as well as TV shows such as Revenge and One Tree Hill.
August 2014 Guest Editor Gerald Seymour on The Yellow Birds... And I am not totally wedded to nostalgia. Anyone wishing to see fiction’s response to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and be confident that the author knows what he writes of, should get hold of ‘The Yellow Birds’ by Kevin Powers. He was in the US military, was a machine gunner is times of brutal combat. His word pictures of a soldier’s life in a conflict zone are seriously memorable. The images are sincere and sensitive: it’s short and I deeply regretted finishing it, wanted more. One of our Books of the Year 2013. Winner of the Guardian First Book Award 2012. An unforgettable depiction of the psychological impact of war, by a young Iraq veteran and poet, The Yellow Birds is already being hailed as a modern classic.
Told thorough five narrators whose personal obsessions limit what each of them sees, The Whole World is an atmospheric and unusual literary thriller. American students Polly and Liv are giddy over the accents and architecture of Cambridge University. They both fall for the same charming graduate student... Then he disappears.Intricately plotted and cleverly written we think this debut author is one to watch.
July 2013 Debut of the Month. A stunning and moving debut of forbidden love. Inspired by the experiences of the author’s grandmother, Calling Me Home sees privileged white 16 year old Isabelle fall for her black housekeeper’s son in racist segregated 1930’s Kentucky. The doomed relationship has consequences that ricochet down the decades. Perfect for reading groups and fans of The Help. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Calling Me Home a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'I didn't so much read Calling Me Home as devour it in less than a day, so powerful was its hold. I'd defy anyone not to be moved to tears by Isabelle's story...a perfect read.' - Linda Hill. Scroll down to read more reviews.
July 2013 Debut of the Month. Winner of the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize Readers' Choice award. This Cuban set Crime Mystery is a real gem. Inspector Ramirez has an unusual gift bestowed on him by his possibly demented dying grandmother - he is visited by (polite but silent) visions of the dead whose cases he is investigating. Well it’s that or he himself is dying of the same rare, hallucination inducing dementia.First in the series finds Ramirez certain who the killer is but hogtied by the Cuban legal system that only gives him seventy two hours to secure an indictment.This smart, dark and gripping crime debut was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger and we can’t wait for the next Inspector Ramirez mystery. 'A Piece of Passion' from the publisher... ‘I am a bit of a sucker for the weird and unusual and a taste of the exotic, so when I saw this script I sat up and took notice. Set in contemporary Havana, we are introduced to the major crime unit of the Cuban National Revolutionary Police led by an inspector who sees the ghosts of unsolved murder victims who in turn is assisted by a dwarf pathologist who needs a stepladder to be able to conduct his autopsies. Although handicapped by a creaking bureaucracy, intermittent steam-internet and a lack of pencils, the policemen’s resourcefulness, dark subversive wit and profound intelligence more than compensate for these shortcomings. A compelling mystery with brilliant characters and a fantastic setting this is a spellbinding whodunnit. But above all a book of immense humanity.’ – Neville Moir, Publishing Director, Polygon In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Midnight in Havana a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - ' 'The most gripping book I have read in years! - Edel Waugh. Scroll down to read more reviews.
Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2013. What is money, and how does it work? The conventional answer is that people once used sugar in the West Indies, tobacco in Virginia, and dried cod in Newfoundland, and that today's financial universe evolved from barter. Unfortunately, there is a problem with this story. It's wrong. And not just wrong, but dangerous. Money: the Unauthorised Biography unfolds a panoramic secret history and explains the truth about money: what it is, where it comes from, and how it works.
July 2013 Debut of the Month. Set in post-revolutionary Iran, from 1983 to 2011, this is a powerful and moving story of the human cost of revolution, exile and change. Following the lives of three generations of men and women driven by idealism, inspired by love and chasing dreams of freedom, Children of the Jacaranda Tree is an evocative and effecting portrait of Iran and it’s struggles to change.
One of our Books of the Year 2013. University chums, Julia and Toby, back then had a fumble, went their separate ways and are now the best of friends. Then Toby gets dumped, they have an epiphany and a romantic weekend in Brighton. From the start we know they were right for each other so for them to also work this out early on in the novel means we have trouble ahead ... and trouble we certainly have. This is a pure delight. Toby is an old-fashioned, decent bloke, Julia a stubborn, modern girl. How they get it all by the end is beautifully handled with some unexpected, humorous and emotional moments, all thrown into a fast-moving plot. I loved it. July 2013 Debut of the Month.
Shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2014. One of our Books of the Year 2013. Maxim Jakubowski's November 2013 Highly Recommended. The first volume in a gritty trilogy set in the Glasgow crime underworld (the following volumes are HOW A GUNMAN SAYS GOODBYE and THE SUDDEN ARRIVAL OF VIOLENCE), this is Tartan noirer than noir with a cast of characters who range from grey to black and all ambiguous shades in between and a considerable dark achievement, and establishes Calum MacLean, a hired killer with hidden depths, and dogged local cop Michael Fisher as memorable, opposing characters who will stay in the readers' mind for ages. A particularly bracing read. Winner of the CWA Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read 2013. Malcolm MacKay said: “It’s a huge honour and thrill to win. To be included in such a strong list of nominees is a wonderful thing for any young writer.” CWA Judges' comment: “Tartan noirer than noir with a cast of characters who range from grey to black and all ambiguous shades in between, this is a refreshing tour through the dark side of Glasgow and the promising initial volume in a trilogy that could mark the crime landscape for years to come.” Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger 2013. Sarah Broadhurst's view... Totally enthralling new crime series set in a grim Glasgow underworld where a young hitman, Calum, is beholden to no-one. He is hired to take out a small-time drug dealer, Lewis Winter, and gets involved in a scam that backfires. This is full of nasty, violent people trapped in a nasty, violent world and features one of the best new present tense voices I've read for a long time. In short, sharp sentences with a deliberate absence of drama, this paints a dark world of corruption in a very impressive first novel. Volume two is to follow into paperback in just six months time.
June 2013 Debut of the Month. Meticulous research and superlative writing brings to life the little known but important Battle of Flodden in 1513 and the consequences to Scotland and its people. This racy adventure, combining political intrigue and romance is told through the eyes of several characters who either had a hand in bringing the country to war, or were deeply affected by the outcome. It makes for a compelling and educational read. Definitely one for fans of Rose Tremain and Hilary Mantel.
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