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.
Summer, 1972: In the claustrophobic heat, eleven-year-old Byron and his friend begin 'Operation Perfect', a hapless mission to rescue Byron's mother from impending crisis. Winter, present day: As frost creeps across the moor, Jim cleans tables in the local cafe, a solitary figure struggling with OCD. His job is a relief from the rituals that govern his nights. Little would seem to connect them except that two seconds can change everything. And if your world can be shattered in an instant, can time also put it right?
One of our Books of the Year 2014. March 2014 Debut of the Month. This is a delightful debut novel which takes a forgotten letter found in the pages of an old battered book as the start of a rich and enjoyable discovery of war time family secrets. Both Roberta, in the present day, and Dorothea, the letter’s author in the 1940s, are wonderful heroines and the point at which the stories meet when Roberta visits Dorothea in her nursing home is truly poignant. This facet of the story – how we think about our parents and grandparents and how their lives have turned out gives a wonderful resonance to the story and makes it so much more than just a tale of a forgotten wartime romance. Lovereading View:- An achingly moving and thought-provoking tale of secrets; told with extreme humanity and compassion. Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase holds a lifetime of memories, lost and found love is carefully folded away while a crucial decision hides in the corner.Two main stories are disclosed in different time frames, the author cleverly separating the two eras; the first, in the present, is narrated by Roberta herself and the second, from the past is told on behalf of Dorothy. Both women appear outwardly strong, however one harbours a tortuous secret which has been her constant companion, while the other searches for answers from the past. Walters does not sanction or encourage provocative thoughts of judgement but as echoes of sadness travel across the years, you are left with thought provoking questions about the necessity of secrets and the choices we make. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'Packed full of secrets and deceptions. I wept my way through this deeply moving story of loss and soul searching.' – Janet Lambert. Scroll down to read more reviews. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... Dear Reader I’m Louise Walters’ editor, and my remit is to publish novels that are perfect for reading groups. That could be quite a broad definition, because of course members of reading groups can read any book they choose to, but there seem to be certain key elements that make a book particularly suited for that kind of discussion. I have long been searching for the mythical Perfect Reading Group Novel, and as soon as I read Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase I knew I had found it. A young woman working in a bookshop – great, book-lovers like to read about books. A second strand set in wartime, featuring her grandmother – fantastic, the smaller personal tragedies of war can make for a really compelling plot. A Captain Corelli-esque ‘will they, won’t they?’ love story – tick. And a dark family secret just waiting to be uncovered – what’s not to like?But alongside all these elements, Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase has that elusive magic ingredient – readability. It’s beautifully written, and the characters are so human, so flawed but likeable, that you will be rooting for them every step of the way. I’m not going to apologise for this, but I should warn you – you will cry. I cried every time I read it, and as the editor I had to read it a lot! You will also fall in love with Jan, and I won’t apologise for that either.We are all very excited about this book, and were delighted when the US rights were bought by the editor who discovered The Help. I think this book has all the elements that made The Help such a success, and I very much hope you agree.Suzie Suzie DooréEditorial Director, Hodder and Stoughton
This sequel to Fisher of Men is a charming and engagingly warmhearted read. Dunbridge, the small market town setting, is a perfect backdrop to display gentle rural life in all its glory (with just the occasional bit of scandal and scheming). Although Neil the Curate and the Church are central, the true story on display is life as it really is; full of love, comedic moments, heartbreak hell, tussles of faith and comforts of friendship. Make yourself cozy, relax into this warm, amusing story and enjoy. ~ Liz Robinson
March 2014 Book of the Month. An intriguing and beguiling read, told with great eloquence and understanding. Burma and the USA are unlikely bedfellows as a setting, however this juxtaposition helps focus on the different characters and their yearning for compassion and love. Part of the novel is set within a period of civil war, the hardships accentuate the spiritual and friendly nature of the community caught in this internal conflict and you feel that the author has a great love for Burma and its people. His lightness of touch, when dealing with heartache and sorrow, emphasise the intensity of feelings within the main characters. There is no discord or disharmony between the different stories being told and by the end the tales fit enchantingly together like two sides of the same jigsaw. Although this is a much anticipated sequel, you do not have to have read the award winning The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. This book stands resolutely in its own right, however there are suggestive hints, that if you haven't yet done so, will encourage you to explore the story of Julias father, the man who could hear heartbeats. ~ Liz Robinson In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for A Well Tempered Heart a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'A beautifully written book about a beautiful country and culture. If you love a sensitive thoughtful book then this is the one for you.' Sarah Musk Scroll down to read more reviews. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... Normally publishers are wary of sequels but Jan-Philipp Sendker’s follow up to the smash hit Art of Hearing Heartbeats does not disappoint. Everything is there: the mix of East and West, the pain of lives pulled apart by the bitter conflict of war and, most of all, the emotional pull of love, loss and forgiveness. All infused with Jan-Philipp’s spellbinding story-telling; you won’t be able to put it down.' - Neville Moir, Editor, Polygon Books
This atmospheric, uplifting and deeply moving debut, set in the 1980s in an impoverished area of Louisiana, is a novel about the beauty of life no matter how broken it is. His publisher, who discovered him at a creative writing awards ceremony said ‘his writing reminds me of Mark Twain and J D Salinger in that ability to capture the whole tone and mood of a place just through the voice of the character.' We think it is a stunning debut from an exciting new voice in literature. Read the Opening Extract and see what you think. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Sketcher a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'I found this novel entirely fascinating and enchanting' - Julie Bickerdyke. Scroll down to read more reviews.
February 2014 Debut of the Month. At the age of 36 Rachel suffers a fatal aneurism leaving her husband, Max, and 6-year old daughter, Ellie, to reshape their lives. The narrative is told through the eyes of dead Rachel above the clouds. She can’t change anything, just watch over the course of two years. She watches the grieving and feels their pain, the mending and feels jealousy, fearful and resentful, but slowly things change for all involved. This is a love story from an interesting perspective. I think we all have feelings of insecurity about how others would cope or change without us. Here those anxieties are very well handled. A lovely read.
Meredith Lee is one of the most successful women in television. She has a daytime show that has an audience of millions. She seems to have it all. But behind the tirelessly successful facade lies the story of a woman who nearly lost everything. This is the story of a woman who could not keep love in her life. The love of neither her father nor her mother. Who lost the love of her life the first time around, then lost the love of her own child. She could not even find love in herself.
Years ago Jessica loved a boy, a strange, dangerous lad, her first love, forbidden and hidden. Now with a sudden panic that something may be wrong in her marriage she flees home as her mother puts the family house on the market. A ‘secrets’ box hidden in her bedroom brings back memories of that first love, her father’s betrayal, her mother’s pain and her own insecurities. Determined her life will not mirror her mother’s she tries to work out what it is she wants. With a dark, menacing atmosphere and the knowledge that there must be hidden secrets, this terrific read keeps you guessing to the end.
Winner of the Impac Prize 2015. A beautifully written and unexpectedly thrilling novel, this book defies categorisation and almost reinvents itself from one chapter to the next. Dark, unsettling, intriguing and exciting it is that rare thing, a hugely enjoyable and readable book which will have you thinking about it and its themes for weeks to come. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013.
It is May 1944 and in Eastern Europe the Second World War is reaching a dramatic and bloody crescendo. High above the mountains of occupied Slovenia an aeroplane drops three British parachutists - brash MP Major Jack Farwell, radio operator Sid Dixon, and young academic Lieutenant Tom Freedman - sent to assist the resistance in their battle against the Axis forces. Greeted upon arrival by a rag-tag group of Partisans, the men are led off into the countryside. It is early summer, and the mountains and forests teem with life and colour. Despite the distant crackle of gunfire, the war feels a long way off for Tom. The Partisans, too, are not what he was expecting - courageous, kind, and alluring, especially Jovan, their commander, and the hauntingly beautiful Marija. Yet after a series of daring encounters, the enemy's net begins to tighten. They find evidence of massacres, of a dark and terrible band of men pursuing them through the wilderness. As the Partisans stumble their way towards a final, tragic battle, so the relationships within the group begin to fray, with Tom finding himself forced to face up to his deepest, most secret desires.
This is a dramatic story of love, life and death and shows us that life is only as good as you make it. As with all CoelhoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s novels it is written with sparing prose that is as ever cleverly crafted.
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.
Why not have a look at our monthly featured titles for inspiration? Revisit old friends? Discover new ones? Or finally read that book that your friends have been banging on about for ages? Whatever your reasons, settle down with your favourite tipple, unwind and open your mind with the home-spun brilliance of authors like Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, David Nicholls and Zadie Smith; or those from further afield: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami, Ben Okri, Jostein Gaarder and so many more. There are obviously so many to choose from, you could get lost in the Sea of Choices.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you’re never too far away from your next great read, great events, competitions and discounts? Sign up for our free emails and let the passion of our experts guide you to some wonderful new reading.
That book you loved has finally come to an end. Where do you go next? With our unique Author Like for Like tool, you’ll discover other authors guaranteed to be right up your street. Login, sit back, put your feet up and enjoy.
Reading Groups! Let us help you find your next hot topic. Visit our Special Section bursting with thought provoking titles and get an extra 5% discount if you buy 5 or more copies.
A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include: