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.
Fans of Vincenzi may not feel that this, her sixth novel, is her best and those new to her should certainly start elsewhere but it’s still full of all the twists, turns and thrills you’d expect from such a fantastic writer. The dilemma of the title belongs to Francesca, our heroine, a smart and independent woman who is forced to confront some of the dark truths about her husband and her marriage.
This is a brilliant book: disturbing, amusing, thought-provoking, playful, real, unreal. All the usual Faulks intelligence and enjoyment of language is here. Yet Engleby is different from his other books. This time, you get the feeling Faulks has let you into his own life: school, university, Notting Hill, journalism (the interviews with Jeffrey Archer and Ken Livingstone just can’t have been made up). There is a catharsis here – and, despite the disturbances in Mike Engleby’s brain, you can feel Faulks really enjoying his writing, making this book perhaps more approachable than some of his other subjects. It is an absolute travesty that Sebastian Faulks has never won a major British Book Award, especially as Birdsong is generally recognised as one of the greatest novels in contemporary fiction. Hopefully, Mike Engleby will do it for him (he doesn’t do much for anyone else). Time is one of the themes running through Engleby. Make sure you take time to read it.
Contrasting rural Iranian life and traditions with a London immigrant's affluence, this is an impressive work of love, family and identity.
Angie, seventeen, is a star pupil and swimmer with a seemingly assured future â€“ when she has a psychotic breakdown. This haunting and affecting debut novel explores not just Angieâ€™s inner turmoil but the collateral damage it inflicts on her family as they evolve and adapt to the crisis in their midst. Definitely a book worth reading and talking about.
Anyone who has been stuck at home with a toddler will identify with Fran but we donâ€™t all go to the lengths that she does â€¦. She ups and leaves. But this is not just a book about mothers not coping for it is an interesting study of family relationships and surviving in the modern world.Similar this month: None but try Lisa Tucker.Comparison: Anita Shreve, Suzanne Berne, Nikki Gemmell.
Anne Tyler manages to create such believable characters time and time again and in Digging to America she delivers yet again. The two families in the novel are linked forever by the Korean children they have each adopted. They celebrate “Arrival Day” each year with a party together. Through the various parties and with the passage of time Tyler explores the characters’ differences, their varying hopes and dreams, cultural backgrounds, sense of fitting in. A brilliant scenario for putting these different families together and beautifully written.
Rural Wales in the 80s and two very different families, one ex-hippy, the other ancient farming stock. Seen through the eyes of children, the two families’ boys who form an unlikely friendship, we are given a dark story of growing up, of neglect, impoverishment, hope and the influences of family and nature. A startling tale. Similar this month: None. Comparison: Bruce Chatwin, Esther Freud.
Surprise winner of the Man Booker Prize 2007. A compelling family drama exploring family relationships following a tragic death. Descriptive, unsettling and inventive.
The much anticipated sequel to Chocolat, The Lollipop Shoes is set 5 years after we left Vianne and her daughter Anouk. Vianne now has another daughter and the three of them live in Montmartre. Vianne has changed their names, given up her magical ways and stopped making chocolate, that is until a stranger blows in to town and gradually persuades Vianne to regain her chocolate making skills. Joanne Harris is on top form and it is a delight to re-visit these characters. Prepare for a battle of wills and magical skills as good and evil fight it out to the end. Enchanting.
April 2007 Debut of the MonthA beautifully written book about love, jealousy and betrayal. As events unfold you find yourself mentally shouting out to the characters to communicate with one another rather than take the paths which inevitably will cause heartache and loss.Set at the end of World War II when so many lives have been touched and damaged by those events the story of Spin and Momoko is all the more poignant.A fantastic debut novel, I will be looking out for Steven Carroll’s next with great anticipation.
Booker Prize-winner Graham Swift returns with a masterful and compassionate novel, one of his finest works to date.
Author of international bestsellers The Alchemist, Eleven Minutes and The Zahir and one of the worldâ€™s best-loved story tellers, Paulo Coelho is back with a gripping and intriguing new novel, The Witch of Portobello. Charting the disappearance of Athena, the novel is pieced together through interviews with those who knew her well, her friends, lovers, parents and those acquaintances who hardly knew her at all, weaving through Romania and Beirut to London, where her life takes a dramatic turnâ€¦
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.
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A selection of authors who will feature in this Lovereading category include: