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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.
One of our Books of the Year 2015. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. A beautifully told story of war and dementia. Luke is serving in Afghanistan. His grandmother Anne is slipping into dementia in her sheltered flat in Scotland. This powerful and moving book tells their linked stories and draws us back into Anne’s past. So we follow two stories, Anne descending into a shadowy world of her own and thinker Luke in an all too real and horrific one. Both are beautifully realised. In the final section the two come together and Luke takes Anne to Blackpool where he learns about his grandmother’s life as a photographer and hears family secrets long buried. This is a terrific book, once started you will find it difficult to draw away. It is great stuff from a writer at the height of his powers. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
January 2016 Debut of the Month. One of our Books of the Year 2015. Seventeen-year old Peggy has recently returned home, initially we know not from where. Her father is dead, her mother has destroyed all evidence of him from their home. Peggy has a nine-year old brother who she has only just met. Slowly we are drip-fed an extraordinary tale of madness and survival. Young eight-year old Peggy spent an idyllic summer living rough with her father, learning survival skills. He then takes her on a trek across Europe to a deserted wooden hut where they turn native for he believes the world has ended and he and Peggy the only people left alive. How he dies and she eventually gets home is the heart of this terrific tale. It is an unusual, atmospheric, alarming, horrifying tale of madness and survival. Highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2015.
Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015. This is a completely charming and very different slice of World War Two fiction. ‘Crooked Heart’ explores the relationship of Vera, and ten year old Noel, who has been evacuated from London. The prologue sets the story beautifully, releasing snippets of information yet encouraging you to feel, to appreciate the heart and soul of Noel. Lissa Evans balances a gentle charm with barbed spikes of wit and reality. Noel and Vera are amazingly resourceful (that’s the polite way of describing it), yet wonderfully odd, and I couldn't help falling in thoughtful love with them. The other characters are as vibrant and fully formed, even those with walk on parts light up the pages. After initially skulking in the distance, World War Two hammers into their lives, thoroughly testing Noel and Vera’s mettle. With fizzes of quirky wry humour holding hands with contemplative emotions, ‘Crooked Heart’ has craftily slipped into my heart, and I declare it a gorgeous warm hug of a read. ~ Liz Robinson
The lives of Pierre, Prince Andrei and Natasha are changed forever as conflict rages throughout the early nineteenth century. Following the rise and fall of some of society's most influential families, this truthful and poignant epic is as relevant today as ever. This six part adaptation has been written by Bafta-winning author Andrew Davies and will be directed by Tom Harper (Peaky Blinders, The Scouting Book for Boys, Woman in Black: Angel of Death). Accompanied by a stellar cast including Paul Dano (12 years a Slave, Prisoners, There Will be Blood) as the idealistic Pierre, James Norton (Happy Valley, Belle, Grantchester) as the ambitious Prince Andrei and Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey) as the impulsive beauty Natasha. It also features the legendary Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge, Harry Potter, Longford), Gillian Anderson (The Fall, The X-Files), Greta Scacchi (White Mischief, Presumed Innocent) and many more.
Based on a true story, The Revenant is an epic tale of revenge set in the Rocky Mountains and soon to be a major motion picture, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. A remarkable tale of obsession and the lengths that one man will go to for retribution. The film adaptation, starring Leonardo DiCaprio won numerous BAFTA's in Feb 16 and is shortlisted for a number of Oscars too. Click below to view the trailer.
A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS is the unforgettable and completely captivating new novel from Sarah Winman, author of the international bestseller WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT. Marvellous Ways is eighty-nine years old and has lived alone in a remote Cornish creek for nearly all her life. Lately she's taken to spending her days sitting on a mooring stone by the river with a telescope. She's waiting for something - she's not sure what, but she'll know it when she sees it. Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the Second World War. When his promise to fulfil a dying man's last wish sees him wash up in Marvellous' creek, broken in body and spirit, the old woman comes to his aid.
Meet Gunter Glass - ex-milkman and aspiring window-cleaner, struggling to find his way in the world His mum has died, his dad's retired, he's just been let go from his milk round - and Gunter Glass has his head in the clouds. Fortunately, he also has a head for heights, and a lifelong fascination with glass. So when the call comes to clean the windows of the tallest skyscraper in London, he sets off for the big city with little more than youthful enthusiasm, a dual-squeegee holster and his dear departed mother's homespun wisdom. But will Gunter's innocence put him on a collision course with the modern world? He's never had a girlfriend, and now he's falling for a clairvoyant with unclear intentions. Most of what he knows about life comes from Wikipedia, so sharing a dingy flat with an eccentric German philosopher is a bit befuddling. And most worrying of all, he's starting to think his new boss may be a little unhinged ...
Without telling her family, Elyria takes a one-way flight to New Zealand, abruptly leaving her stable life in Manhattan, her home, her career and her loving husband. As the people she has left behind scramble to figure out what has happened to her, Elyria embarks on a hitchhiker's odyssey, testing fate by travelling in the cars of overly kind women and deeply strange men, tacitly being swept into the lives of strangers, and sleeping in fields, forests, and public parks. As she journeys from Wellington to Picton, Takaka, Kaikoura and onwards she asks herself, what is it that I am missing? How can a person be missing?
One of our Books of the Year 2015. Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2015. A stunningly original debut that weaves a multitude of emotions throughout. Single parent Beth has a hard time keeping her daughter Carmel from randomly wandering off. Then, when Carmel is eight she really does get completely separated from her mother and is taken in by a ‘grandfather’ figure. Naturally one assumes the worst. He tells her that her mother has been hit by a car and is in hospital. He takes her to a derelict house in Wales and eventually tells her her mother is dead. Then he takes her to America and things get very weird. We stay with her and her first-person narrative up until she is thirteen. We see her mother during this period too and after a slow start we race into a gripping ending. The book is beautifully underwritten, intensely moving and very atmospheric. Highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2015.
Glass is pure. Glass is transparent. Glass is sharp. Gunter Glass, ex-milkman and aspiring window-cleaner, is certainly pure. And he's pretty transparent. But the jury's still out on how sharp he is. What naive young Gunter does have is a head for heights and, ever since he visited a glassblower's workshop as a child, an unusual fixation with glass. When a minor adventure up the spire of Salisbury Cathedral makes Gunter a local celebrity, John Blades - window-cleaner to the stars - comes calling. He wants Gunter to join him in London to clean Europe's tallest skyscraper, the newly constructed Shard in London Bridge. With his mother recently passed away, his dad retired and no money to pay off the mortgage, Gunter takes Blades up on his offer and soon finds himself, for the first time, among the bright lights of London. He has his first experience of romantic love with short-range psychic Lieve Toureau, tries not to encourage Blades' frequent racist outbursts, and cohabits a Hackney 'bachelor-pad' with a reclusive landlord who has spent decades writing a never-ending book in his cork-lined bedroom. But above all, Gunter spends his time trying to figure out how to be good and follow his dear departed mother's advice as best he can. Will Gunter find his way along the straight and narrow? Or will his innocence put him on collision course with the frequently baffling modern world?
A special Christmas edition of the Sunday Times bestseller. WINNER OF THE SPECSAVERS NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS 2013 BOOK OF THE YEAR Dive into a magical novel of memory and the adventure of childhood, from one of the brightest, most brilliant writers of our generation. It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive. There is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang. THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.
An engaging and satisfying family tale, full of drama and emotion. Brother and sister, Ollie and Louise have never quite met their father’s expectations, neither are happy, and while Ollie keeps a distance and attempts to save his marriage, Louise takes on the management of the family hotel. Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn breathes life into characters that have aching vulnerabilities. She occasionally frees notes of emotion that twang and jar and set your feelings on edge, consequently the characters are realistic and convincing. The writing flows, sometimes leaving unexplored pockets of what-ifs, just like life itself. Exploring love and relationships ‘The Broken Road’ is a compassionate and very readable family story. Click here to view a reading group guide for this book.
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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