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.
This is a captivating adventure story with huge heart and dazzling imaginative power, from the best-selling author of An Instance of the Fingerpost. Three interlocking worlds. Four people looking for answers. But who controls the future - or the past? In the basement of a professor's house in 1960s Oxford, fifteen-year-old Rosie goes in search of a missing cat - and instead finds herself in a different world. Anterwold is a sun-drenched land of storytellers, prophecies and ritual. But is this world real - and what happens if she decides to stay? Meanwhile, in a sterile laboratory, a rebellious scientist is trying to prove that time does not even exist - with potentially devastating consequences.
Adultery is always put in terms of thieving. But we were happy together, simply happy. Oliver Orme used to be a painter, well known and well rewarded, but the muse has deserted him. He is also, as he confesses, a petty thief; he does not steal for gain, but for the thrill of it. His worst theft is Polly, the wife of his friend Marcus, with whom he has had an affair. When the affair is discovered, Oliver hides himself away in his childhood home. From here he tells the story of a year, from one autumn to the next. Many surprises and shocks await him, and by the end of his story, he will be forced to face himself and seek a road towards redemption
This is a beautifully articulate and poignant novel, at times it maintains a discreet solitary distance from its own moving story, ensuring that as moments of realisation steal into your consciousness and understanding flows into your heart… they stay with you. The author spirals through time, teases history and suggests new beginnings. The story branches three ways, breathtakingly different, remote yet entwined, flowing together and unfurling heartbreaking moments of perception and compassion. The isolation of the characters is shocking, they do not encourage affection or intimacy, their story isn't neat, tidy, clean or explained, you are instead left to observe, to recognise and so find yourself jolted and shaken into awareness, sorrow and regret and yet somehow a fluttering of hope steals across the pages for a story yet untold. ’Wuthering Heights’ and the Bronte family are intrinsically linked to this story, if you haven't yet met Emily, Charlotte and Anne, your journey through ’The Lost Child’ will potentially introduce you to some new companions. ~ Liz Robinson
One of our Books of the Year 2015. A captivating, moving and skilfully expressive novel, set between 1935 and 1962, focusing on guilt, forgiveness and the linked lives of three men. Although this is a fictional story, it has a firm base in history, with much of the novel taking place in the labour camp of Auschwitz-III Monowitz. The first few paragraphs detail Auschwitz with such raw descriptive precision, the cold, the hunger, the weariness, the instinctive battle for survival are set in stone. The camp is an animal like entity, it is alert to change, is able to sense danger and has a cunning of it’s own. John Donoghue allows the story to shift around in time, encouraging understanding to grow as information is revealed. The storyline subtly edges through the obvious and shocking, towards a path of compassion and recognition. This battleground of chess pieces cleverly balances an almost documentary style with an intensely intimate story, making this a beautifully readable and emotional story. ~ Liz Robinson
This book is the Sunday Times Bestseller. It was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Fiction Prize. 'It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon...' This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that day in July 1959. The whole family on the porch, relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home. They've all come, even Denny, who can usually be relied on only to please himself. From that porch we spool back through three generations of the Whitshanks, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define who and what they are. And while all families like to believe they are special, round that kitchen table over all those years we see played out the hopes and fears, the rivalries and tensions of families everywhere - the essential nature of family life.
This is a deluxe edition of Lewis Carroll's timeless tale of wondrously charming nonsense, in time for its 150th anniversary. When Alice follows the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole, little does she know that she is traveling to a world of magic where common-sense is turned upside-down. The dream worlds of nonsensical Wonderland and the backwards Looking-Glass kingdom are full of the unexpected: a baby turns into a pig, time is missing at a tea-party, and a wild chess game makes the seven-year-old Alice a queen. Displaying Lewis Carroll's gift for sparkling wordplay, puzzles, and riddles, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass offer magical adventure, pointed satire of Victorian England, and playful explorations of sophisticated logic. Yet amid Carroll's antic humor and joyful creation, poignant moments of nostalgia for fleeting childhood give the stories extraordinary emotional depth. And wherever Carroll takes Alice, John Tenniel's iconic illustrations follow with whimsical depictions of her tizzying journeys. Original, experimental, and unparalleled for pure delight, the adventures of Alice in Wonderland are tales to be read and shared across generations.
September 2015 Book of the Month. A courageous, unflinching and emotionally challenging novel, focusing on sexual consent and the issues surrounding social media commentary and uprisings. Covering two time periods, a year apart, a vivid picture emerges of Emma. Emma is a fascinating character, bright and beautiful, she loves to be the centre of attention, however she is manipulative and able to use her looks to her advantage. Beneath the surface, there is much more to discover, and as her story is written in the first person, a fuller picture of Emma starts to emerge. Louise O’Neill describes the events that occur with consideration, yet most importantly with a frank honesty, meaning at times this is not only an uncomfortable but also achingly difficult read. Distressing, bleak yet compelling, this is a significant novel that will encourage contemplation and discussion, about a painful and challenging subject. This title is recommended for older teens due to the content. ~ Liz Robinson
October 2015 Debut of the Month. Terms is a surprisingly powerful little book, it really does pack a mighty punch. James finishes university in the mid 90’s and takes a trip both physically and in memory back to his unconventional school days. Within a few pages it is clear that there is an intriguing and provocative tale waiting to be discovered. Ben Lyle builds the story slowly, shaping the school boy James who is fascinated by the newly arrived teacher who rules with discipline. The story flits between the past and present, the adult James is still sitting on the edge of intimacy, affection and understanding. As the terms at the school pass, suspicion and premonition start to twist together into apprehension for what is to come. The simple style balances on a razor sharp edge with an uncomfortable, complicated truth, ensuring Terms is a convincing and compelling debut. ~ Liz Robinson A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'Terms is both funny and dark. James is wonderful child narrator in the style of Adrian Mole, who says things you wish you had the courage to say. At times you feel the story is going to a place you don’t want it to go, and author, Ben Lyle, handles this side wonderfully. A reader from one of our book groups said: “The overtones black – the revenge deadly.” - Yvonne Barlow, editor, Hookline Books
One of the year's major new literary offerings, Jonathan Franzen's PURITY doesn't disappoint, if alone by sheer weight of pages and buzzing ideas. And with a palette of suspense twists and almost thriller like plot turns, it harks back in part to his debut novel THE TWENTY-SEVENTH CITY as he again subverts the tropes of the mystery genre to make further savage dissections of our world of disfunctional families, fractured societies and the unreliability of the press and the political establishment. Pip Tyler is just an ordinary young girl, sort of lost, averagely pretty and saddled with humongous student debt. She knows her real name is Purity but is unaware who her father is, and has, as a result, a strained relationship with her mother. The questions begin to pile up when she is hired as an intern at Andreas Wolf's Sunlight Project; he is a world-famous provocateur now exiled in Bolivia. Why is he interested in her? A corruscating survey of ethics, art, environmentalism and the corrupting power of money and fame, Franzen's meticulously detailed doorstep of a novel effortlessly pulls you into its torrential wake and hammers you into submission: complex, comedic, doctoral, but always intensely readable. ~ Maxim Jakubowski One of our Books of the Year 2015. September 2015 Book of the Month. Click below to watch Jonathan Franzen read from Purity as part of the Re4dings from 4th Estate Books.
Poetry and prose blend together to create a different and highly original read. Taking place over a period of seven days, the three main characters are all a little lost in a corrupt world. There are many different directions in which you can travel through this book, so each reader is likely to have a very individual and personal journey. I found a deep, dark novel, with occasional shards of sunlight, there were parts that I absolutely loved and others where, to be honest, I felt a little lost and slightly bewildered. The poetry and prose occasionally seemed to meld together, with no clear definition between the two, creating a lyrical intensity. It took a while to settle in and to feel the story, as at times I felt overwhelmed by the sometimes overly descriptive writing. By the end I felt an understanding, but not necessarily a recognition, and I still have questions about this thought provoking and unusual novel. ~ Liz Robinson 'This is a world of strangenesses, set in a shadowy, nightmare atmosphere with a flavour of Grimm and whiffs of Gormenghast, laced with playfulness, unexpected humour and, eventually, hope.' - Maggie Butt, Poet and Associate Dean of Middlesex University.
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.
One of our Books of the Year 2015. November 2015 Debut of the Month. Oh, this is such a charming and gloriously delightful short tale, about friendship, facing your fears and looking beyond the obvious. The Fox and the Star is a visually stunning story book and would make a perfect present (for others of any age, or yourself!). As soon as you touch the cover, you know that you are holding something special, it reminds me of the Arts and Crafts period, where love and attention was bestowed on every individual piece. The paper is lusciously thick and beautiful, the illustrations are fabulous, mostly black, grey and blue with occasional vibrant splashes of rich orangey red and yellow. Each time you look there is something different to catch your eye, from a scurrying beetle to a hidden rabbit. The striking illustrations wrap around, through and under the text, becoming at one with the words. Coralie Bickford-Smith, an award-winning designer, encourages the story to become a living tangible thing, making this is a book for your forever shelf, it is quite simply, a book to love and cherish. PS: Make sure you see the short video clip in the synopsis as it reveals a tantalising glimpse of the beauty of this book. ~ Liz Robinson
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: