'His best novel yet ... A Middlemarch-like triumph' Telegraph '
It is a testament to Franzen's authorial habits of empathy, his curiosity about the lives of others, his efforts in a land of cliche to add twists to easy assumptions, that you are likely to find yourself caring about how things turn out for each of the Hildebrandts equally' Observer
It's December 23, 1971, and heavy weather is forecast for Chicago. Russ Hildebrandt, the associate pastor of a liberal suburban church, is on the brink of breaking free of a marriage he finds joyless - unless his wife, Marion, who has her own secret life, beats him to it.
Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college on fire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem's sister, Becky, long the social queen of her high-school class, has sharply veered into the counterculture, while their brilliant younger brother Perry, who's been selling drugs to seventh-graders, has resolved to be a better person. Each of the Hildebrandts seeks a freedom that each of the others threatens to complicate.
Jonathan Franzen's novels are celebrated for their unforgettably vivid characters and their keen-eyed take on the complexities of contemporary America. Now, for the first time, in Crossroads, Franzen explores the history of a generation. With characteristic humour and complexity, and with even greater warmth, he conjures a world that feels no less immediate.
'A fine and profoundly intelligent novel, written by an author who balances big ideas with human emotion. Wistful, yearning and wise' ELIZABETH DAY
1914: Aspiring journalist Anton arrives in Vienna where he meets Delphine, a woman of experience and deep secrets. Entranced by the light of first love, Anton comes to life.
Until his country declares war on hers. 1927: For Lena, life with her mother in a small town has been cosseted and cold. After a few years of schooling, she encounters a young lawyer who spirits her away to Vienna.
However, what she imagines to be love soon crumbles, and she leaves the city behind to take a post at the snow-capped sanatorium, the Schloss Seeblick. 1933: Having lost many friends on the Eastern Front, Anton is sent to write about the mysterious Schloss Seeblick. In this place, on the banks of a silvery lake where the roots of human suffering are laid bare, two people will see each other as if for the first time.
Sweeping across Europe as it recovers from one war and awaits the coming of another, SNOW COUNTRY is a landmark novel of exquisite yearnings, dreams of youth and the sanctity of hope.
One of our finest thriller writers...First-class' Daily Telegraph
A BBC2 BETWEEN THE COVERS BOOK CLUB PICK 2021'
Three friends from a mission many years ago reconnect when one of them dies in mysterious circumstances on remote Ascension Island. Rory Bannatyne had been tasked with tapping a new transatlantic data cable, but a day before he was due to return home he is found hanged. When Kathryn Taylor, on the South Atlantic MI5 desk, begs ex-spy Elliot Kane to go over and investigate, he can't say no, but it's an uneasy reintroduction to the intelligence game.
Entirely isolated from the world, the disappearance of a young girl on the island at the same time as Rory's death means local tensions are high. Elliot needs to discover what happened to her as well as to Rory. But the island contains more secrets than even the government knows, and it's not going to give them up without a fight.
Disgust expands and bursts into belly laughs... a very funny book' Sunday Times 'I think Shriver's novels are wonderful... fun, smart and, perhaps because of their author's unconventional political views, unlike anything else you'll read' Financial Times
When her father dies, Kay Wilkinson can't cry. Over ten years, Alzheimer's had steadily eroded this erudite man. Surely one's own father passing should never come as such a relief? Both healthy and vital medical professionals in their early fifties, Kay and her husband Cyril have seen too many of their elderly NHS patients in similar states of decay. Determined to die with dignity, Cyril makes a modest proposal: they should agree to commit suicide together once they've both turned eighty.
When their deal is sealed in 1991, the spouses are blithely looking forward to another three decades together. But then they turn eighty. By turns hilarious and touching, playful and grave, Should We Stay or Should We Go portrays twelve parallel universes, each exploring a possible future for Kay and Cyril, from a purgatorial Cuckoo's-Nest-style retirement home to the discovery of a cure for ageing, from cryogenic preservation to the unexpected pleasures of dementia.
Weaving in a host of contemporary issues - Brexit, mass migration, the coronavirus - Lionel Shriver has pulled off a rollicking page-turner in which we never have to mourn deceased characters, because they'll be alive and kicking in the very next chapter.
£17.99Louis de Bernieres is the master of historical fiction that makes you both laugh and cry, in the perfect nostalgic read to escape with this autumn. Is it ever too late to change your story? Daniel Pitt was an RAF fighter in the First World War and an espionage agent for the SOE in the Second. Now the conflicts he faces are closer to home.
Daniel's marriage has fractured beyond repair and Daniel's relationship with his son, Bertie, has been a failure since Bertie was a small boy. But after his brother Archie's death, Daniel is keen for new perspectives. He first travels to Peshawar to bury Archie in the place he loved best, and then finds himself in Canada, avoiding his family and friends back in England.
But some bonds are hard to break. Daniel and Bertie's different experiences of war, although devastating, also bring with them the opportunity for the two to reconnect. If only they can find a way to move on from the past.
Susie Boyt writes with a mordant wit and vivid style which are at their best in Loved and Missed.
When your beloved daughter is lost in the fog of addiction and you make off with her baby in order to save the day, can willpower and a daring creative zeal carry you through?
Examining the limits, disappointments and excesses of love in all its forms, this marvellously absorbing novel, full of insight and compassion, delights as much as it disturbs. ~'She takes the study of love into uncharted territory and every sentence has its depth and pleasure' Linda Grant 'I am so moved: it carries a huge emotional power... I ache for them all.
Poignant, witty, lyrical and perceptive' Joan Bakewell
£16.99From the Booker-shortlisted author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour comes a novel about fathers, sons, thwarted dreams and confronting the reality of who we really are. Charlie Barnes is a mid-century man devoted to his newspaper and his landline. But Charlie is about to get dragged into our troubled age by his storyteller son, who has a different idea of him than he has of himself. Then there are his other children, his ex-wives, present wife, business clients, friends and acquaintances, all of whom have their competing opinions of Charlie.
He certainly seems simple enough: he's a striver, a romantic, and a thoroughgoing capitalist. But suddenly blindsided by the Great Recession and a dose of bad news, he might have to rethink his life from top to bottom, and on short notice. What makes a man real? What makes him good? And how does the story we tell about ourselves line up with the lives that we actually live?
. A hilarious, intimate, and scathing takedown of so many American vanities' Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia
£16.99FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked...'To his customers and neighbours on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably-priced furniture, making a life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver's Row don't approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it's still home. Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his facade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it.
Cracks that are getting bigger and bigger all the time. See, cash is tight, especially with all those instalment plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace at the furniture store, Ray doesn't see the need to ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweller downtown who also doesn't ask questions.
Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa - the 'Waldorf of Harlem' - and volunteers Ray's services as the fence. The heist doesn't go as planned; they rarely do, after all. Now Ray has to cater to a new clientele, one made up of shady cops on the take, vicious minions of the local crime lord, and numerous other Harlem lowlifes.
Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he starts to see the truth about who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs?
It's a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem.
** This is one of the most astute, enjoyable books I've read this year so far!** Linda
Kate has taught herself to be careful, to be meticulous. To mark the anniversary of a death in the family, she plans a dinner party - from the fancy table settings to the perfect Baked Alaska waiting in the freezer. Yet by the end of the night, old tensions have flared, the guests have fled, and Kate is spinning out of control.
But all we have is ourselves, her father once said, all we have is family. Set between the 1990s and the present day, from a farmhouse in Carlow to Trinity College, Dublin, Dinner Party is a dark, sharply observed debut that thrillingly unravels into family secrets and tragedy. As the past catches up with the present, Kate learns why, despite everything, we can't help returning home.
£16.99Exploring the gardens, monuments, museums, and churches with walks both urban and rural, from the Bronte parsonage in Haworth to Zadie Smith's North London and Shakespeare's Stratford, The Book Lover's Bucket List takes you through some 100 wonderfully described literary sites and landscapes, complete with colour destination photographs and illustrations from the British Library collections. Start with Chaucer, Dickens and Larkin in Westminster Abbey. Spend an afternoon at Colliers Wood Nature Reserve in Nottinghamshire and take in the lake D.
H. Lawrence described as 'all grey and visionary, stretching into the moist, translucent vista of trees and meadow'. Venture south to Cornwall and work your way up to the Scottish Highlands, taking detours to Northern Ireland in the west and Norfolk in the east - or simply drop in on the place nearest to you.
Wherever you are in the United Kingdom, you're never far from something associated with a good book.
From the indie rockstar Japanese Breakfast, an unflinching, powerful, deeply moving memoir about growing up mixed-race, Korean food, losing her Korean mother, and forging her own identity. 'As good as everyone says it is and, yes, it will have you in tears. An essential read for anybody who has lost a loved one, as well as those who haven't.' Marie-Claire
In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist.
With humour and heart, she tells of growing up the only Asian-American kid at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother's particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the east coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, performing gigs with her fledgling band - and meeting the man who would become her husband - her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her.
Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Michelle Zauner's voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.
Interesting contemporary read if you enjoyed learning the history of Korea in Pachinko.
'Haunting, atmospheric' Samira Ahmed
Gripping and atmospheric, Winter in Tabriz tells the story of four young people living in 1970s Iran during the months immediately prior to the revolution, and the choices they have to make as a result of the ensuing upheaval. The lives of Damian and Anna, both from Oxford University, become enmeshed with two Iranians, Arash, a poet, and his older brother Reza, a student sympathetic to the problems of the dissident writers in Iran, and a would-be photojournalist, interested in capturing the rebellion on the streets. The novel draws on Sheila Llewellyn's own experience of living in Tabriz, through the winter of 1978, during the last chaotic months before the revolution took hold in January 1979.
It is an expertly imagined tale of the fight for artistic freedom, young love and the legacies of conflict.
A masterpiece of a family in crisis from twice Booker-shortlisted author Damon Galgut'
Astonishing' Colm Toibin'
The Promise charts the crash and burn of a white South African family, living on a farm outside Pretoria. The Swarts are gathering for Ma's funeral. The younger generation, Anton and Amor, detest everything the family stand for -- not least the failed promise to the Black woman who has worked for them her whole life.
After years of service, Salome was promised her own house, her own land... yet somehow, as each decade passes, that promise remains unfulfilled. The narrator's eye shifts and blinks: moving fluidly between characters, flying into their dreams; deliciously lethal in its observation.
And as the country moves from old deep divisions to its new so-called fairer society, the lost promise of more than just one family hovers behind the novel's title. In this story of a diminished family, sharp and tender emotional truths hit home. Confident, deft and quietly powerful, The Promise is literary fiction at its finest.
The most important book of the last ten years' Edmund White. Tipped for future Booker success?!
This Eden is a smart modern-day adventure reminiscent of both the cyber noir novels of William Gibson and the golden age of espionage fiction. 'An incredibly fast-paced literary thriller, tricksy & crammed with ideas, beautifully written, occupying its own unique territory somewhere between Graham Greene & William Gibson' Kevin Power
Ever felt like you were living in a dystopian tech thriller? That's because you are... Michael is out of his depth. The closest he ever came to working in tech was when he rode a delivery bike for a food app in Vancouver. Yet when his coder girlfriend dies, he is inexplicably headhunted by sinister tech mogul Campbell Fess, who transplants him to Silicon Valley. There, a reluctant female spy named Aoife lures him into the hands of Towse, an enigmatic war-gamer, who tricks them both into joining his quest to save the world, and reality itself, from the deadliest weapon ever invented.
Hunted by government agents and corporate goons, manipulated at every turn by the philosophising Towse, Aoife and Michael find themselves in an intercontinental chase which will take them from California to New York, from the forests of Uganda to Jerusalem, Gaza, Alexandria and Paris, and to a final showdown with the truth in Aoife's native Ireland. Fast-moving, exhilarating and tense, This Eden is both a classic spy novel and speculative fiction for the here and the now. O'Loughlin adapts the propulsive thriller form to create a sharp yet passionate account of a world under mortal threat from cyber-warfare, feral money, runaway technology, and a cynical onslaught on truth itself.
'American Psycho for the #MeToo generation' The Times'
A raging, funny and fierce thriller with a protagonist whose life force, against extraordinary odds - always in the gaze and sometimes the grasp of predatory, abusive men - is a thing of wonder' Financial Times 'Joan is an unforgettable anti-heroine. I don't think I'll ever stop thinking about her' Elizabeth Day
I drove myself out of New York City where a man shot himself in front of me. He was a gluttonous man and when his blood came out it looked like the blood of a pig.
That's a cruel thing to think, I know. He did it in a restaurant where I was having dinner with another man, another married man. Do you see how this is going? But I wasn't always that way.
Powerful...compelling and profoundly moving' Irish Times'
Heartbroken after a long, painful love affair, a man drives a haulage lorry from England to France. Travelling with him is a secret passenger - his daughter. Twenty-something, unkempt, off the rails.
With a week on the road together, father and daughter must restore themselves and each other, and repair a relationship that is at once fiercely loving and deeply scarred. As they journey south, down the motorways, through the service stations, a devastating picture reveals itself: a story of grief, of shame, and of love in all its complex, dark and glorious manifestations.
A brilliant book...that explores the brutal legacy of addiction and the consequences of a deep grief left to stagnate' SARA COX'
One Saturday morning, TJ McConnell wakes up to find his mother, Mary, gone. He doesn't know where - or why - but he's the only one who can help find her. Mary grew up longing for information about the mother she never knew. Her brother could barely remember her, and their father numbed his pain with drink. Now aged thirty-seven, Mary has lived in the same house her whole life. She's never left Belfast.
TJ, who's about to turn eighteen, is itching to see more of the world. But when his mother disappears, TJ begins to realise what he's been taking for granted. MOTHER MOTHER takes us down the challenging road of Mary's life while following TJ's increasingly desperate search for her, as he begins to discover what has led her to this point.
This is a story about family, grief, addiction and motherhood, and it asks an important question - if you spend your life giving everything to the ones you love, do you risk losing yourself along the way?
'Brave and occasionally heartbreaking... Macmanus' debut novel is assured, evocative and, like her characters, full of gentle strength' Jan Carson'
For fans of The Goldfinch, All the Light We Cannot See and The Girls: this monumentally powerful epic weaves together the astonishing lives of a daredevil female aviator and the Hollywood rebel who will play her on screen.
From the days of giant passenger ships sliding past Arctic icebergs, to the daring pilots of WWII, to present-day Hollywood and its malcontents, at the core of this story is the indomitable Marian Graves and her twin brother Jamie who are twice abandoned by their parents. Marian and Jamie grow up roaming Montana forests, more comfortable with landscape than with people.
When a pair of aerobats take their exhilarating show to a nearby airfield, Marian's life is changed forever. Watching them roll, dive, and loop in their mini plane, she can think of nothing else but flying. As she grows into a woman, she sacrifices everything to command the breathtaking sense of freedom, of utter control over her own fate, that she feels when in the air.
She becomes one of the most fearless pilots of her time, and in 1949 she sets out to do what no one has done before: fly the Great Circle around the earth, north to south around the poles. Shortly before completing the journey, her plane disappears, lost to history. In 2015, Hadley Baxter, former child star and poster girl of the blockbuster Archangel franchise, has just been fired for cheating on her on-screen boyfriend.
Struggling to escape the fury of the fans, she grasps at an offer for the comeback role of a lifetime: to play the famed female pilot Marian Graves in a biopic. From the first pages of the script, she feels an instant connection with Marian, a woman who refused to be bound by gravity or any of the other strictures of her time. After filming is complete, her bond grows stronger as she begins to question whether the Great Marian Graves really did die at all.
Women's Prize for Fiction 2021SHORTLISTED
'Jones's atmospheric debut has a multiracial, multigenerational cast who are brilliantly and even-handedly portrayed' Sunday Times'
In Baxter's Beach, Barbados, Lala's grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister, a cautionary tale about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers. For Wilma, it's the story of a wilful adventurer, who ignores the warnings of those around her, and suffers as a result.
When Lala grows up, she sees it offers hope - of life after losing a baby in the most terrible of circumstances and marrying the wrong man. And Mira Whalen? It's about keeping alive, trying to make sense of the fact that her husband has been murdered, and she didn't get the chance to tell him that she loved him after all.
'An extraordinarily hard-hitting and evocative novel that packs a tremendous punch with its repercussions of generational trauma, pin-sharp characterisations and strong sense of place' Daily Mail
Martha Hall Kelly's million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls introduced readers to Caroline Ferriday. Now, in Sunflower Sisters, Kelly tells the story of Ferriday's ancestor Georgeanna Woolsey, a Union nurse during the Civil War whose calling leads her to cross paths with Jemma, a young enslaved girl who is sold off and conscripted into the army, and Anne-May Wilson, a Southern plantation mistress whose husband enlists.
Georgeanna "Georgey" Woolsey isn't meant for the world of lavish parties and the demure attitudes of women of her stature. So when war ignites the nation, Georgey follows her passion for nursing during a time when doctors considered women on the battlefront a bother. In proving them wrong, she and her sister Eliza venture from New York to Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg and witness the unparalleled horrors of slavery as they become involved in the war effort.
In the South, Jemma is enslaved on the Peeler Plantation in Maryland, where she lives with her mother and father. Her sister, Patience, is enslaved on the plantation next door, and both live in fear of LeBaron, an abusive overseer who tracks their every move. When Jemma is sold by the cruel plantation mistress Anne-May at the same time the Union army comes through, she sees a chance to finally escape--but only by abandoning the family she loves.
Anne-May is left behind to run Peeler Plantation when her husband joins the Union army and her cherished brother enlists with the Confederates. In charge of the household, she uses the opportunity to follow her own ambitions and is drawn into a secret Southern network of spies, finally exposing herself to the fate she deserves.
Inspired by true accounts, Sunflower Sisters provides a vivid, detailed look at the Civil War experience, from the barbaric and inhumane plantations, to a war-torn New York City, to the horrors of the battlefield. It's a sweeping story of women caught in a country on the brink of collapse, in a society grappling with nationalism and unthinkable racial cruelty, a story still so relevant today.
£16.99A mindbending new collection of short stories from the unique, internationally acclaimed author of Norwegian Wood and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. A GUARDIAN AND SUNDAY TIMES 'BOOKS OF 2021' PICK The eight masterly stories in this new collection are all told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator. From nostalgic memories of youth, meditations on music and an ardent love of baseball to dreamlike scenarios, an encounter with a talking monkey and invented jazz albums, together these stories challenge the boundaries between our minds and the exterior world.
Occasionally, a narrator who may or may not be Murakami himself is present. Is it memoir or fiction? The reader decides. Philosophical and mysterious, the stories in First Person Singular all touch beautifully on love and solitude, childhood and memory.
. . all with a signature Murakami twist
If Elmet announced the arrival of a bright new voice in British literature, Hot Stew confirms Mozley as a writer of extraordinary empathic gifts' Observer
In an age when so many novelists of Mozley's generation take refuge in the dystopian, she has reinvigorated large-scale social realism for our times ' Guardian,
Pungent, steamy, insatiable Soho; the only part of London that truly never sleeps. Tourists dawdling, chancers skulking, addicts shuffling, sex workers strutting, punters prowling, businessmen striding, the homeless and the lost.
Down Wardour Street, ducking onto Dean Street, sweeping into L'Escargot, darting down quiet back alleyways, skirting dumpsters and drunks, emerging on to raucous main roads, fizzing with energy and riotous with life. On a corner, sits a large townhouse, the same as all its neighbours. But this building hosts a teeming throng of rich and poor, full from the basement right up to the roof terrace.
Precious and Tabitha call the top floors their home but it's under threat; its billionaire-owner Agatha wants to kick the women out to build expensive restaurants and luxury flats. Men like Robert, who visit the brothel, will have to go elsewhere. Those like Cheryl, who sleep in the basement, will have to find somewhere else to hide after dark.
But the women won't go quietly. Soho is their turf and they are ready for a fight. 'A complex mosaic of urban life .
Frances Howard has beauty and a powerful family - and is the most unhappy creature in the world.
Anne Turner has wit and talent - but no stage on which to display them. Little stands between her and the abyss of destitution. When these two very different women meet in the strangest of circumstances, a powerful friendship is sparked.
Frankie sweeps Anne into a world of splendour that exceeds all she imagined: a Court whose foreign king is a stranger to his own subjects; where ancient families fight for power, and where the sovereign's favourite may rise and rise - so long as he remains in favour. With the marriage of their talents, Anne and Frankie enter this extravagant, savage hunting ground, seeking a little happiness for themselves. But as they gain notice, they also gain enemies; what began as a search for love and safety leads to desperate acts that could cost them everything.
Based on the true scandal that rocked the court of James I, A Net for Small Fishes is the most gripping novel you'll read this year: an exhilarating dive into the pitch-dark waters of the Jacobean court.
Terrific, rich in colour, character, place and time' Sarah Dunant
paperback from April 2022
Guardian 'Brilliant.' Observer 'Extraordinary.' Featured on BBC R4.
November 1944. A German rocket strikes London, and five young lives are atomised in an instant. November 1944.
That rocket never lands. A single second in time is altered, and five young lives go on - to experience all the unimaginable changes of the twentieth century. Because maybe there are always other futures.
Other chances. From the best-selling, prize-winning author of Golden Hill, Light Perpetual is a story of the everyday, the miraculous and the everlasting. Ingenious and profound, full of warmth and beauty, it is a sweeping and intimate celebration of the gift of life.
The novel you never knew you were waiting for' Marlon James'
A Barack Obama Book of the Year for 2020.
In 1995 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, seven-year-old Nainoa Flores is saved from drowning by a shiver of sharks. His family, struggling to make ends meet amidst the collapse of the sugar cane industry, hails his rescue as a sign of favour from ancient Hawaiian gods.
But as time passes, this hope gives way to economic realities, forcing Nainoa and his siblings to seek salvation across the continental United States, leaving behind home and family. With a profound command of language, Washburn's powerful debut novel examines what it means to be both of a place, and a stranger in it.
The Four Winds is a deeply moving, powerful story about the strength and resilience of women and the bond between mother and daughter, by the multi-million copy number one bestselling author of The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah. She will discover the best of herself in the worst of times . .
Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli had finally found the life she'd yearned for.
A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa's world is shattered to the winds. Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life.
Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Loreda and Ant, west to California in search of a better life. Will it be the land of milk and honey? Or will their experience challenge every ounce of strength they possess? From the overriding love of a mother for her child, the value of female friendship and the ability to love again - against all odds, Elsa's incredible journey is a story of survival, hope and what we do for the ones we love.
This is the new American classic''It will break your heart and bring you to tears. It will also be one of the best books you read all year!''This is historical fiction at its best: compelling, compassionate, enraging and courageous.
£16.99The Ark was built to save the lives of the many, but rapidly became a refuge for the elite, the entrance closed without warning. Years after the Ark was cut off from the world, a chance of survival within its confines is granted to a select few who can prove their worth. Among their number is Markriss Denny, whose path to future excellence is marred only by a closely guarded secret: without warning, his spirit leaves his body, allowing him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations.
Once inside the Ark, Denny learns of another with the same power, whose existence could spell catastrophe for humanity. He is forced into a desperate race to understand his abilities, and in doing so uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself and the people he thought he once knew. Set in an alternate world where slavery and colonialism never happened, Newland's staggering novel is both a timely exploration of social inequality and a story about love, loyalty and the search for the truth.
£16.99Malcolm George Galbraith is a large, somewhat clumsy, Scotsman. He's being forced to leave the woman he loves behind and needs to explain why. So he leaves her a handwritten note on the kitchen table (well, more a 300-page letter than a note).
In it, Malcolm decides to start from the beginning and tell the whole story of his long life, something he's never dared do before. Because Malcolm isn't what he seems: he's had other names and lived in other places. A lot of other places.
As it gathers pace, Malcolm's story combines tragedy, comedy, mystery, a touch of leprosy, several murders, a massacre, a ritual sacrifice, an insane tyrant, two great romances, a landslide, a fire, and a talking fish. And the book was genuinely written in handscript and printed!
£16.99Allergic to group activities of any kind, all her life Serenata has run, swum, and cycled - on her lonesome. But now that she's hit 60, all that physical activity has destroyed her knees. As she contemplates surgery with dread, her previously sedentary husband Remington, recently and ignominiously redundant, chooses this precise moment to discover exercise.
Which should be good for his health, right? Yet as he joins the cult of fitness that seems increasingly to consume the whole of the Western world, her once-modest husband burgeons into an unbearable narcissist. Ignoring all his other obligations in the service of extreme sport, he engages a saucy, taunting personal trainer named Bambi, who treats his wife with contempt. When Remington announces his intention to compete in a legendarily gruelling triathlon, MettleMan, Serenata is sure he's going to end up injured or dead - but the stubbornness of an ageing man in Lycra is not to be underestimated.
The story of an obsession, of a marriage, of a betrayal: The Motion of the Body Through Space is Lionel Shriver at her hilarious, sharp-eyed, audacious best.
A brilliant and moving novel about fame , sexual power, and a daughter's attempts to understand the nature of her mother. Longlisted for the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction. 'One to watch for 2020' ( The Guardian)
Set in the theatre world of Holywood, Dublin and London.
Anne Enright is the previous Booker winning author of The Green Road and the Irish Laureate.
£14.99Darkly voyeuristic but with heart - as funny as it is painful and true. We loved it' GRAZIA'I don't think I've ever turned the pages of a book so quickly. So sharp, so tender...
UNDERBELLY[n.] singular The soft underside or abdomen of a mammal. An area vulnerable to attack. A dark, hidden part of society.
Lo and Dylan are living parallel lives, worlds apart. Lo is the ultimate middle-class mother, all perfectly polished Instagram posts and armchair activism. Dylan is just about surviving on a zero-hours telemarketing job from her flat, trying to keep food on the table.
But when they meet at the school gates, they are catapulted into each other's homes and lives - with devastating consequences . . .
Explosive, sharply humorous and unflinchingly honest, Underbelly slices through the filtered surface of modern women's lives to expose the dark truth beneath.
AN OBSERVER BEST DEBUT NOVELIST OF 2021'
A fresh perspective on an age-old tale' Irish Times'
I am the queen of two crowns, banished fifteen years, the famed and gilded woman, bad-luck baleful girl, mother of three small animals, now gone. I am fifty-five years old. I am Lear's wife.
I am here.' Word has come. Care-bent King Lear is dead, driven mad and betrayed. His three daughters too, broken in battle.
But someone has survived: Lear's queen. Exiled to a nunnery years ago, written out of history, her name forgotten. Now she can tell her story.
Though her grief and rage may threaten to crack the earth open, she knows she must seek answers. Why was she sent away in shame and disgrace? What has happened to Kent, her oldest friend and ally? And what will become of her now, in this place of women? To find peace she must reckon with her past and make a terrible choice - one upon which her destiny, and that of the entire abbey, rests. Giving unforgettable voice to a woman whose absence has been a tantalising mystery, Learwife is a breathtaking novel of loss, renewal and how history bleeds into the present.
'Consistently illuminating... considered, compassionate and appreciative... This book is a wonderful tribute to a family and to an idea' Guardian
63 rue de Monceau, Paris
Dear friend, As you may have guessed by now, I am not in your house by accident.
I know your street rather well. Count Moise de Camondo lived a few doors away from Edmund de Waal's forebears, the Ephrussi, first encountered in his bestselling memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes. Like the Ephrussi, the Camondos were part of belle epoque high society.
They were also targets of anti-semitism. Camondo created a spectacular house and filled it with the greatest private collection of French eighteenth-century art for his son to inherit. But when Nissim was killed in the First World War, it became a memorial and, on the Count's death, was bequeathed to France.
The Musee Nissim de Camondo has remained unchanged since 1936. Edmund de Waal explores the lavish rooms and detailed archives and uncovers new layers to the family story. In a haunting series of letters addressed to the Count, he tells us what happened next.
'Letters to Camondo immerses you in another age... de Waal creates a dazzling picture of what it means to live graciously' Financial Times'
£14.99Gripping! With a college campus setting, charming psychopaths, and a bitingly clever voice...a dazzling debut from a bold new talent.' Tess Gerritsen, Sunday Times bestselling authorMeet Chloe. First-year student, ordinary, legging-wearing, girl next door...and highly intelligent diagnosed psychopath. Chloe is part of a secret clinical study of young psychopaths run by the university's Psychology Department.
Most psychopaths aren't criminals, but when a string of murders on campus causes upheaval, Chloe's private vendetta is sidelined. Partnered with fellow study participants she can't trust - and distracted by typical university life - Chloe has to walk the line between hunter and prey. Perfect for fans of My Sister the Serial Killer, Killing Eve and The Secret History, Never Saw Me coming is a sharp, electrifying and hugely entertaining thriller with an antiheroine who will work her manipulative magic on you.
'Smashing ... I was hooked on page one and literally could not put it down. I loved all that she wrote about the true story behind this thrilling tale' JOANNA LUMLEY'
Nice, France, 1911: After three years of marriage, young seamstress Marcela Caretto has finally had enough. Her husband, Michael, an ambitious tailor, has become cruel and controlling and she determines to get a divorce. But while awaiting the judges' decision on the custody of their two small boys, Michael receives news that changes everything.
Meanwhile fun-loving New York socialite Margaret Hays is touring Europe with some friends. Restless, she resolves to head home aboard the most celebrated steamer in the world - RMS Titanic. As the ship sets sail for America, carrying two infants bearing false names, the paths of Marcela, Michael and Margaret cross - and nothing will ever be the same again.
From the actress and bestselling author, Celia Imrie, Orphans of the Storm dives into the waters of the past to unearth a sweeping, epic tale of the sinking of the Titanic that radiates with humanity and hums with life.
A thrilling novel about the need to look to the future with hope, and live with intensity to the very end.
Winner of the Premio Strega /Winner of the Prix du Livre Etrange/Book of the Year for the Corriere della Sera ... translated from Italian.
Marco Carrera is 'the hummingbird,' a man with the almost supernatural ability to stay still as the world around him continues to change. As he navigates the challenges of life - confronting the death of his sister and the absence of his brother; taking care of his parents as they approach the end of their lives; raising his granddaughter when her mother, Marco's own child, can no longer be there for her; coming to terms with his love for the enigmatic Luisa - Marco Carrera comes to represent the quiet heroism that pervades so much of our everyday existence.
*A 'BOOKS OF 2021' PICK IN THE GUARDIAN, DAILY MAIL, DAILY TELEGRAPH, IRISH TIMES CULTURE AND NEW STATESMAN*'
We read in order to come to life.'With fierce imagination, a woman revisits the moments that shape her life; from crushes on teachers to navigating relationships in a fast-paced world; from overhearing her grandmothers' peculiar stories to nurturing her own personal freedom and a boundless love of literature. Fusing fantasy with lived experience, Checkout 19 is a vivid and mesmerising journey through the small traumas and triumphs that define us - as readers, as writers, as human beings.
SET TO BECOME A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING ELIZABETH MOSS
A brilliantly unsettling and darkly funny debut novel full of suspense and paranoia. George March's latest novel is a smash hit. None could be prouder than Mrs. March, his dutiful wife, who revels in his accolades and relishes the lifestyle and status his success brings.
A creature of routine and decorum, Mrs. March lives an exquisitely controlled existence on the Upper East Side. Every morning begins the same way, with a visit to her favourite patisserie to buy a loaf of olive bread, but her latest trip proves to be her last when she suffers an indignity from which she may never recover: an assumption by the shopkeeper that the protagonist in George March's new book -a pathetic sex worker, more a figure of derision than desire - is based on Mrs.
March. One casual remark robs Mrs. March not only of her beloved olive bread but of the belief that she knew everything about her husband - and herself - sending her on an increasingly paranoid journey, one that starts within the pages of a book but may very well uncover both a killer and the long-buried secrets of Mrs.
March's past. A razor-sharp exploration of the fragility of identity and the smothering weight of expectations, Mrs. March heralds the arrival of a wicked and wonderful new voice.
£14.99Ethan, a young lawyer in New York, learns that his father has long kept a second family - a wife and two kids living in Queens. In the aftermath of this revelation, Ethan's mother spends a year travelling abroad, returning much changed, just as her now ex-husband falls ill. Across town, Ethan's half brothers are caught in their own complicated journeys: one brother's penchant for minor delinquency has escalated and the other must travel to Bangkok to bail him out, while the bargains their mother struck about love and money continue to shape all their lives.
As Ethan finds himself caught in a love triangle of his own, the interwoven fates of these two households elegantly unfurl to touch many other figures, revealing secret currents of empathy and loyalty, the bounty of improvised families and the paradoxical ties that weave through life's rich contours. With a generous and humane spirit, Secrets of Happiness elucidates the ways people marshal the resources at hand in an effort to find joy.
'An amazing book, beautiful and captivating.' Elif Shafak
A taut and electrifying story about a woman caught between many truths. An interpreter has come to The Hague to escape New York and work at the International Court. A woman of many languages and identities, she is looking for a place to finally call home.
She's drawn into simmering personal dramas: her lover, Adriaan, is separated from his wife but still entangled in his marriage. Her friend Jana witnesses a seemingly random act of violence, a crime the interpreter becomes increasingly obsessed with as she befriends the victim's sister. And she's pulled into an explosive political controversy when she's asked to interpret for a former president accused of war crimes.
A woman of quiet passion, she confronts power, love, and violence, both in her personal intimacies and in her work at the Court. She is soon pushed to the precipice, where betrayal and heartbreak threaten to overwhelm her, forcing her to decide what she wants from her life. 'Katie Kitamura writes about being an outsider like no other author.
Vogue *Best Books to Read in 2021*