“Wonderfully dense and wise, a page turner that succeeds at both character and ideas. It felt true to life “( Chimimanda Adichie)
Meg Wolitzer is a prize winning author, a New Yorker and a regular on the US bestseller lists. Her other works include The Wife, The Interestings and The Ten Year Nap. Her great strength is her acutely observed, individual characters.
A novel about ambition, women, friendship and finding your place in the world..
Paperback from May 2019.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018
From the author of internationally acclaimed The Flamethrowers - a fearless and heartbreaking novel about love, friendship and incarceration. Romy Hall is starting two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women's Correctional Facility. Her crime? The killing of her stalker.
Inside awaits a world where women must hustle and fight for the bare essentials. Outside: the San Francisco of her youth. The Mars Room strip club where she was once a dancer.
Her seven-year-old son, Jackson. As Romy forms friendships over liquor brewed in socks and stories shared through sewage pipes her future seems to unfurl in one long, unwavering line - until news from beyond the prison bars forces Romy to try and outrun her destiny.
Longlisted for the 2018 Booker Prize.
Anna Burns is originally from Belfast but is now based in England.
Milkman is “ a story of hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences “
Powerful, stream of consciousness prose that feels exhausting but gets under your skin as an astute account of Northern Ireland’s social landscape, and ultimately delivers humour, and insight -it's quite brilliant.
Longlisted for the 2018 Booker Prize.
A debut novel, a story of family and identity.
Gretel grew up on an isolated canal boat, hasn’t seen her mother since she was sixteen and now with a phone call from a hospital, she is thrown back to the memories of language and landscape.
A gender fluid retelling of Oedipus Rex. Available as paperback from February 2019
Try this if you like Iris Murdoch, Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter..
Previous BPS Book Club choice
An emotional read, a story of one woman in Nigeria and her extended family, where personal tragedy unfolds against the backdrop of turbulent 1980’s Nigeria.
Very readable, her prose is a pleasure but packs a tremendous punch.
Two ex public schoolboys, who were poles apart when at school, are now adults and life has gone spectacularly wrong for both of them. This is a great read, full of hope and wisdom, about alternative paths and optimism in the face of challenges.
Hold is a debut novel by Michael Donkor, voted a ‘ new face of fiction’ by The Observer. Moving between Ghana and London, it’s an intimate powerful coming of age story. A friendship between girls who come from the same culture but very different upbringings.
Paperback available £8.99, May 2019
THE WATCH HOUSE by Bernie McGill is the story of the modern world arriving on Rathlin, a remote Irish island, at the very end of the nineteenth century, with dramatic consequences for a young woman named Nuala. As the twentieth century dawns on the island of Rathlin, a place ravaged by storms and haunted by past tragedies, Nuala Byrne is faced with a difficult decision. Abandoned by her family for the new world, she receives a proposal from the island's aging tailor.
For the price of a roof over her head, she accepts. Meanwhile the island is alive with gossip about the strangers who have arrived from the mainland, armed with mysterious equipment which can reportedly steal a person's words and transmit them through thin air. When Nuala is sent to cook for these men - engineers, who have been sent to Rathlin by Marconi to conduct experiments in the use of wireless telegraphy - she encounters an Italian named Gabriel, who offers her the chance to equip herself with new skills and knowledge.
As her friendship with Gabriel opens up horizons beyond the rocky and treacherous cliffs of her island home, Nuala begins to realise that her deal with the tailor was a bargain she should never have struck.
One of our bestselling novels. Vividly imagined and with a page turning suspense. A great read - Linda
Murakami’s style is unique and engrossing. A slow and mind bending narrative with elements of fantasy, yet strangely compelling. This latest novel is epic in scale and is set in the world of art and portrait painting.
Beguiling... Murakami is brilliant at folding the humdrum alongside the supernatural; finding the magic that's nested in life's quotidian details' GuardianWhen a thirty-something portrait painter is abandoned by his wife, he holes up in the mountain home of a famous artist. The days drift by, spent painting, listening to music and drinking whiskey in the evenings.
But then he discovers a strange painting in the attic and unintentionally begins a strange journey of self-discovery that involves a mysterious ringing bell, a precocious thirteen-year-old girl, a Nazi assassination attempt and a haunted underworld. A stunning work of imagination, Killing Commendatore is a surreal tale of love and loneliness, war and art.
This recently won the ‘Not the Booker’ prize via popular vote in The Guardian. That said, it is still a challenging and chilling read. A sharp exploration of a dystopian London, it’s a thought provoking and well written story. For fans of Naomi Alderman’s The Power and Margaret Atwood.
From the award winning writer of The Lacuna and The Poisonwood Bible.
How can a man tell the truth, and be reviled for it ? Unsheltered is a readable story of two families in two different centuries, who live in the same place, navigating what seems to be the end of the world, as they see it.
Paperback from June 2019 now £8.99
Set in Barcelona in the late 50’s, Daniel runs a bookshop and has a seemingly fulfilling life with his wife and son. Yet the mystery surrounding the death of his mother continues to consume him and solving the enigma leads him into a tale of passion, intrigue and adventure.
New Yorker Frances Price is in dire straits. Scandals swirl around the recently widowed New York socialite, and her adult-aged, toddler-brained son Malcolm is no help. Cutting their losses, they grab their cat, Small Frank, and head for the exit.
A moving and tragically funny story of a possessive mother, a down and out son, and Small Frank the cat, who is possibly possessed by the spirit of the deceased husband and father. A book full of characters who will climb inside your heart.
A real treat for the many fans of William Boyd. A rich story of the talented piano tuner Brodie Moncur, who escapes a suffocating family life in the Scottish Borders and heads off to Paris for adventure in the late 19th century.
A perfect mix of historical context, immersive narrative and engaging prose. William Boyd is a master !
The second novel from young Irish writer Sally Rooney and already with a Booker Longlist nomination to its credit. This is a thoughtful and intimate coming of age story of Connell and Marianne, the novel moves between menace and tenderness with a truly original voice.
£8.99 paperback since May 2019.
Hardback edition no longer available.
Please check for availability as this title is currently very popular.
Tombland is the seventh novel in C. J. Sansom's number one bestselling Shardlake series. Now as £8.99 paperback.
Summer, 1549. Two years after the death of Henry VIII, England is sliding into chaos . .
. The nominal king, Edward VI, is eleven years old. His uncle Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, rules as Protector.
The extirpation of the old religion by radical Protestants is stirring discontent among the populace while the Protector's prolonged war with Scotland is proving a disastrous failure and threatens to involve France. Worst of all, the economy is in collapse, inflation rages and rebellion is stirring among the peasantry. Since the old King's death, Matthew Shardlake has been working as a lawyer in the service of Henry's younger daughter, the Lady Elizabeth.
The gruesome murder of Edith Boleyn, the wife of John Boleyn - a distant Norfolk relation of Elizabeth's mother - which could have political implications for Elizabeth, brings Shardlake and his assistant Nicholas Overton to the summer assizes at Norwich. There they are reunited with Shardlake's former assistant Jack Barak. The three find layers of mystery and danger surrounding Edith's death, as a second murder is committed.
And then East Anglia explodes, as peasant rebellion breaks out across the country. The yeoman Robert Kett leads a force of thousands in overthrowing the landlords and establishing a vast camp outside Norwich. Soon the rebels have taken over the city, England's second largest.
Barak throws in his lot with the rebels; Nicholas, opposed to them, becomes a prisoner in Norwich Castle; while Shardlake has to decide where his ultimate loyalties lie, as government forces in London prepare to march north and destroy the rebels. Meanwhile he discovers that the murder of Edith Boleyn may have connections reaching into both the heart of the rebel camp and of the Norfolk gentry.
AN IRISH TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
The world is shrouded in snow. With transport ground to a halt, Tom must venture out into a transformed and treacherous landscape to collect his son, sick and stranded in student lodgings. But on this solitary drive from Belfast to Sunderland, Tom will be drawn into another journey, one without map or guide, and is forced to chart pathways of family history haunted by memory and clouded in regret.
Travelling in a Strange Land is a work of exquisite loss and transformative grace. It is a novel about fathers and sons, grief, memory, family and love. From local author David Park.
'Mysterious, wondrous, captivating' Louis de Bernieres 'We need the courage to choose ourselves' W. H. Auden It's early summer when a young poet, Dora Fielding, moves to Helensburgh on the west coast of Scotland and her hopes are first challenged.
Newly married, pregnant, she's excited by the prospect of a life that combines family and creativity. She thinks she knows what being a person, a wife, a mother, means. She is soon shown that she is wrong.
As the battle begins for her very sense of self, Dora comes to find the realities of small town life suffocating, and, eventually, terrifying; until she finds a way to escape reality altogether. Another poet, she discovers, lived in Helensburgh once:
Wystan H.Auden, brilliant and awkward at 24, with his first book of poetry published, should be embarking on success and society in London. Instead, in 1930, fleeing a broken engagement, he takes a teaching post at Larchfield School for boys where he is mocked for his Englishness and suspected - rightly - of homosexuality. Yet in this repressed limbo Wystan will fall in love for the first time, even as he fights his deepest fears.
The need for human connection compels these two vulnerable outsiders to find each other and make a reality of their own that will save them both. Echoing the depths of Possession, the elegance of The Stranger's Child and the ingenuity of Longbourn, Larchfield is a beautiful and haunting novel about heroism - the unusual bravery that allows unusual people to go on living; to transcend banality and suffering with the power of their imagination.
`A beautiful, original novel, at once funny and tragic and brave' Sarah Pinborough
There are three things you need to know about Jasper.
1.He sees the world completely differently. 2. He can't recognise faces - not even his own.
3. He is the only witness to the murder of his neighbour, Bee Larkham. But uncovering the truth about that night will change his world forever...
An extraordinary and compelling debut which will make you see the world in a way you've never seen it before.
For fans of Mark Haddon and Joanna Cannon.
***SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD***
'Wickedly funny, deeply touching . . .
1955 - The artists are gathering together for a photograph. In one of Rome's historic villas, a party glitters with socialites and patrons. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god.
He is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot. From the side of the room watches little Pinch - their son.
At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, while Natalie faces her own wars with the art world. Trying to live up to his father's name - one of the twentieth century's fiercest and most controversial painters - Pinch never quite succeeds.
Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, he enacts an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy. What makes an artist? In The Italian Teacher, Tom Rachman displays a nuanced understanding of art and its demons. Moreover, in Pinch he achieves a portrait of vulnerability and frustrated talent that - with his signature humour and humanity -- challenges the very idea of greatness.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018
In Jessie Greengrass' superb debut novel, our unnamed narrator recounts her progress to motherhood, while remembering the death of her own mother ten years before, and the childhood summers she spent with her psychoanalyst grandmother. Woven among these personal recollections are significant events in medical history: Wilhelm Roentgen's discovery of the X-ray; Sigmund Freud's development of psychoanalysis and the work that he did with his daughter, Anna; and the origins of modern surgery and the anatomy of pregnant bodies. Sight is a novel about being a parent and a child: what it is like to bring a person in to the world, and what it is to let one go.
Exquisitely written and fiercely intelligent, it is an incisive exploration of how we see others, and how we might know ourselves.
Nell Crane has never held a boy's hand. In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts-an arm, a leg, an eye-Nell has always been an outsider. Her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs that everyone now uses.
But she's the only one with her machinery on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb.
And as her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society's good... but how can Nell live up to her father's revolutionary ideas when she has none of her own?Then she finds a lost mannequin's hand while salvaging on the beach, and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city-and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.
A science fiction treat for YA and teenagers as well as adults.
ONE OF THE BEST NEW CRIME NOVELS FOR 2019
Two women - desperate to unlock the truth. How far will they go to lay the past to rest? ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma's rules and visits Florida's biggest theme park.
She has never been allowed to go - so why, when she arrives, does everything seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives on the same day?
ROSIE has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads. Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister's disappearance, the media circus resumes in full flow, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth. But will she find the answer before it tears her family apart? A dark, addictive read, with a real heart at its core.
Longlisted for the Booker Prize
Kavanagh begins his life patrolling the Wall. If he's lucky, if nothing goes wrong, he only has two years of this, 729 more nights. The best thing that can happen is that he survives and gets off the Wall and never has to spend another day of his life anywhere near it.
He longs for this to be over; longs to be somewhere else. He will soon find out what Defenders do and who the Others are. Along with the rest of his squad, he will endure cold and fear day after day, night after night.
But somewhere, in the dark cave of his mind, he thinks: wouldn't it be interesting if something did happen, if they came, if you had to fight for your life?
John Lanchester's thrilling, hypnotic new novel is about why the young are right to hate the old. It's about a broken world you will recognise as your own-and about what might be found when all is lost.
'Timely, portentous and powerful, Obioma's second novel confirms his remarkable talent' Independent' Shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
Chinonso, a young poultry farmer, sees a woman attempting to jump to her death from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his most prized chickens into the water below to demonstrate the severity of the fall.
The woman, Ndali, is moved by his sacrifice. Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love. But Ndali is from a wealthy family, and when they officially object to the union because he is uneducated, Chinonso sells most of his possessions to attend a small college in Cyprus.
Once in Cyprus, he discovers that all is not what it seems. Furious at a world which continues to relegate him to the sidelines, Chinonso gets further and further away from his dream, from Ndali and the place he called home. In this contemporary twist of Homer's Odyssey, in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition, Chigozie Obioma weaves a heart-wrenching epic about the tension between destiny and determination.
Paperback publication date August 2019
£7.99Emma Nash is back....and determined to work out the world of friendships and relationships once and for all (...ish). `Great fun and full of laugh-out-loud moments. Perfect for fans of Holly Bourne.
Katy Birchall, author of the It Girl series Now she's in the sixth form, Emma's expecting life to be a breeze but when her best friend Steph suddenly has a boyfriend who she's spending more time with Emma's not sure what to do with herself. So Emma's got a mission in mind: making new friends. Signing up for the school fashion show seems like the perfect opportunity.
Although soon, through a series of mishaps that are absolutely not Emma's fault (well, sort of), her world is teetering on the edge of disaster again. Would going back to creating a life for herself online really be so bad?
£10.00It's the 1950s, and Lorrie is unimpressed when her family moves to the remote Scottish island where her grandad runs a whisky distillery. She befriends Sylvie, the shy girl next door: `The slightest smile from Sylvie was a fluffy elephant at the fair. It had to be won with a clear aim,' writes Lorrie.
Yet fun-loving Lorrie isn't sure Sylvie's is the friendship she wants to win. As the adults around them struggle to keep their lives on an even keel, the two young women are drawn into a series of events that leave the small town wondering who exactly Sylvie is and what strange gift she is hiding.Readman's feel for emotional nuance and flair for mixing strangeness with poignant detail make this long-awaited debut novel one to savour.
Two women. Two stories. One hundred years of secrets.
A sweeping novel of love, loss, family and history for readers who love Maggie O'Farrell, John Boyne and Donal Ryan
1919 : Ireland is about to be torn apart by the War of Independence. Hannah O'Donovan helps her father hide rebel soldiers in the attic, putting her family in great danger from the British soldiers who roam the countryside. An immediate connection between Hannah and O'Riada, the leader of this hidden band of rebels, will change her life and that of her family forever .
2019 :Ellen is at a crossroads: her marriage is in trouble, her career is over and she's grieving the loss of a baby.
After years in London, she decides to come home to Ireland to face the things she's tried so hard to escape. Reaching into the past, she feels a connection to her ancestor, the mysterious Hannah O'Donovan. But why won't anyone in her family talk about Hannah? And how can this journey help Ellen put her life back together?' A gripping novel about two women, their desires and frustrations, about the wars they find themselves fighting .
On a dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the Thames, the regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open and in steps an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a child. Hours later, the dead girl stirs, takes and breath and returns to life.
Is it a miracle?Is it magic?And who does the little girl belong to? An exquisitely crafted multi-layered mystery brimming with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield's bestseller The Thirteenth Tale.
"Diane's masterful storytelling draws you in to a beguiling tale, full of twists and turns like the river at its heart, and just as rich and intriguing." (M L Stedman, bestselling author of The Light Between Oceans)"Swift and entrancing, profound and beautiful. Give yourself a treat and read it!" (Madeline Miller, Orange Prize-winning author of The Song of Achilles and Circe)
Paperback £8.99 JUly 2019
`A masterpiece' JON MCGREGOR`
Impossible to forget' THE TIMES`
The autumn of 1933 is the most beautiful Edie Mather can remember, though the Great War still casts a shadow over the cornfields of her beloved home, Wych Farm. When charismatic, outspoken Constance FitzAllen arrives from London to write about fading rural traditions, she takes an interest in fourteen-year-old Edie, showing her a kindness she has never known before. But the older woman isn't quite what she seems.
As harvest time approaches and pressures mount on the whole community, Edie must find a way to trust her instincts and save herself from disaster.
£8.99Waterloo Bridge, London. Two strangers collide.
Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist, and Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes. From this chance encounter in the midst of the rush of a great city, numerous moments of connections span out and interweave, bringing disparate lives together. Attila has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma and to check up on the daughter of friends, his `niece', Ama, who hasn't called home in a while.
It soon emerges that she has been swept up in an immigration crackdown - and now her young son Tano is missing. When, by chance, Attila bumps into Jean again, she joins him in his search for Tano, mobilizing into action the network she has built up, mainly from the many West African immigrants working London's myriad streets, of volunteer fox-spotters: security guards, hotel doormen, traffic wardens. All unite to help and as the search continues, a deepening friendship between Attila and Jean unfolds.
In this delicate yet powerful novel of loves lost and new, of past griefs and of the hidden side of a teeming metropolis, Aminatta Forna asks us to consider the values of the society we live in, our co-existence with one another and all living creatures - and the true nature of happiness.
LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2019
Of all the books that I read this summer I think this was my absolute favourite. It really blew me away' DOLLY ALDERTON'
Lucy has been writing her dissertation for nine years when she and her boyfriend have a dramatic break up.
After she hits rock bottom, her sister in Los Angeles insists that Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Staying in a gorgeous house on Venice Beach, Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety - not in the Greek chorus of women in her love addiction therapy group, not in her frequent Tinder excursions, not even in Dominic the dog's easy affection. Everything changes when she becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night.
But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship, and Lucy's understanding of what love should look like, take a very unexpected turn.
LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2019 and THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE
'I am shouting from the rooftops to anyone who will listen about this book. It's so so good - realistic and funny and so truthful it almost winded me' Dolly Alderton,
The High LowTwo couples find themselves at a moment of reckoning. Melissa has a new baby and doesn't want to let it change her.
Damian has lost his father and intends not to let it get to him. Michael is still in love with Melissa but can't quite get close enough to her to stay faithful. Stephanie just wants to live a normal, happy life on the commuter belt with Damian and their three children but his bereavement is getting in the way.
Set in London to an exhilarating soundtrack, Ordinary People is an intimate study of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, friendship and ageing, and the fragile architecture of love. 'I just finished Ordinary People by Diana Evans and it is utterly exquisite. What a writer she is - the depth of her insight, the grace of her sentences.
WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME NOT READING HER?' Elizabeth Day, Twitter
£7.99Could one bad decision tear two families apart? Everyone's seen the compromising photo of Lyla, a scholarship kid in a prestigious private school. Everyone knows that Nina's son, expensively prepared for success since childhood, took the photo. And everyone thinks they know who to blame.
As events spiral out of control, Nina and Lyla - both outsiders in the elite social circle they inhabit - are drawn together in an unlikely bond of friendship. Because this photograph is forcing them to question who they really are - and who they are becoming. Already a New York Times bestseller and one of the most talked-about books of the year, this is a gripping novel about second chances, dark family secrets and how it's never too late to be the person you want to be.
£7.99In a large Swedish forest Beartown hides a dark secret . . .
Cut-off from everywhere else it experiences the kind of isolation that tears people apart. And each year more and more of the town is swallowed by the forest. Then the town is offered a bright new future.
But it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who'll risk everything to see justice done. Who will speak up? Could you stand by and stay silent? Or would you risk everything for justice? Surrounded by impenetrable forests, Beartown recreates the stifling atmosphere of a dying community.
A mature, compassionate novel' Sunday Times
`Completely gripping and profoundly moving' MAGGIE O'FARRELL'
Very beautiful. Only a truly wise and kind person could write such a book' MAX PORTER'
A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK AT BEDTIME
An OBSERVER, FINANCIAL TIMES and GUARDIAN Pick for 2019
The book that will change the way you see the world. 2010. Sixteen-year-old outsider Willem just wants to be left alone with his books and his dog.
Worried he's not turning out right, his ma and her boyfriend send him to New Dawn Safari Training Camp. Here they `make men out of boys'. Guaranteed.
1901. The height of the second Boer War in South Africa. Sarah van der Watt and her son are taken from their farm by force to Bloemfontein Concentration Camp where, the English promise: they will be safe.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018
LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE 2019
'Destined to become a future classic ... that rare book that should appeal to every kind of reader' The Guardian.
When two English brothers take the helm of a Barbados sugar plantation, Washington Black - an eleven-year-old field slave - finds himself selected as personal servant to one of them. The eccentric Christopher 'Titch' Wilde is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor and abolitionist, whose single-minded pursuit of the perfect aerial machine mystifies all around him.
Titch's idealistic plans are soon shattered and Washington finds himself in mortal danger. They escape together, but then Titch disappears and Washington must make his way alone, following the promise of freedom further than he ever dreamed possible. Inspired by a true story, Washington Black is an extraordinary tale of a world destroyed and made whole again.