£20.00Despite the acres of speculation devoted to special advisers in recent years, from Alastair Campbell to Dominic Cummings, their role is much misunderstood. Who are the people Piers Morgan once called 'these miserable little creatures' and just how much influence do they have? Peter Cardwell served as SpAd to four Cabinet ministers, acting as media adviser, political fixer, troubleshooter and occasional wardrobe consultant. In this candid, compelling and frequently hilarious insider account, he takes the reader into the heart of Whitehall to reveal what the job really involves, from dealing with counter-terror emergencies in Cobra to explaining to the Justice Secretary what a dental dam is, to having your inside leg measured in a government office. Spells in Northern Ireland office add local insight to this amusing book.
Packed with advice on navigating the perks and pitfalls of the job, The Secret Life of Special Advisers will inform and entertain anyone who has ever wondered what these mysterious figures really do all day.
One of our bestselling novels this year. Local writer Bernie McGill has written about Rathlin Island at the end of the nineteenth century- imagining a love story between a temporary visitors and a local girl. Vividly imagined and with a page turning suspense. A great read.
'The Vanishing Half is an utterly mesmerising novel. It seduces with its literary flair, surprises with its breath-taking plot twists, delights with its psychological insights, and challenges us to consider the corrupting consequences of racism on different communities and individual lives. I absolutely loved this book' Bernardine Evaristo, winner of the Booker Prize 2019
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical.
But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past.
Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' story lines intersect? Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.
£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?
£8.99One life-changing summer Charlie meets Fran... In 1997, Charlie Lewis is the kind of boy you don't remember in the school photograph. His exams have not gone well.
At home he is looking after his father, when surely it should be the other way round, and if he thinks about the future at all, it is with a kind of dread. Then Fran Fisher bursts into his life and despite himself, Charlie begins to hope. But if Charlie wants to be with Fran, he must take on a challenge that could lose him the respect of his friends and require him to become a different person.
He must join the Company. And if the Company sounds like a cult, the truth is even more appalling. The price of hope, it seems, is Shakespeare.
Poignant, funny, enchanting, devastating, Sweet Sorrow is a tragicomedy about the rocky path to adulthood and the confusion of family life, a celebration of the reviving power of friendship and that brief, searing explosion of first love that can only be looked at directly after it has burned out.
This book got a little overlooked when published as a hardback because it was simply gigantic. I predict late success with the paperback, it has been longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction and is a superb summer read.
MARILYN has somehow fallen into motherhood and spent four decades married to DAVID, who's pretty certain he loves her more than anyone has ever loved another person.
WENDY, their eldest, a cause for concern, soothes herself with drink after being widowed young, while VIOLET, lawyer-turned-stay-at-home-mother, is disturbed by the reappearance of a son placed for adoption fifteen years earlier. LIZA, a professor, is pregnant with a baby she's not sure she wants by a man she's not sure she loves and GRACE, their dawdling youngest daughter, lives a lie that no one in her family suspects. 'A gripping and poignant ode to a messy, loving family in all its glory' Madeline Miller, author of Circe and The Song of Achilles'
Everything about this brilliant debut cuts deep: the humor, the wisdom, the pathos' Rebecca Makkai
£8.99Full of her trademark mix of unforgettable characters and heart-breaking secrets, The Butterfly Room is a spellbinding, multi-generational story from Sunday Times bestseller Lucinda Riley. Posy Montague is approaching her seventieth birthday. Still living in her beautiful family home, Admiral House, set in the glorious Suffolk countryside where she spent her own idyllic childhood catching butterflies with her beloved father, and raised her own children, Posy knows she must make an agonizing decision.
Despite the memories the house holds, and the exquisite garden she has spent twenty-five years creating, the house is crumbling around her, and Posy knows the time has come to sell it. Then a face appears from the past - Freddie, her first love, who abandoned her and left her heartbroken fifty years ago. Already struggling to cope with her son Sam's inept business dealings, and the sudden reappearance of her younger son Nick after ten years in Australia, Posy is reluctant to trust in Freddie's renewed affection.
And unbeknown to Posy, Freddie - and Admiral House - have a devastating secret to reveal . . .
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.
Things happened suddenly. They met in April, in the first bit of mild weather; and in August, they went to stay in rural Ireland, overseen by the cottage's landlady. Six years later, when Alannah is newly married to another man, she sees the landlady from afar.
Memories of those days spent in bliss, then torture, return to her. And the realisation that she has been waiting - all this time - to be rediscovered.
£14.99top ten New York Times bestseller. With the haunting emotional power of American Dirt and the atmospheric suspense of Where the Crawdads Sing: a compulsive debut novel that explores the aftershock of a brutal crime on the women of a small Texas oil town. 'The very definition of a stunning debut' Ann Patchett 'Amazing ...
like a grimmer, newer version of To Kill A Mockingbird ... It sounds bleak, and it is, but there is beauty, too; in the landscape, in the spirit of some of the people and most of all in Wetmore's wonderful writing' Wendy Holden, Daily Mail Mercy is hard in a place like this. I wished him dead before I ever saw his face...
Mary Rose Whitehead isn't looking for trouble - but when it shows up at her front door, she finds she can't turn away. Corinne Shepherd, newly widowed, wants nothing more than to mind her own business, and for everyone else to mind theirs. But when the town she has spent years rebelling against closes ranks she realises she is going to have to take a side.
Debra Ann is motherless and lonely and in need of a friend. But in a place like Odessa, Texas, choosing who to trust can be a dangerous game. Gloria Ramirez, fourteen years old and out of her depth, survives the brutality of one man only to face the indifference and prejudices of many.
When justice is as slippery as oil, and kindness becomes a hazardous act, sometimes courage is all we have to keep us alive.