The Rapture, Claire McGlasson ( paperback March 2021)
Miss Dilys Barltrop is a devoted member of The Panacea Society, a cult populated almost entirely by virtuous single women. When she strikes up a friendship with Grace - a new recruit - God finally seems to be smiling upon her. But Dilys is wary of her leader's zealotry, and fearful of those who watch her every move, hoping for a sign of the deep and terrible failings she struggles to keep hidden.
Faith is supplanted by doubt, and as both women come to question what is true and fear what is real, Dilys will have to learn the true cost of absolute devotion...
This has the feel of a Handmaid's Tale, it seems genteel but there is a chilly and steely core, a clever debut ( Linda)
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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.
‘You put the book down and feel glad to be alive’ India Knight, Sunday Times
Jane easily falls in love with Duncan: he's charming, good-natured, and handsome. He has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan.
Jane sees Duncan's old girlfriends everywhere – at restaurants, at the grocery store, even three towns away. While she may be able to come to terms with dating the world's most prolific seducer of women, she wishes she didn't have to share him quite so widely. His ex-wife, Aggie, still has Duncan mow her lawn. And his coworker Jimmy comes and goes from Duncan's apartment at the most inopportune times. Jane wonders how the relationship is supposed to work with all these people in it. But any notion Jane has of love and marriage changes with one tragic accident. Now her life is permanently intertwined with Duncan's, Aggie's, and Jimmy's, and she knows she will never have Duncan to herself. But is it possible that a deeper kind of happiness is right in front of her eyes?
A novel that is alternately bittersweet and laugh-out-loud funny, Early Morning Riser is Katherine Heiny's most astonishingly wonderful work to date.
£12.99In The Assault on Truth, a short and powerful new polemic, Oborne shows how Boris Johnson lied again and again in order to secure victory so he could force through Brexit in the face of parliamentary opposition. Johnson and his ministers then lied repeatedly to win the general election in December 2019. The government’s woeful response to the coronavirus pandemic has generated another wave of falsehoods, misrepresentations and fabrications.
The scale and shamelessness of the lying of the Johnson administration far exceeds the lying about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and other issues under Tony Blair. This book argues that the ruthless use of political deceit under the Johnson government is part of a wider attack on civilised values and traditional institutions across the Western world, especially by Donald Trump in the USA. The Johnson and Trump methodology of deceit is about securing power for its own ends - even when they get exposed for lying, they shrug it off as a matter of no consequence.
It matters because all Western institutions are built around the idea of integrity and accountability. This means that an assault on truth is an assault on the rule of law, state institutions and the fundamental idea of fairness, and even democracy itself.
Mountweazel n. the phenomenon of false entries within dictionaries and works of reference. Often used as a safeguard against copyright infringement.
Peter Winceworth, Victorian lexicographer, is toiling away at the letter S for Swansby's multivolume Encyclopaedic Dictionary. His disaffection compels him to insert unauthorized fictitious entries into the dictionary in an attempt to assert some sense of individual purpose and artistic freedom.
In the present day, Mallory, a young intern employed by the publisher, is tasked with uncovering these mountweazels before the work is digitized. She also has to contend with threatening phone calls from an anonymous caller. Is the change in the definition of marriage really that upsetting? And does the caller really intend for the Swansby's staff to 'burn in hell'?
As these two narratives combine, both Winceworth and Mallory discover how they might negotiate the complexities of the often nonsensical, relentless, untrustworthy, hoax-strewn, and undefinable path we call life. An exhilarating debut novel from a formidably brilliant young writer, The Liar's Dictionary celebrates the rigidity, fragility, absurdity, and joy of language.