The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (pb)
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.
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'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.
£18.99Nobody knows yet that she is a murderer... Abandoned at the gates of a London park one winter's night in 1850, baby Lily Mortimer is saved by a young police constable and taken to the London Foundling Hospital. Lily is fostered by an affectionate farming family in rural Suffolk, enjoying a brief childhood idyll before she is returned to the Hospital, where she is punished for her rebellious spirit.
Released into the harsh world of Victorian London, Lily becomes a favoured employee at Belle Prettywood's Wig Emporium, but all the while she is hiding a dreadful secret... Across the years, policeman Sam Trench keeps watch over the young woman he once saved. When Sam meets Lily again, there is an instant attraction between them and Lily is convinced that Sam holds the key to her happiness - but might he also be the one to uncover her crime and so condemn her to death?
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.