The Six Loves of Billy Binns
By Richard Lumsden
THE SIX LOVES OF BILLY BINNS is a deeply moving debut set in London against the backdrop of the changing 20th century. it is reading group fiction perfect for those who loved the quirky pathos of Gail Honeyman's ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE and the warmth and humour of Rachel Joyce's THE PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY.At 117 years old, Billy Binns is the oldest man in Europe and he knows his time is almost up. But Billy has a final wish: he wants to remember what love feels like one last time. As he looks back at the relationships that have shaped his life - and the events that shaped the century - he recalls a life full of hope, heartbreak and, above all, love.
The Story Keeper
By Anna Mazzola
From the author of THE UNSEEING comes a sizzling, period novel of folk tales, disappearances and injustice set on the Isle of Skye, sure to appeal to readers of Hannah Kent's BURIAL RITES or Beth Underdown's THE WITCH FINDER'S SISTER.Longlisted for the 2018 Highland Book Prize'A wonderful combination of a thrilling mystery and a perfectly depicted period piece' Sunday MirrorAudrey Hart is on the Isle of Skye to collect the folk and fairy tales of the people and communities around her. It is 1857 and the Highland Clearances have left devastation and poverty, and a community riven by fear. The crofters are suspicious and hostile to a stranger, claiming they no longer know their fireside stories. Then Audrey discovers the body of a young girl washed up on the beach and the crofters reveal that it is only a matter of weeks since another girl disappeared. They believe the girls are the victims of the restless dead: spirits who take the form of birds. Initially, Audrey is sure the girls are being abducted, but as events accumulate she begins to wonder if something else is at work. Something which may be linked to the death of her own mother, many years before.
Strangers with the Same Dream
By Alison Pick
From Alison Pick, Booker longlisted author of FAR TO GO comes a suspenseful, dystopian reimagining of the founding of a kibbutz in 1920s Palestine, for readers of WHEN I LIVED IN MODERN TIMES, THE HANDMAID'S TALE or THE POWER.'We came into their valley at dawn'. From three vastly different points of view, Alison Pick relates the story of a group of Jewish pioneers, many escaping violent homelands, who have come together to found a kibbutz on a patch of land that will later become Israel. With tightly controlled intensity, Pick takes us into three very different minds to show us how a utopian dream is punctured by messy human entanglements. Yet this is also the story of the land itself (present day Israel and Palestine), revealing the way the newcomers chose to ignore the fact that their valley was already populated, home to a people that the pioneers did not want to see.In writing of extraordinary, at times heartbreaking power, Pick has created unforgettable characters, haunted by ghosts and compromised by unbearable secrets. The novel's shocking conclusion is a tour de force, the work of a writer uniquely in control of her craft and with an extraordinary insight into the innermost workings of the human heart.
A Sweet Obscurity
By Patrick Gale
Bittersweet and startling, A SWEET OBSCURITY is a novel of childhood, love and the consequences of how lives are lived. 'Intriguing and impressive. A memorable study of a child forced cruelly, even tragically, to grow up too soon' Sunday TimesSince her mother's death, nine year old Dido has been living with her eccentric aunt, acting as peacekeeper between Eliza, her estranged husband Giles and his girlfriend. They are each cruelly burdened in different ways. Chance draws them down to Cornwall, where a country idyll offers to lighten their urban cares. Eliza falls in love with local farmer, Pearce, an event that causes the four adults to re-assess their lives, with some painful and unforeseen consequences for adults and child alike.
See What I Have Done: Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018
By Sarah Schmidt
Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018Haunting, gripping and gorgeously written, SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt is a re-imagining of the unsolved American true crime case of the Lizzie Borden murders, for fans of BURIAL RITES and MAKING A MURDERER.'Eerie and compelling' Paula Hawkins'Stunning' Sunday Times'Gripping... outstanding' Observer'Glittering' Irish TimesJust after 11am on 4th August 1892, the bodies of Andrew and Abby Borden are discovered. He's found on the sitting room sofa, she upstairs on the bedroom floor, both murdered with an axe.It is younger daughter Lizzie who is first on the scene, so it is Lizzie who the police first question, but there are others in the household with stories to tell: older sister Emma, Irish maid Bridget, the girls' Uncle John, and a boy who knows more than anyone realises.In a dazzlingly original and chilling reimagining of this most notorious of unsolved mysteries, Sarah Schmidt opens the door to the Borden home and leads us into its murkiest corners, where jealousies, slow-brewed rivalries and the darkest of thoughts reside.
The Sarah Winman Collection: WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT and A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS
By Sarah Winman
Available together for the first time, Sarah Winman's first two stunning novels, WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT and A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS. Discover one of the UK's most eloquent and moving writers through her Sunday Times bestselling, critically acclaimed literary sensations. 'Winman's narrative voice is beautifully true' The TimesIf you've never read the phenomenon that is WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT, now is your chance. It's a book about a brother and sister. It's a book about childhood and growing up, friendships and families, triumph and tragedy and everything in between. More than anything, it's a book about love in all its forms.Then experience the sheer joy of A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS, a book that Rosamund Lupton described as 'a glorious poem of a novel'. This is a story about Marvellous Ways, an eighty-nine-year-old woman who sits by a creek in Cornwall, waiting for a last adventure. It's about Francis Drake, a young soldier who washes up there, reeling from war and broken-hearted. It's about the magic in everyday life and the lure of the sea, and how we carry on when grief comes snapping at our heels.Two stories. Two journeys. Two reading experiences you'll never forget.
The Snow Kimono
By Mark Henshaw
On the same day that a retired French police inspector receives a letter from a woman claiming to be his daughter, he returns to his apartment to find a stranger waiting for him on his doorstep. That stranger is a Japanese man called Tadashi Omura, and the men end up telling each other their life stories, transporting us back to Japan and Algeria. As we try and work out the connection between the two men, one thing that's clear is that they've both led lives that have been extraordinary, dangerous and built on layers upon layers of lies.
Six Stories and an Essay
By Andrea Levy
Andrea Levy, author of the Man Booker shortlisted novel THE LONG SONG and the prize-winning, million-copy bestseller SMALL ISLAND, draws together a remarkable collection of short stories from across her writing career, which began twenty years ago with the publication of her first novel, the semi-autobiographical EVERY LIGHT IN THE HOUSE BURNIN'.'None of my books is just about race,' Levy has said.'They're about people and history.' Her novels have triumphantly given voice to the people and stories that might have slipped through the cracks in history. From Jamaican slave society in the nineteenth century, through post-war immigration into Britain, to the children of migrants growing up in '60s London, her books are acclaimed for skilful storytelling and vivid characters. And her unique voice, unflinching but filled with humour, compassion and wisdom, has made her one of the most significant and exciting contemporary authors.This collection opens with an essay about how writing has helped Andrea Levy to explore and understand her heritage. She explains the context of each piece within the chronology of her career and finishes with a new story, written to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. As with her novels, these stories are at once moving and honest, deft and humane, filled with insight, anger at injustice and her trademark lightness of touch.
Strange Girls and Ordinary Women
By Morgan Mccarthy
They say you know instinctively who to trust.Alice is normal; she'd never do anything rash. But when she sees her husband one day with a younger girl, she knows at once that he's having an affair. And it must be stopped.Vic loves her friend Michael, more than he knows. He wants happiness, and thinks he's found it with the magnetic Estella. But Vic feels sure she can't be trusted - and she needs to make Michael see that too. They don't know Kaya; her life is tougher than they can imagine. But Kaya's a survivor, and she's determined to find a way out of her miserable world. Three women, three lives that come crashing together in this dark, lyrical and utterly enthralling story of warped perceptions, female intuition and 'the other woman'.
Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband
By Natalie Young
Always let the meat rest under foil for at least ten minutes before carving...Meet Lizzie Prain. Ordinary housewife. Fifty-something. Lives in a cottage in the woods, with her dog Rita. Likes cooking, avoids the neighbours. Runs a little business making cakes.No one has seen Lizzie's husband, Jacob, for a few days. That's because last Monday, on impulse, Lizzie caved in the back of his head with a spade. And if she's going to embark on the new life she feels she deserves after thirty years in Jacob's shadow, she needs to dispose of his body. Her method appeals to all her practical instincts, though it's not for the faint-hearted. Will Lizzie have the strength to follow it through?Dark, funny and achingly human, Season to Taste is a deliciously subversive treat. In the shape of Lizzie Prain, Natalie Young has created one of the most remarkable heroines in recent fiction.
A Sixpenny Song
By Jennifer Johnston
By Michel Rostain
Selected for the Waterstones Eleven list for 2013.We first meet Michel eleven days after the death of his son Lion. Lion was lost, suddenly, to a virulent strain of meningitis and it's left his father and entire family reeling. We join Michel on his personal journey through grief, but the twist that makes the journey truly remarkable, and tips this true story into fiction, is the fact that we see it all through Lion's eyes.In a stunningly original blurring of memoir and fiction, THE SON tackles the very hardest of subjects in the most readable of ways. Michel Rostain resolutely ducks away from sentimentality and pathos, and tells his story instead with wit, wisdom and vitality. For this is not a book about death; it's a book about life.
By Brian Kimberling
With wry humour and real freshness, SNAPPER charts the disastrous love affair between career birdwatcher Nathan Lochmueller and the place that made him.Nathan Lochmueller studies birds, for just enough money to scrape a living. He drives a glitter-festooned truck, the Gypsy Moth, and is in love with the enigmatic and free-spirited Lola. Around them swirls a remarkable cast of characters: the proprietor of Fast Eddie's burgers, the genius behind 'Thong Thursdays', a snapping turtle with a taste for thumbs and a German Shepherd who howls backing vocals. As he creeps through the undergrowth observing the birds he loves, Nathan must come to terms with the occasionally absurd turns his life has taken, and grapple with the dilemma that faces every small-town boy: should he stay, or should he go?
The Snow Child
By Eowyn Ivey
A bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska, Eowyn Ivey's THE SNOW CHILD was a top ten bestseller in hardback and paperback, and went on to be a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairy tale from which it takes its inspiration, The Snow Child is an instant classic.
Small Island: Winner of the 'best of the best' Orange Prize
By Andrea Levy
Small Island by bestselling author Andrea Levy won the Orange Prize for Fiction, as well as the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Whitbread. It is possibly the definitive fictional account of the experiences of the Empire Windrush generation. Now a major BBC drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Naomie Harris, its enduring appeal will captivate fans of Maya Angelou and Zadie Smith. 'A great read... honest, skilful, thoughtful and important' - GuardianIt is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun. Queenie Bligh's neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but Queenie doesn't know when her husband will return, or if he will come back at all. What else can she do? Gilbert Joseph was one of the several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler. Returning to England as a civilian he finds himself treated very differently. It's desperation that makes him remember a wartime friendship with Queenie and knock at her door. Gilbert's wife Hortense, too, had longed to leave Jamaica and start a better life in England. But when she joins him she is shocked to find London shabby, decrepit, and far from the golden city of her dreams. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was...
The Secret Life of Bees
By Sue Monk Kidd
The multi-million-copy-bestselling novel about a young girl's journey towards healing and the transforming power of love, from the award-winning author of The Invention of Wings. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black 'stand-in mother', Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina - a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey. And there Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world as about the mystery surrounding her mother. 'A wonderful book, by turns sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris' Daily Telegraph'Charming, funny, moving' The Times'Wonderfully written, powerful, poignant...read it' Joanna TrollopeWhat readers are saying about The Secret Life of Bees:'One of the most poignant and heart tugging books I have ever read' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars'Emotional and heart-breaking, yet full of hope and love. I laughed and cried equally through the book. This wonderful book will stay with me for a long time to come' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars'One of the best books I've read in a while. Touching, well-written, beautiful, full of expression, insightful' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 'A beautifully written masterpiece. I loved the writing, the descriptions, the humour sprinkled through the story. There was sadness and love, hope and forgiveness. I highly recommend this book' Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars