“Youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
It’s 1941, the last summer of American innocence, and eighteen-year-old Lillie Carrigan is desperate to love and be loved, to lose her virginity, to experience her life’s great, epic romance. Preoccupied with whiskey and cigarettes, sex and Catholic guilt, Lillie unknowingly sets in motion events leading to death and estrangement from her two best friends.
A decade on, Lillie is still haunted by the ghosts of that summer. Did she act solely out of youthful naivety and adolescent jealousy? Or perhaps there were darker forces at work: grief, guilt, sexual assault, and the double standards of her strict religious upbringing. Searching for patterns and meaning in the events of that year, and anxious to understand the person she has become, Lillie reflects on the darkness of her tarnished youth and confesses her sins.
London, 1649. Oliver Cromwell is running the country, and a law targeting unmarried mothers threatens the life of glovemaker Rachel Lockyer. This is her story.
‘This is historical fiction at its best – it is absolutely steeped in atmosphere, and so vividly recreates the interregnum era that I felt as though I’d been transported there. Stacia’s prose has a beautiful originality; and her characters come alive with authenticity and humanity. They are loveable and infuriating by turns, but the reader always believes in them, and invests hopes and fears with them. The story kept me gripped from the very first page; by turns desperately sad, funny and heart warming. I have genuinely enjoyed this book far more than anything else I have read for several months. I loved it!’ Katherine Webb, author of The Legacy and The Unseen
An epic, homourous and quite unique historical novel which looks at Central Europe in the 16th century – a territory plagued by ceaseless battles for supremacy between the Protestant political elite and the ruling Catholic Habsburg Monarchy, as well as the ongoing battle between the sexes. In Kumerdej’s wonderful saga, history and fiction intertwine in wavelike fashion, producing a colourful portrait of the Renaissance; permeated by humanist attempts to resurrect antiquity through art, new scientific findings, and spirited philosophical and theological debates.
A man does battle with a wolf, two sworn brothers lock horns – literally – as they drink and brag the night away, and an old man turns to his flame-bellied stove for comfort when facing a bitter winter alone.
These are just some of the fascinating folk who inhabit the magical stories of Hong Ke. Set in Xinjiang, the gateway between China and Middle Asia, The Howl of the Wolf paints a colourful picture of frontier life in all its earthy glory.
June, 1348: the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in the county of Dorsetshire. Unprepared for the virulence of the disease, and the speed with which it spreads, the people of the county start to die in their thousands.
In the estate of Develish, Lady Anne takes control of her people’s future – including the lives of two hundred bonded serfs. Strong, compassionate and resourceful, Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave, Thaddeus Thurkell, to act as her steward. Together, they decide to quarantine Develish by bringing the serfs inside the walls. With this sudden overturning of the accepted social order, where serfs exist only to serve their lords, conflicts soon arise. Ignorant of what is happening in the world outside, they wrestle with themselves, with God and with the terrible uncertainty of their futures.
Lady Anne’s people fear starvation but they fear the pestilence more. Who amongst them has the courage to leave the security of the walls?
And how safe is anyone in Develish when a dreadful event threatens the uneasy status quo..?
THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING WORLDWIDE PHENOMENON A RICHARD & JUDY, BETWEEN THE COVERS AND GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICKWINNER OF THE GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD FOR FICTION
‘BEAUTIFUL’ Jodi Picoult, ‘UPLIFTING’
‘BRILLIANT’ Daily Mail
‘AMAZING’ Joanna Cannon
‘ABSORBING’ New York Times
Nora’s life has been going from bad to worse. Then at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives she might have lived.
Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?
England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner.
As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour. Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army.
Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him? With The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage.
Two women connected by the notorious Gosforth Massacre of 1917, a murder case famous among true-crime fans and internet sleuths, strike up an email conversation and begin an uneasy investigation into their mutual ancestor Hattie Soak, a silent film star who ﬂed the scene of the crime.
The Night Visitors explores ghosts, obsession and inherited evil. In this novella, the technology that connects us becomes the conduit of un-expiated evil in a story told entirely via an exchange of emails.
Harriet Heron’s life is almost over before it has even begun. At just twenty-three years of age, she is an invalid, over-protected and reclusive. Before it is too late, she must escape the fog of Victorian London for a place where she can breathe.
Together with her devoted mother, Louisa, her god-fearing aunt, Yael, and a book of her own spells inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Harriet travels to a land where the air is tinged with rose and gold and for the first time begins to experience what it is to live. But a chance meeting on the voyage to Alexandria results in a dangerous friendship as Louisa’s long-buried past returns, in the form of someone determined to destroy her by preying upon her daughter.
As Harriet journeys towards a destiny no one could have foreseen, her aunt Yael is caught up in an Egypt on the brink of revolt and her mother must confront the spectres of her own youth.
Award-winning journalist and writer Wendy Wallace spins a tale of three women caught between propriety and love on a journey of cultural awakening through an exquisitely drawn Egypt. In prose both sumptuous and mesmeric, she conjures a sensibility akin to that of E M Forster and Merchant Ivory.
When they were young men, Kim and his best friend, Garland Rain, travelled the world. They worked as dive guides, living free and easy by the sea. Garland is still out there, but Kim’s life is different now. He’s married and a father of three.
Still longing for the freedom of the water, Kim agrees to help Garland run a one-time trip to the spectacular Brothers Islands in the Red Sea. What neither man expects is just how badly wrong it will go. Drugs and violence collide, and not everyone returns safely.
Back on dry land, Kim finds that the decisions you make in the moment can come back to haunt you, even follow you home.
Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on a single day when a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that haunts him still resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal town he once called home.
Kieran’s parents are struggling in a community which is bound, for better or worse, to the sea that is both a lifeline and a threat. Between them all is his absent brother Finn.
When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge in the murder investigation that follows. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away…
BOOK OF THE YEAR: Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Stylist, Sunday Times, Financial Times, Guardian, The Times, Observer, Red
Margaret Atwood’s dystopian masterpiece, The Handmaid’s Tale, is a modern classic. Now she brings the iconic story to a dramatic conclusion in this riveting sequel.
More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.
Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.
As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP BESTSELLER#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERSHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZELONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE
‘An utterly mesmerising novel..I absolutely loved this book’ Bernardine Evaristo, winner of the Booker Prize 2019
‘Epic’ Kiley Reid, O, The Oprah Magazine
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.
One of the classics of South American literature. ‘It is not enough to say that he is an important American novelist; he is one of the masters in either hemisphere.’ – New York Times
Aires returns home to his native Rio after many years abroad and is captivated by a young widow whom he sees praying at her husband’s graveside. Her charm and the tragic story of her brief marriage increase his fascination, and soon he is indulging in impossible dreams. But the Brazil that Aires remembers from his youth is changing fast. A new era is dawning with events such as the coming of the railway and the abolition of slavery. The future belongs to a younger generation, to men like Tristao, the doctor and political candidate, who is also an admirer of the beautiful widow. This is a story of broken dreams, love, and obsession-universal themes that give the author’s work the timeless quality for which it is renowned.
Jonathan Lethem again displays his brilliance in this collection of seven short stories, blurring the boundaries of sci-fi, mystery, and thriller. Tales include ‘Light and the Sufferer’, in which a crack addict is dogged by an invulnerable alien; ‘The Hardened Criminals’, wherein convicts are used as building blocks for new prisons; and ‘The Happy Man’, whose hapless protagonist is raised from the dead to support his family, only to suffer periodic out-of-body sojourns in Hell. Each tale features Lethem’s characteristic deadpan wit and unflinchingly macabre vision of life.
As autumn draws in, a series of unexplained vicious attacks occur in a small northern town renowned for being a bohemian backwater.
As the national media descends, local journalist Roddy Mace attempts to tell the story, but finds the very nature of truth brought into question. He turns to disgraced detective James Brindle for help.
When further attacks occur the shattered community becomes the focus of an accelerating media that favours immediacy over truth. Murder and myth collide in a folk-crime story about place, identity and the tangled lives of those who never leave.
LONGLISTED FOR THE THEAKSTON OLD PECULIER CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR
Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month
The Times Crime Book of the Month
Mail on Sunday Thriller of the Week
‘Elegantly crafted, humane and thought-provoking. She’s top drawer’ Ian Rankin
This is how it begins. With a near-empty building, the inhabitants forced out of their homes by property developers. With two women: idealistic, impassioned blogger Ella and seasoned campaigner, Molly. With a body hidden in a lift shaft. But how will it end?
Piet Hoffman is the best undercover operative in the Swedish police force, but only one other man is even aware of his existence. When an amphetamine deal he is involved in goes badly wrong, he is faced with the hardest mission of his life: to infiltrate Sweden’s most infamous maximum security prison.
Detective Inspector Ewert Grens is charged with investigating the drug-related killing. Unaware of Hoffman’s real identity, he believes himself to be on the trail of a dangerous psychopath. But he cannot escape the feeling that vital information pertaining to the case has been withheld or manipulated.
Hoffman has his insurance: wiretap recordings that implicate some of Sweden’s most prominent politicians in a corrupt conspiracy. But in Ewert Grens the powers that be might just have found the perfect weapon to eliminate him…
In the depths of winter in an isolated Yorkshire hamlet, a teenage girl, Melanie Muncy, is missing.
The elite detective unit Cold Storage dispatches its best man to investigate. DI Jim Brindle may be obsessive, taciturn and solitary, but nobody on the force is more relentless in pursuing justice. Local journalist Roddy Mace has sacrificed a high-flying career as a reporter in London to take up a role with the local newspaper. For him the Muncy case offers the chance of redemption.
Darker forces are at work than either man has realised. On a farm high above the hamlet, Steven Rutter, a destitute loner, harbours secrets that will shock even the hardened Brindle. Nobody knows the bleak moors and their hiding places better than him.
As Brindle and Mace begin to prise the secrets of the case from the tight-lipped locals, their investigation leads first to the pillars of the community and finally to a local celebrity who has his own hiding places, and his own dark tastes.
During the Yule season of 1153 Malcolm mac Alasdair is sent to serve the half-Scottish, half-Viking Earl of Orkney, who is on a quest to regain his earldom from a treacherous cousin. Malcolm is an artistic boy with no knack for warfare, he is certain that he will only hinder the young earl – and get himself killed in the bargain. His father’s reason for sending him out on this adventure does nothing to allay his fears: in a vision he has seen Malcolm go to Orkney with Earl Harald. But this vision is incomplete – he hasn’t seen Malcolm return…
PI John Craine has come to Hale Island to get away from it all – the memories and the guilt, and a past that just won’t let go.
But within hours he stumbles across the dead body of a young girl on the beach. When the police arrive the body has inexplicably disappeared. Or – in his already tormented state – did Craine imagine it in the first place?
Determined to get at the truth, Craine starts asking questions. But it seems no one on the island is talking. And all too soon he finds himself tangled up in a deadly network of fear and violence.
Someone has a dark secret to keep, and Craine is getting in the way…
Time out of time, people call it., but they’re wrong. It’s all time, like white light is all colours, or white noise is all pitches of noise coming at you together.
In this transcendent collection of short stories, Lanagan deftly navigates a new set of worlds in which the boundaries between reality and possibility are paper-thin . . . and sometimes disappear altogether.
Prepare to be unsettled, intrigued and dazzled by what a master storyteller can do in a few short pages.
Thomas Cromwell. Son of a blacksmith, political genius, briber, charmer, bully. A man with a deadly expertise in manipulating people and events.
Mike Poulton’s ‘expertly adapted’ (Evening Standard) two-part ad adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s acclaimed novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies is a ‘gripping piece of narrative theatre … history made manifest’ (Guardian). The plays were premiered to great acclaim by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2013, before transferring to the Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End in May 2014.
In the latest entertaining and hilarious Professor Dr Dr Moritz-Maria Von Igelfeld novel, our hopelessly out-of-touch hero is forced to confront uppity librarians, the rector of the university and a possible hostile takeover, all while trying to remain studiously above it all.
Professor Dr Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld and his colleagues at the University of Regensburg’s Institute of Romance Philology pride themselves on their unwavering commitment to intellectual excellence. They know it is their job to protect a certain civilized approach to the scholarly arts. So when a new deputy librarian, Dr. Hilda Schreiber-Ziegler, threatens to drag them all down a path of progressive inclusivity, they are determined to stop her in the name of scholarship – even if that requires von Igelfeld to make the noble sacrifice of running for director of the Institute. Alas, politics is never easy, and in order to put his best foot forward, von Igelfeld will be required to take up a visiting fellowship at Oxford and cultivate the attentions of a rather effusive young American scholar. Still, von Igelfeld has always heeded the clarion call of duty, especially when it comes with a larger office.