Our search has the following Google-type functionality:
+ (addition symbol)
If you use '+' at the start of a word, that word will be present in the search results. eg. Harry +Potter Search results will contain 'Potter'.
- (minus symbol)
If you use '-' at the start of a word, that word will be absent in the search results. eg. Harry -Potter Search results will not contain 'Potter'.
If you use 'AND' between 2 words, then both those words will be present in the search results. eg. Harry AND Potter Search results will contain both 'Harry' and 'Potter'.
If you use 'OR' between 2 words, then either or both of those words will be present in the search results. eg. 'Harry OR Potter' Search results will contain just 'Harry', or just 'Potter', or both 'Harry' and 'Potter'.
If you use 'NOT' before a word, that word will be absent in the search results. (This is the same as using the minus symbol). eg. 'Harry NOT Potter' Search results will not contain 'Potter'.
" " (double quotation marks)
If you use double quotation marks around words, those words will be present in that order. eg. "Harry Potter" Search results will contain 'Harry Potter', but not 'Potter Harry'.
If you use '*' in a word, it performs a wildcard search, as it signifies any number of characters. (Searches cannot start with a wildcard). eg. 'Pot*er' Search results will contain words starting with 'Pot' and ending in 'er', such as 'Potter'.
A father tells his son, Abdullah, a story of a father’s sacrifice of one of his children, to ensure that child has a better life than he’s born to. This is on the night before the man is walking to Kabul with his little daughter, Pari. Abdullah loves Pari so much that he refuses to stay behind; he doesn’t yet know that his father has promised the girl to a rich, childless couple. The separation that follows will scar not only the siblings, but many of the people closely involved in the transaction, and even into the next generation.
Told in turn from the point of view of other family members, and of the children themselves, this is a finely woven tale of many colours and textures that spans more than five decades. It takes place in Kabul, in a small village in the mountains, in California and Paris and a small Greek island, but the true setting is the human heart, and all it is capable of. Highly recommended. Lindy
Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and step-mother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Adbullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their skulls touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand. Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history, and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.
ABBEY'S CHOICE JUNE 2013 ----- WINNER of The Guardian First Book Award 2012. An unforgettable depiction of the psychological impact of war by a young Iraq veteran and poet, this novel is already being hailed as a modern classic. Everywhere John looks, he sees Murph. He flinches when cars drive past. His fingers clasp around the rifle he hasn't held for months. Wide-eyed strangers praise him as a hero, but he can feel himself disappearing. Back home after a year in Iraq, memories swarm around him: bodies burning in the crisp morning air. Sunlight falling through branches; bullets kicking up dust; ripples on a pond wavering like plucked strings. The promise he made, to a young man's mother, that her son would be brought home safely. Kevin Powers has composed an unforgettable account of friendship and loss. It vividly captures the desperation and brutality of war, and its terrible after-effects. But it is also a story of love, of great courage, and of extraordinary human survival. Written with profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on families at home, this is one of the most haunting, true and powerful novels of our time. 'It is the All Quiet on the Western Front of America's Arab Wars' says Tom Wolfe, author of The Bonfire of the Vanities. 'Inexplicably beautiful' says Ann Patchett, Orange Prize-winning author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder.
Kevin Powers talks about the writing of THE YELLOW BIRDS
ABBEY'S CHOICE JUNE 2013 ----- This is Philipp Meyer's second novel following American Rust and it's a BIG novel. A novel bulging at the seams with characters in an epic journey spanning a century and a half in Texas, America. And the toughest is Eli McCullough, born in 1836, the year that the Republic of Texas was declared an Independent State, borne out of a battle with the Mexicans to settle the State.
He was the first child of this New Republic. Eight years later he and his brother are kidnapped after a savage family killing by a tribe of Native American Indians. They are left with nothing, barely their lives, whilst Eli watches his own sister being raped and killed. Slowly he learns the ways and life of the Comanches as they battle to survive themselves against the incursions of the white settlers.
But his progress within the tribe is matched by the tribe's own perilous journey, and an epidemic endangers their future. Eli is forced to leave the tribe and pursue his life elsewhere. He falls in love has children and becomes a Ranger working for the Government, but finds it hard to break his Comanche memories and ways.
He lives to be 100 and tells his remarkable story. Eli's son Peter McCullough endures the First World War and Several Mexican attacks. His diaries tell of momentous and dangerous times as he tries to maintain the dynasty began by his father, now named the Colonel.
In 2011 at the age of eighty-six Jeanne Anne McCullough is the fifth richest woman in Texas, She has had a fall and is perilously close to death. She goes in and out of consciousness and tells her own history; battling to keep the family alive; battling to prevent the large-scale acquisitive oil companies from buying her land; battling to hold on to her largesse and her legacy.
These three stories of one family combine to produce nothing less than a standout epic.
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- This has been a European bestseller, and is the sort of book the French do so well. It is also a distillation of truth and fiction, because the author, Michel, lost his son, Lion, as the character Michel loses his son Lion. It is told from the point-of-view of the son, and starts eleven days after his death. Lion observes the effect of his sudden death on his parents, but primarily his father, and remembers his life and their relationship. A story of grief, and living, and love, but also ultimately of acceptance and memory’s consolations. Lindy
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 novel tackles the very hardest of subjects in the most readable of ways. 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.
Eight years have passed since Andy Sachs quit the job a million girls would die for - working for Miranda Priestly at Runway Magazine - a dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Now Andy's on top of the world: she's writing and reporting to her heart's content; running The Plunge, her wildly successful high fashion bridal magazine with Miranda's other ex-assistant, Emily; and most importantly, getting married to the scion of a storied media family and the love of her life. But the night before her wedding, Andy can't sleep. As happy as she is - as happy as she should be - she's still haunted by the specter of her former boss. Maybe it's survivor syndrome? Or maybe it's justifiable, self-inflicted, paranoia. From the start, Andy and Emily have felt entitled to use their rolodex of contacts - Miranda's contacts - from Runway as they make their way in the magazine world. As The Plunge succeeds, Andy and Emily realize they'll soon come face to face with their former tormenter at industry functions, award ceremonies, and even weddings. Still, Andy can hardly anticipate the horrifying reality that's approaching - a reversal so profound that she will be squarely in Miranda's crosshairs once more. Karma's a bitch. And Andy's efforts to build a bright new life have led her directly to the one she fled... and into the path of the Devil herself.
Paris, 1909: a city of contrasts and of ambition, of beauty and of treachery Maud Heighton came to Lafond's famous Academie to paint, and to flee the constraints of her small English town. It took all her courage to escape, but Paris eats money. While her fellow students enjoy the dazzling joys of the Belle Epoque, Maud slips into poverty. Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, Maud takes a job as companion to young, beautiful Sylvie Morel. But Sylvie has a secret: an addiction to opium. As Maud is drawn into the Morels' world of elegant luxury, their secrets become hers. Before the New Year arrives, a greater deception will plunge her into the darkness that waits beneath this glittering city of light.
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- In a small English town, the mothers gather at the school gates to collect their children. St Ambrose Primary School is a 'good' school and for the mothers, represents not just the place for their kids to get educated but also an achievement that reflects on their social status. And standing in the centre of it all, is Beatrice, who is the undisputed arbiter of taste and the mother everyone wants to be friends with. Rachel was Beatrice's best friend, but since Rachel's husband deserted her, she has been relegated to the outer, where she watches miserably. Other women have stepped into the breach, delighted to follow orders and believe in Bea's superiority… but then a new mother appears, one who takes no notice of Bea's directives, one who is more than capable of holding her own on the issues of fundraising and social initiatives. I did laugh in places, but by the end of the novel, I couldn’t decide if the author held all women in contempt, or just mothers. Lindy
Welcome to St Ambrose Primary School. A world of friendships, fights and feuding. And that's just the mothers. It's the start of another school year at St Ambrose. But while the children are in the classroom colouring in, their mothers are learning sharper lessons on the other side of the school gates. Lessons in friendship. Lessons in betrayal. Lessons in the laws of community, the transience of power...and how to get invited to lunch. Beatrice - undisputed queen bee. Ruler, by Divine Right, of all school fund-raising, this year, last year and, surely, for many years to come. Heather - desperate to volunteer, desperate to be noticed, desperate just to belong. Georgie - desperate for a fag. And Rachel - watching them all, keeping her distance. But soon to discover that the line between amused observer and miserable outcast is a thin one. The Hive is an irresistible, brilliantly observed novel - warm, witty and true. Wickedly funny, it is also a fascinating and subtle story about group politics and female friendship. From the joys and perils (well, mainly perils) of the Lunch Ladder, to the military operation that is the Car Boot Sale, via the dos and don'ts of dressing your child as a dalek, all human life is here.
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Dellarobia is a young mother so discontented with her poverty-stricken life on a failing farm in the Appalachian Mountains that she impulsively decides to have an affair. On her way to consummate it, she stumbles across something so impossible as to be a miracle. But is it? Or is it a sign of something more disturbing – a freak of nature that indicates how far out of whack the world really is? With the Christians of her community celebrating it as one, and visiting researchers treating it as the other, Dellarobia finds her life totally transformed. Thoughtful, powerful and quietly compulsive reading – highly recommended. Lindy
Discontented with her life of poverty on a failing farm in the Eastern United States, Dellarobia, a young mother, impulsively seeks out an affair. Instead, on the Appalachian mountains above her home, she discovers something much more profoundly life-changing - a beautiful and terrible marvel of nature. As the world around her is suddenly transformed by a seeming miracle, can the old certainties they have lived by for centuries remain unchallenged? Flight Behaviour is a captivating, topical and deeply human story touching on class, poverty and climate change. It is Barbara Kingsolver's most accessible novel yet, and explores the truths we live by, and the complexities that lie behind them.
The Lacuna is the heartbreaking story of a man's search for safety of a man torn between the warm heart of Mexico and the cold embrace of 1950s McCarthyite America. Born in the U.S. and reared in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd is a liability to his social-climbing flapper mother, Salome. Making himself useful in the household of the famed Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and exiled Bolshevik leader Lev Trotsky, young Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution. A violent upheaval sends him north to a nation newly caught up in World War II. In the mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina he remakes himself in America's hopeful image. But political winds continue to throw him between north and south, in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach - the lacuna - between truth and public presumption. A gripping story of identity, loyalty and the devastating power of accusations to destroy innocent people, The Lacuna is as deep and rich as the New World.
<p>The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it--from garden seeds to Scripture--is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
Berlin in 1933 is in upheaval. Eleven-year-old Carla von Ulrich struggles to understand the tensions disrupting her family as Hitler strengthens his grip on Germany. Into this turmoil steps her mother's formidable friend and former British MP, Ethel Leckwith, and her student son, Lloyd, who soon learns for himself the brutal reality of Nazism. He also encounters a group of Germans resolved to oppose Hitler – but are they willing to go so far as to betray their country? Such people are closely watched by Volodya, a Russian with a bright future in Red Army Intelligence. The international clash of military power and personal beliefs that ensues will sweep over them all as it rages from Cable Street in London's East End to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, from Spain to Stalingrad, from Dresden to Hiroshima. At Cambridge Lloyd is irresistibly drawn to dazzling American socialite Daisy Peshkov, who represents everything his left-wing family despise. But Daisy is more interested in aristocratic Boy Fitzherbert - amateur pilot, party lover and leading light of the British Union of Fascists. Back in Berlin, Carla worships golden boy Werner from afar. But nothing will work out the way they expect as their lives and the hopes of the world are smashed by the greatest and cruellest war in the history of the human race.
Amid the backstreets, brothels and faded hotels of Bombay, Madras and the old Portuguese port of Goa, a man searches for his lost friend. Xavier has been missing for a year, and the only clues to his disappearance lie with an overworked doctor, a young prostitute and the leader of a strange religious order. Dreamlike, elusive and profoundly disquieting, Indian Nocturne calls into question the very nature of identity.
Simran Singh is desperate for a break and some time away from her busy job as a social worker-come-crime investigator. And so the unspoilt idyll of Goa seems just the place - white beaches, blue seas and no crime. But when a disturbing video appears on her phone, featuring a young girl being attacked by a group of men, she realises that a darkness festers at the heart of this supposed paradise. And when she discovers out that the girl is Liza Kay, a British teenager who has gone missing, she knows she must act in order to save her. But first Simran must break through the web of lies and dark connections that flourish on these beaches. Everyone, it seems, knows what has happened to the girl but no one is prepared to say. And when more videos appear, and Simran herself is targeted in order to keep her quiet, the paradise soon becomes a living nightmare.
Counterfeiter. Dishwasher. Prostitute. Attorney. Sculptor. Mercenary. Elephant. Corpse. The fascinating characters that roam across the pages of Emma Donoghue's latest fact-inspired fictions have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters. They cross other borders, too: those of race, law, sex and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress. Donoghue describes the brutal plot hatched by a slave in conjunction with his master's wife to set them both free; she draws out the difficulties of gold mining in the Yukon, even in the supposedly plentiful early days, and she takes us to an early Puritan community in Massachusetts unsettled by an invented sex scandal. Astray also includes The Hunt , a shocking confession of one soldier's violent betrayal during the American Revolution, which has been shortlisted for the 2012 Sunday Times Short Story Award. Astray is a sequence of fourteen stories by the prize-winning author of Room and The Sealed Letter . These strange, true tales light up four centuries of wanderings, offering a past made up of deviations, and a surprising and moving history for restless times.
In 1964 Maggie wakes to find herself in a psychiatric ward, not knowing who she is or why she has been committed. She slowly begins to have memories of a storm and of a man called Jack and slowly the pieces of the past begin to come together… In 2008 Jonathan is struggling to put his differences with his parents aside to tell them he and his wife are expecting a baby, when a detective arrives to question him about crimes committed long ago... And as these two tales interweave, the secrets of the past, long kept hidden, start to come to light in unexpected and sometimes startling ways. The Things You Didn't Know is a powerful novel about fatherhood and motherhood; nature and nurture; cruelty and kindness; and mental breakdown. Written in beautiful, compelling prose, it is by turns revealing, witty and moving.
Though generations have passed, the town of Pluto continues to be haunted by the murder of a farm family. Evelina Harp - part Ojibwe, part white - is an ambitious young girl whose grandfather, a repository of family and tribal history, harbors knowledge of the violent past. And Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who bears witness, understands the weight of historical injustice better than anyone. Through the distinct and winning voices of three unforgettable narrators, the collective stories of two interwoven communities ultimately come together to reveal a final wrenching truth. National Book Award-winning author of The Round House, Louise Erdrich delves into the fraught waters of historical injustice and the impact of secrets kept too long. Told with heartbreak and humor, this Harper Perennial Deluxe Modern Classic features beautiful cover artwork on uncoated stock, French flaps, and a deckle-edge pages.
Following the critical acclaim for his debut, Patrick Flanery's Fallen Land is his astonishing break-out novel; a nail-biting story powered by a fierce anger at the utter failure of the American dream, and the greatest fears that lurk in every one of us. Poplar Farm has been in Louise's family for generations, inherited by her sharecropping forebear from a white landowner after a lynching. Now, the farm has been carved up, the trees torn down; a mini-massacre replicating the destruction of lives and societies taking place all over America. Architect of this destruction is Paul Krovik, a property developer soon driven insane by the failure of his dream. Julia and Nathaniel arrive from Boston with their son, Copley, and buy up Paul's signature home in a foreclosure sale. They move into the half-finished subdivision and settle in to their brave new world. Yet violence lies just beneath the surface of this land, and simmers deep within Nathaniel. The great trees bear witness, Louise lives on in her beleaguered farmhouse, and as reality shifts, and the edges of what is right and wrong blur and are lost, Copley becomes convinced that someone is living in the house with them.
Thirty-six-year-old Grace McAllister never longed for children. But when she meets Victor Hansen, a handsome, charismatic divorced restaurateur who is father to Max and Ava, Grace decides that, for the right man, she could learn to be an excellent part-time stepmom. After all, the kids live with their mother, Kelli. How hard could it be? At thirteen, Ava Hansen is mature beyond her years. Since her parents' divorce, she has been the one taking care of her emotionally unstable mother and her little brother - she pays the bills, does the laundry, and never complains because she loves her mama more than anyone. And while her father's new girlfriend is nice enough, Ava still holds out hope that her parents will get back together and that they'll be a family again. But only days after Victor and Grace get engaged, Kelli dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances - and soon, Grace and Ava discover there was much more to Kelli's life than either ever knew. Narrated by Grace and Ava in the present with flashbacks into Kelli's troubled past, Heart Like Mine is a poignant and hopeful portrait about womanhood, love, and the challenges of family life.
'Certainly there are ghosts in these towers. For me they are the ghosts of two children. And even now - ten years later and seven hundred miles away - I still wake most nights with the muffled echo of their cries in my ears and the weight of their deaths on my conscience...' Three lives; three turning points. Craig was a teenage lifeguard on a beach in Germany when two children died on his watch. It should never have happened. He was an expert swimmer. His grandfather, Gordon McInnes, was on board a ship torpedoed during the war. He survived by clinging to the body of one of his colleagues. Years later, he met a member of the crew of the U-boat that attacked his ship. Gerd is a refugee of the Cold War. Recruited by the Stasi at a very young age, he escaped to the west after his mission went terribly wrong. He never went back. THE INCIDENT is a searingly powerful novel about fate, about those moments that change the course of a life for ever. It is also a book about history, from the Second World War through to the current day, and the way incidents long past can reverberate across generations.
1919. Emily Ehrlich watches as two young airmen, Alcock and Brown, emerge from the carnage of the First World War to pilot the very first non-stop transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to the west of Ireland. Among the letters being carried on the aircraft is one which will not be opened for almost a hundred years. 1998. Senator George Mitchell criss-crosses the ocean in search of an elusive Irish peace. How many more bereaved mothers and grandmothers must he meet before an agreement can be reached? 1845. Frederick Douglass, a black American slave, lands in Ireland to champion ideas of democracy and freedom, only to find a famine unfurling at his feet. On his travels he inspires a young maid to go to New York to embrace a free world, but the land does not always fulfill its promises for her. From the violent battlefields of the Civil War to the ice lakes of northern Missouri, it is her youngest daughter Emily who eventually finds her way back to Ireland. Can we pass from the new world to the old? How does the past shape the future? In TransAtlantic, National Book Award-winning Colum McCann has achieved an outstanding act of literary bravura. Intricately crafted, poetic and deeply affecting it weaves together personal stories to explore the fine line between what is real and what is imagined, and the tangled skein of connections that make up our lives.
Dr. Cyrus Mills reluctantly returns home to rural Eden Falls, Vermont under dire personal circumstances to revive The Bedside Manor for Sick Animals, the failing veterinary practice of his recently deceased and long estranged father. Under the wing of his new mentor, Doc Lewis, Cyrus - who was previously a reclusive pathologist, far more comfortable with cold clinical facts than living, breathing animals (not to mention their quirky, demanding owners) - begins to learn what it takes to win the hearts of his pet patients and their owners. Cyrus has a simple plan: restore and sell his deceased father's practice as quickly as possible and then leave the hometown that haunts him with difficult memories. Then his first patient, a down-on-her-luck Golden Retriever named Frieda Fuzzypaws, wags her way through the door, and suddenly life gets complicated. With the help of a Black Labrador gifted in the art of swallowing underwear, a terrier whose days are numbered, a Persian cat determined to expose her owner's lover as a gold digger, and the allure of a feisty, gorgeous waitress from the local diner, Cyrus gets caught up in a new community and its endearing and eccentric residents, both human and animal. He grudgingly realises that he may have misjudged his father and the rift that tore them apart, and if that's the case, coming to terms with the past will be the only way he can face an uncertain future. And perhaps it's not just his patients that need healing.
It is 1970. 'Bean' Holladay is twelve and her sister Liz fifteen when their artistic mother Charlotte, a woman who 'flees every place she's ever lived at the first sign of trouble', takes off to 'find herself'. She leaves the girls enough money for food to last a month or two. But when Bean gets home from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz board a bus from California to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying antebellum mansion that has been in the family for generations. An impetuous optimist, Bean discovers who her father was and learns many stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Money is tight, so Liz and Bean start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Madox, foreman of the mill in town, a big man who bullies workers, tenants and his wife. Bean adores her whip-smart older sister, inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, non-conformist. But when school starts in the autumn, it is Bean who easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens between Liz and Maddox...
Harwood has a gift for creating suspense, apparently effortlessly. Ruth Rendell. A gothic suspense novel that will keep you in its grip until the final page. Georgina Ferrars, a young woman living quietly with her uncle in London, wakes to find herself in a private asylum 200 miles away on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, with no memory of the past six weeks. Dr Straker, the charismatic physician in charge, tells her that she has suffered a seizure - and that her name is not Georgina Ferrars, but Lucy Ashton. A telegram from her uncle confirms that Georgina Ferrars is still in London. Her protests only serve to convince the doctors that she is in the grip of 'hysterical possession', and Georgina is certified insane. So begins The Asylum, a gothic suspense novel set in late Victorian England. With no friends, no money, and no one she dare trust, Georgina is left with only her stubborn determination to find out what happened during those missing weeks, no matter how terrifying the consequences.
In Soviet Russia the desire for freedom is also a desire for the freedom to love. Lovers live as outlaws, traitors to the collective spirit, and love is more intense when it feels like an act of resistance. Now entering middle age, an orphan recalls the fleeting moments that have never left him - a scorching day in a blossoming orchard with a woman who loves another; a furtive, desperate affair in a Black Sea resort; the bunch of snowdrops a crippled childhood friend gave him to give to his lover. As the dreary Brezhnev era gives way to Perestroika and the fall of Communism, the orphan uncovers the truth behind the life of Dmitri Ress, whose tragic fate embodies the unbreakable bond between love and freedom.
The aloof and enigmatic Constance Schuyler lives alone in Manhattan. At a literary party she meets Sidney Klein, a professor of poetry twenty years her senior. Intoxicated by her chilly beauty, Sidney pursues the young woman with restless determination and soon proposes marriage. Constance accepts, and with some misgivings moves into his dark, book-filled apartment. But Constance is a haunted woman. When her father, a doctor, makes a devastating revelation, she is forced to revisit the childhood she spent with her dissipated sister Iris in a broken-down house on the Hudson River. Meanwhile Iris's lover, Eddie, who plays piano in a cocktail lounge, threatens Constance's already shaky marriage, and before long her world begins to fall apart. Her only consolation is the friendship of Sidney's boy Howard, a strange, delicate child, not unlike Constance herself...A compelling story of a troubled marriage and a damaged family, Constance is also a tale of resilience and loyalty, and of the sudden unexpected glimpse of moral inspiration in the midst of crisis that can lead even the most lost of souls back to the light.
Be careful who you bring when you come in from the cold...Summer, 1951. Two suspected spies, Burgess and Maclean, have disappeared, and the nation is obsessed with their whereabouts. Speculation is at fever pitch when Colin Harris, a member of the Communist Party who has been in Germany for several years, turns up to see his old friends Dinah and Alan Wentworth. He has news: he has fallen in love with a girl in East Berlin, and is coming home - with her - for good. Meanwhile, Jack McGovern, who sometimes feels like the only decent man in Special Branch, has a rendezvous with a real spy. Miles Kingdom thinks there's a mole at MI5, and he wants McGovern's help. A novel about secrets, betrayal and unearthing the truth, The Girl in Berlin is a reminder that when nothing is as it seems, no-one can be trusted - even those you think you know best.
Jane and Petra have been together for six years and after deciding to have a child, they move to Petra's hometown, Berlin. But things do not quite go according to plan. Jane, at six months pregnant, finds herself increasingly isolated and preoccupied with the monuments and reminders of the Holocaust which echo around the city - imagining the horrors that happened in the spaces around her. She becomes uneasy in the apartment and conceives a dread of the derelict backhouse across the courtyard. She also begins to suspect their neighbour, Alban Mann, of sexually assaulting his daughter, and places a phone call to the police which holds more significance than she can ever have known ...
Nineteen-year-old Luisa McKenzie has failed her Scottish Highers and finds herself back at primary school - working as a teaching assistant, a role she never envisaged or wanted. Her old friends have all left town and she spends her days perched in the classroom's Home Corner, answering questions about God and Death and the colour of the sky. Increasingly disillusioned and reflecting on paths not taken, Luisa begins to ask her own questions about life and the so-called adult world. As her end-of-year review looms, it looks like she may not even be able to hold down this unsatisfactory job much longer and, with the discovery of an uncomfortable secret, her take on reality slowly begins to unravel...The Home Corner is a funny, tender novel about feeling adrift when facing the 'real world' for the first time. It explores the way we create our own identities in the light of other people's, and queries the distinctions that are made between the absent and the present, the real and the imagined.
For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital. Soon the family's world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus. Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labour, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood - the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival. Displaying the author's extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.
Harry is a Richard Nixon scholar who leads a quiet, regular life; his brother George is a high-flying TV producer, with a murderous temper.They have been uneasy rivals since childhood.Then one day George loses control so extravagantly that he precipitates Harry into an entirely new life. In May We Be Forgiven, Homes gives us a darkly comic look at 21st century domestic life - at individual lives spiraling out of control, bound together by family and history.The cast of characters experience adultery, accidents, divorce, and death. But this is also a savage and dizzyingly inventive vision of contemporary America, whose dark heart Homes penetrates like no other writer - the strange jargons of its language, its passive aggressive institutions, its inhabitants' desperate craving for intimacy and their pushing it away with litigation, technology, paranoia. At the novel's heart are the spaces in between, where the modern family comes together to re-form itself. May We Be Forgiven explores contemporary orphans losing and finding themselves anew; and it speaks above all to the power of personal transformation - simultaneously terrifying and inspiring.
A new work of fiction by Hari Kunzru, best-selling author of Gods Without Men, forms the basis of this innovative book and exhibition, in which reading a story is translated into a three-dimensional visual experience by leading typographers, illustrators and graphic designers. Hari Kunzru has conjured a dark vision of a future in which not just books but remembering itself is banned and a small group of renegade memorialists is all that stands in the face of total oblivion. From the point of view of one of their incarcerated members, Memory Palace takes us through his fragmented memories as he lies trapped in his cell, clinging to the belief that without memory civilization is doomed. An essay by the exhibition's curators, Laurie Britton Newell and Ligaya Salazar, unpicks the intentions and process behind this innovative project, while specially commissioned work by Robert Frank Hunter and drawings from the exhibition's collaborators illustrate the book.
"The Big Chill for the Facebook generation." - Adam Gopnik, author of Paris to the Moon.
Clover, Addison, Mia, and Jane were roommates at Harvard until their graduation in 1989. Twenty years later, their lives are in free fall. Clover, once a securities broker, is out of a job and struggling to reproduce before her fertility window shuts. Addison's marriage to a writer's-blocked novelist is as stale as her so-called career as a painter. Hollywood closed its gold-plated gates to Mia, who now stays home with her children, renovating and acquiring faster than her husband can pay the bills. Jane, the Paris bureau chief for a newspaper whose foreign bureaus are now shuttered, is caught in a vortex of loss.
Like all Harvard grads, they've kept abreast of one another via the red book, a class report published every five years, containing alumni autobiographical essays. But there's the story we tell the world, and then there's the real story, as these former classmates will learn during their twentieth reunion, a relationship-changing, score-settling, unforgettable weekend.
Maggie's father is 'Mr Safety'. He knows the woods of Duchess Creek in Northern Canada like the back of his hand, and he has taught his daughter how to survive, how to find and make a shelter in all weathers, in any conditions. Along with her sister, Jenny, and their mother Irene, they are safe from the outside world. But when an accident at work goes fatally wrong, Irene struggles to look after her daughters alone. Wild, imaginative and unpredictable, she billets the two girls with a family, promising to return once the summer is over and she has earned more money. But the summer turns to winter, which rolls round again and again. When the letters stop, the two sisters realise that they can rely on no one but themselves - but what kind of shelter can two young girls make for themselves?
Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of American Wife and Prep, returns with a mesmerising novel of family and identity, loyalty and deception, and the delicate line between truth and belief.
From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar senses - innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people's secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them. Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift.
After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that a devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. More troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister, and truths about herself she's long tried to deny.
Funny, haunting, and thought-provoking, this is a beautifully written novel of the obligation we have toward others, and the responsibility we take for ourselves. With her deep empathy, keen wisdom, and unerring talent for finding the extraordinary moments in our everyday lives, Curtis Sittenfeld is one of the most exceptional voices in literary fiction today.
The modern family comes with all sorts of blendings and combinations. Jessica stared at her from head to toe, lost in her legs, her hair, her eyelashes, her cheeks. How was she supposed to feel? What on earth was happening in this world if you could suddenly be introduced to a six year old child who was your biology, your blood, the descendent of your ancestors? How were people not meant to care? How on earth had she ever thought she would not?
Jessica and Matt Davidson, professional, middle-class Australians, have four beautiful children; three from IVF. When they donate one leftover embryo, it's a gift of thanks to the world for their luck; an offering to the fates. Seven years after this gift, the Davidsons have lost their youngest child Eeny to a genetic condition, and the family is struggling with this grief. Jessica and Matt's relationship is strained; their relationship with their oldest child is fraught, and beneath these tensions flow the currents of anger and shame connected to Eeny's death.
A new girl starts at the children's school, and Jessica realises that this child, Mia, is her biological offspring; the embryo born of she and Matt's donation years before. As Jessica's daily life continues, marked out by the rhythms of her zoo vet job and of the children's school days, she finds herself drawn to this look-alike child, and overwhelmed by a desire to care for her, especially as she sees Mia's home life is difficult. Gradually Jessica becomes entangled with Mia's mother Carolyn, a damaged woman who spots Jessica's vulnerability and hits on her for money and help. Jessica answers these appeals, and her reward is to be granted some time spent caring for Mia, where the child gets to know the Davidsons and to feel part of a wider family.
Jessica's twin sister, Abby, lives in Chiang Mai where she works in an orphanage for abandoned children. Abby's life has always been about helping the poor, and while the two sisters' lives are very different, they remain close. Jessica and her closest friends Georgia and Maxine have formed a benevolent fund to raise money for the orphanage and to give themselves an excuse to meet regularly and share details of their lives and be reminded of their good fortune. Jessica's growing obsession with Mia. and whether or not Mia can be called her daughter or the sister of her other children, creates friction with Matt, her children, her sister and friends as well as Carolyn, Mia's mother.
Exploring the big issues, who gets to decide/comment on/directly influence, the parenting and care of children. Can we push aside the tug of a biological bond, or not, can we create a bond where there isn't one? And, ultimately, celebrating family of every kind.
Nicholas Slopen has been dead for months. So when a man claiming to be Nicholas turns up to visit an old girlfriend, deception seems the only possible motive. Yet nothing can make him change his story. From the secure unit of a notorious psychiatric hospital, he begins to tell his tale: an account of attempted forgery that draws the reader towards an extraordinary truth - a metaphysical conspiracy that lies on the other side of madness and death. Strange Bodies takes the reader on a dizzying speculative journey that poses questions about identity, authenticity, and what it means to be truly human.
A soaring novel of resilience, hope, strength and tenderness, The Taliban Cricket Club reveals how love can overcome, and outwit, even the power of tyrants. Rukhsana, a spirited young journalist in Kabul, is summoned to the infamous Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice to face its terrifying minister, Zorak Wahidi. A cricket tournament is announced, with the winning team to travel to Pakistan for training and then represent Afghanistan at an international level. In reality, the idea is ludicrous. The Taliban will never embrace a game rooted in civility, fairness and equality. And no one in Afghanistan even knows how to play cricket, except Rukhsana. But the tournament offers hope - a means of escape for her brother and young cousins. And for Rukhsana, escape is essential - Wahidi wants to marry her, a frightening proposition which will enslave her in his home. With the help of her cousins, Rukhsana devises an audacious plan that could ensure their freedom. All they have to do is learn to play cricket - and win. Dangerous, feisty and funny - totally engaging from the first page.
In 1904 Hanna Lundmark escapes the brutal poverty of rural Sweden for a job as a cook onboard a steamship headed for Australia. On the voyage she finds love in the form of the ship's mate, whom she marries. But disaster strikes when her husband is struck down by a fatal illness while the ship is docked on the East African coast. Jumping ship at the port of Lourenco Marques, Hanna decides to begin her life anew. Stumbling across a down-at-heel hotel, Hanna becomes embroiled in a sequence of events that lead to her inheriting the most successful brothel in town, complete with a chimpanzee who serves drinks. Hanna tries to befriend the prostitutes working for her, and change life in the town for the better, but the distrust between blacks and whites, and the shadow of colonialism, lead to tragedy and murder. Based on a true story, A Sullied Angel sees Henning Mankell turn his talents for suspense and insight to a world where power and powerlessness meet and passion is a dangerous commodity.
1961. A squadron of Vulcan aircraft, Britain's most lethal nuclear bomber, flies towards the east coast of the United States. Highly manoeuvrable, the great delta-winged machines are also equipped with state of the art electronic warfare devices that jam American radar systems. Evading the fighters scrambled to intercept them, the British aircraft target Washington and New York, reducing them to smoking ruins. They would have done, at least, if this were not an exercise. This extraordinary raid (which actually took place) opens James Hamilton-Paterson's remarkable novel about the lives of British pilots at the height of the Cold War, when aircrew had to be on call 24 hours a day to fly their nuclear-armed V-bombers to the Western USSR and devastate the lives of millions. This is the story of Squadron-Leader Amos McKenna, a Vulcan pilot who is suffering from desires and frustrations that are tearing his marriage apart and making him question his ultimate loyalties. Relations with the American cousins are tense; the future of the RAF bomber fleet is in doubt. And there is a spy at RAF Wearsby, who is selling secrets to his Russian handlers in seedy East Anglian cafes. A macabre Christmas banquet at which aircrew under intolerable pressures go crazy, with tragic consequences, and a dramatic and disastrous encounter with the Americans in the Libyan desert, are among the high points of a novel that surely conveys the beauty and danger of flying better than any other in recent English literature.
Michael Rost, an 18-year-old Jewish youth hungry for experience, comes to Vienna and forms passing relationships with everyone who crosses his path: whores, revolutionaries, paupers, army officers, and rich men who frequent cabarets and gambling dens. When Peter Dean, a shady businessman, takes the penniless Rost under his wing, he rents a room in the home of an affluent bourgeois family. He is seduced by the lady of the house, Gertrude, while her husband is away on business, and shortly after starts an affair with her 16-year-old daughter as well. This love triangle threatens to destroy the entire family, and when the master of the house returns home, Rost is forced to move out. In his new lodgings, his loneliness, his nocturnal wanderings, and his casual romantic encounters become second nature. Some twenty years later, he moves to Paris, drifts around between prostitutes and occasional love affairs, impoverished by gambling and yet unable to find a home. As in the work of Vogel's contemporaries, the mesmerising figure of Michael Rost reflects the tortured relationship between cosmopolitan Jewish intellectuals and early-20th-century Europe.
'To play the country-game, we have to choose a country. Everybody wants to be the U.S.A. and Britain and Canada and Australia and Switzerland and them. Nobody wants to be rags of countries like Congo, like Somalia, like Iraq, like Sudan, like Haiti, and not even this one we live in - who wants to be a terrible place of hunger and things falling apart?' Darling and her friends live in a shanty called Paradise, which of course is no such thing. It isn't all bad, though. There's mischief and adventure, games of finding bin Laden, stealing guavas, singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voices. They dream of the paradises of America, Dubai, Europe, where Madonna and Barack Obama and David Beckham live. For Darling, that dream will come true. But, like the thousands of people all over the world trying to forge new lives far from home, Darling finds this new paradise brings its own set of challenges - for her and also for those she's left behind.
1930s America, southern high society: Part love story, part coming-of-age novel, this is the moving, raw and exquisitely vivid story of an uncommon girl navigating a treacherous road to womanhood. Thea Atwell is fifteen years old in 1930, when, following a scandal for which she has been held responsible, she is 'exiled' from her wealthy and isolated Florida family to a debutante boarding school in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. As Thea grapples with the truth about her role in the tragic events of 1929, she finds herself enmeshed in the world of the Yonahlossee Riding Camp, with its complex social strata ordered by money, beauty and equestrienne prowess; where young women are indoctrinated in the importance of 'female education' yet expected to be married by twenty-one; a world so rarified as to be rendered immune (at least on the surface) to the Depression looming at the periphery, all overseen by a young headmaster who has paid a high price for abandoning his own privileged roots...
A New York Times bestselling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, this is a story of unfulfilled love - tormented, funny, and affecting - and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a sexual suspect, a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of terminal cases, The World According to Garp. This story is a poignant tribute to Billy's friends and lovers - a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention. Not least, this is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself worthwhile.
I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk. Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her-her identity, her spirit, her will to live-pay. All Josh Bennett wants is to be left alone, and everyone allows it because they all know his story: each person he loved was taken from his life until at seventeen years old there was no one left. When your name is synonymous with death, people tend to give you your space. Everyone except Nastya, a new girl in town who won't go away until she's insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of a mystery she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she's been hiding--or if he even wants to. The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.
From the bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton comes a lyrical and gripping story of a great American dream. In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what would become a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this romantic, rollicking, and tragic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after. Arcadia's inhabitants include Handy, a musician and the group's charismatic leader; Astrid, a midwife; Abe, a master carpenter; Hannah, a baker and historian; and Abe and Hannah's only child, the book's protagonist, Bit, who is born soon after the commune is created.
While Arcadia rises and falls, Bit, too, ages and changes. If he remains in love with the peaceful agrarian life in Arcadia and deeply attached to its residents - including Handy and Astrid's lithe and deeply troubled daughter, Helle - how can Bit become his own man? How will he make his way through life and the world outside of Arcadia where he must eventually live? With Arcadia, her first novel since her lauded debut, The Monsters of Templeton, Lauren Groff establishes herself not only as one of the most gifted young fiction writers at work today but also as one of our most accomplished literary artists.
1996: Grace, a psychiatrist, juggles a suicidal boyfriend and a young patient's impending abortion. 2002: Annie, a struggling actress, takes pity on a homeless girl and invites her into her New York apartment. 2006: Mitch, a divorced counsellor, finds that listening to other people's problems takes his mind off his own. Ten years. Three lives. One truth: helping other people is infinitely simpler than helping yourself.
The present: Emilie de la Martinieres has always fought against her aristocratic background, but after the death of her glamorous, distant mother, she finds herself alone in the world and sole inheritor of her grand childhood home in the south of France. An old notebook of poems leads her in search of the mysterious and beautiful Sophia, whose tragic love affair changed the course of her family history. As Emilie unravels the story, she too embarks on her own journey of discovery, realising that the chateau may provide clues to her own difficult past and finally unlock the future. The past: London 1943. A young office clerk, Constance Carruthers, is drafted into the SOE, arriving in occupied Paris during the climax of the conflict. Separated from her contact in her very first hours in France, she stumbles into the heart of a wealthy family who are caught up in a deadly game of secrets and lies. Forced to surrender her identity and all ties to her homeland and her beloved husband, Constance finds herself drawn into a complex web of deception, the repercussions of which will affect generations to come. From the author of the international bestseller, Hothouse Flower, Lucinda Riley's new novel is a breathtaking and intense story of love, war and, above all, forgiveness. Note to readers: In the US, this book is published under the title The Lavender Garden.
Anna lives in Brooklyn. But she didn't always. She grew up in Kielce, Poland, where the summers were long and the politics communist. When her parents were indicted for their alliance with anti-government forces, Anna had to flee her homeland, leaving her closest friends behind. Now an adult, she lives in the US and has lost touch with the girls she once knew, the ones she missed so much as a teenager that she'd sneak back into Kielce hidden in the back of a car just to share another summer. When she learns that one of them has suffered a terrible tragedy, she hurries home to Kielce. But when she arrives, she'll find more than she'd ever imagined. It's finally time to face everything that happened during those childhood summers long ago.
Dining alone in an elegant Parisian brasserie, accountant Daniel Mercier can hardly believe his eyes when President Francois Mitterrand sits down to eat at the table next to him. Daniel's thrill at being in such close proximity to the most powerful man in the land persists even after the presidential party has gone, which is when he discovers that Mitterrand's black felt hat has been left behind. After a few moments' soul-searching, Daniel decides to keep the hat as a souvenir of an extraordinary evening. It's a perfect fit, and as he leaves the restaurant Daniel begins to feel somehow - different.
Every fall, the men of Loyalty Island sail from the Olympic Peninsula up to the Bering Sea to spend the winter catching king crab. Their dangerous occupation keeps food on the table but constantly threatens to leave empty seats around it.
To Cal, Alaska remains as mythical and mysterious as Treasure Island, and the stories his father returns with are as mesmerising as those he once invented about Captain Flint before he turned pirate. But while Cal is too young to accompany his father, he is old enough to know that everything depends on the fate of those few boats thousands of miles to the north. He is also old enough to feel the tension between his parents over whether he will follow in his father's footsteps. And old enough to wonder about his mother's relationship with John Gaunt, owner of the fleet.
Then Gaunt dies suddenly, leaving the business in the hands of his son, who seems intent on selling away the fishermen's livelihood. Soon Cal stumbles on evidence that his father may have taken extreme measures to salvage their way of life. As winter comes on, his suspicions deepening and his moral compass shattered, he is forced to make a terrible choice.
James Salter is one of the finest writers of our time. From his first published story in the Paris Review in 1968, Salter's work in the form has been universally acclaimed: five have appeared in O. Henry collections, Dusk and Other Stories won the 1989 PEN/Faulkner Award, and more recently he was the recipient of PEN USA's 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2010 REA Prize for the short story, and the 2012 PEN/Malamud Award. Each indelible narrative in the Collected Stories is marked by Salter's great literary grace, his ability to show the subtleties of a character or situation with precision, and his equally assured ability to command reversals of fortune or shocking revelations. The stories concern men and women in their most intimate moments, struggling with loss, desire, or the burden of memory. A fallen rider lies in a field, alone but for the knowledge that these may be her last twenty minutes. A man assisting in his wife's suicide is devastated by the aftermath. Two New York attorneys on a trip to Italy discover that their recent wealth affords them the possibility of a higher life, the reality of which is somewhat sordid. A young woman is unable to share a life-changing piece of news with her closest friends. Including his two published collections, Dusk and Other Stories (1988) and Last Night (2005), and the previously uncollected 'Charisma', this volume confirms indisputably that 'James Salter is a master of the great American short story'(The Times).
From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognised something in him that I needed. Something I couldn't resist. I also saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside - so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat. No one knows how much he risked for me.
Gideon and Eva's story continues in the powerfully sensual third novel in the international bestselling Crossfire series.
When Sarah leaves him - heartbroken by their inability to conceive - Pietro reverts to a younger self, leaving the dishes unwashed, his bed unmade and the post unopened. Soon afterwards, Sarah confesses that she is pregnant, but from a casual encounter. She comes to rely on Pietro's mother for support, leaving all three in a painful limbo, unable to move on or return to the way things were. Into the void falls Olmo, an old man haunted by memories of war. At first he provides a distraction, but when he asks Pietro to travel to Russia on his behalf, to right a wrong from his past, he offers this most troubled of young men the chance of a new beginning.
Every love story has a dangerous twist. Tamia Challey is horrified when her husband, Scott, is accused of something terrible - but when she discovers who his accuser is, everything goes into freefall. Backed into a corner and unsure what to think, Tamia is forced to choose who she instinctively believes. But this choice has dire consequences for all concerned, especially when matters take a tragic turn. Then a stranger arrives in town to sprinkle rose petals in the sea in memory of her lost loved one. This stranger carries with her shocking truths that will change the lives of everyone she meets, and will once again force Tamia to make some devastating choices...
Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summer heat, sunbleached boat docks, and midnight gin parties on Martha's Vineyard in a glorious old family estate known as Tiger House. In the days following the end of the Second World War, the world seems to offer itself up, and the two women are on the cusp of their 'real lives': Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is heading for a reunion with her own young husband, Hughes, about to return from the war.
Herman Wouk's classic novel moves on from the grand themes which have won him international acclaim - war, the fate of nations, and the indomitable spirit of man - to the quest for identity, in the clash between the Inside of faith and family and the Outside of the glittery American dream. Inside, Outside sweeps through more than sixty years, from the pre-war, pre-atomic innocence of the twenties and thirties to the turbulent immediate past. Scenes of rollicking family humour and show-business comedy alternate with sudden tragedy, the spectacle of a falling President and the explosion of war. A bittersweet first love, relived after forty years, and a tense secret wartime mission between Washington and Jerusalem call forth the author's renowned storytelling gift. An intense, personal book about intimate things, Inside, Outside is a merry, poignant, sometimes ribald picture of the American Jewish experience, by a master at the peak of his powers.
A foreign bachelor living in Peking's Chinese quarter finds himself guardian to the young daughter of an Italian railway worker. Through his stewardship, he catches a glimpse of an entirely different side of life. As Kuniang grows up, his feelings for her change, and he must compete with motley cast of characters for her attentions. These include a shadowy former mistress of Rasputin, a flamboyant American fashion designer, and an English millionaire. But when Kuniang unwittingly falls under a form of Eastern hypnosis, a terrifying vision threatens their prospects. Set against the mysterious and turbulent backdrop of Peking with its disparate inhabitants in the early twentieth century, The Maker of Heavenly Trousers is a charming, and at times tragic, story of love and family.
Beryl Bainbridge's classic early novel of English domestic life after the War, this story is laced with irony and wicked black humour, and was praised by Hilary Mantel as 'one of the funniest books I have ever read'.
Seventeen-year-old Alan can't stand rows. But, though the Second World War has ended, peace hangs by a fine thread at home: his troublesome sister Madge creeps off for night-time liaisons with a German POW; their ineffectual father - broken by the hardships of war and an unhappy marriage - can't put food on the table despite the family's middle-class manners. Meanwhile, his mother pursues her escapist fantasies in romantic novels and love affairs. Obedient, faithful Alan is trapped among them all, the focus of their jibes and resentment, as inexorably the family heads towards disaster. Beryl Bainbridge's classic early novel is a vintage story of English domestic life, laced with sadness, irony and wicked black humour.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Beryl Bainbridge was one of the greatest living novelists. Author of seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television, she was shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, and won many literary awards including the Whitbread Prize and the Author of the Year Award at the British Book Awards. She died in July 2010.
Master Georgie, Sweet William, A Weekend With Claude, Harriet Said..., The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress, Every Man For Himself
'People came in and out, chairs were moved, dishes gathered up on trays, but it was happening at a great distance; she concentrated entirely on his pink face crowned with foppish curls.' Genteel, passive Ann works for the BBC in London and is engaged to a successful academic, fulfilling her snobbish mother's ambitions - more or less - while the Swinging Sixties happen elsewhere, to other people. Then she meets William: snub-nosed and generous, cunning and protean. She is first seduced, then transfixed, as William's past, present and future swirl around her kaleidoscopically, overwhelmingly, and Ann is herself irrevocably, and irreparably, changed.
A powerful 1931 portrayal of a German town on the brink of chaos, from bestselling author Hans Fallada (writer of Alone in Berlin). It is summer, 1929, and in a small German town a storm is brewing. The shabby reporter Tredup leads a precarious existence working for the Pomeranian Chronicle - until he takes some photographs that offer the chance to make a fortune.
In Kruger's bar, the farmers are plotting their revenge on greedy officials. A mysterious travelling salesman from Berlin, Henning, is stirring up trouble - but no one knows why. Meanwhile the Nazis grow stronger and the Communists fight them in the streets. And at the centre of it all, the Mayor, 'Fatty' Gareis, seeks the easy life even as events spiral beyond his control. As tensions erupt between workers and bosses, town and country, Left and Right, alliances are broken, bribes are taken and plots are hatched, until the tension spills over into violence.
Fallada's own experiences as a regional journalist in north Germany underlie the action, and it is this sense of realism, combined with an ear for dialogue and an acute understanding of human frailty, that make the novel such an authentic portrayal of an imploding era . (Ben Hutchinson, Observer).
In the dark narratives that make up When I Was Mortal by Javier Marias, winner of the Dublin IMPAC prize and author of the bestselling A Heart So White , a dapper Paris doctor dispenses a treatment for dissatisfied wives. A mother auditions for her first porn movie. A writer working on a study of pain makes himself the subject of his experiments. A voyeur mistakes a murderer for a fellow peeping tom...these are some of the characters observed by the narrator of these chilling stories. Ironic, unsettling, imbued with dread and with droll humour, Javier Marias' short tales cast a shrewd, sardonic eye on humanity. Javier Marias was born in Madrid in 1951. He has published ten novels, two collections of short stories and several volumes of essays. His work has been translated into thirty-two languages and won a dazzling array of international literary awards, including the prestigious Dublin IMPAC award for A Heart So White . He is also a highly practised translator into Spanish of English authors, including Joseph Conrad, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Thomas Browne and Laurence Sterne. He has held academic posts in Spain, the United States and in Britain, as Lecturer in Spanish Literature at Oxford University.
Before Trainspotting came Skagboys the Number One Bestseller. Mark Renton has it all: he's good-looking, young, with a pretty girlfriend and a bright future. But there's no room for him in the 1980s and when his family starts to fracture, Mark's life swings out of control. The way out is heroin. It's no better for his friends - Spud Murphy is laid off from his job, Tommy Lawrence finds himself sucked into a life of petty crime, violence and the world of the psychotic Franco Begbie. Only Sick Boy seems to ride the current, scamming and hustling his way through it all. Exhilarating and moving, Skagboys charts their journey from likely lads to young addicts in a decade which changed Britain forever.
LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2013 Jeanne and Marie-Angele grow up, side by side yet apart, in the Catholic village of Ste Madeleine. Marie-Angele is the daughter of the grocer, inflated with ideas of her rightful place in society; Jeanne's mother washes clothes for a living and used to be a Jew. When war arrives, the village must play its part in a game for which no one knows the rules - not the dubious hero who embroils Marie-Angele in the black market, nor the artist living alone with his red canvases. In these uncertain times, the enemy may be hiding in your garden shed and the truth can be buried under a pyramid of recriminations. A mesmerising exploration of guilt, faith, desire and judgement, Ignorance brings to life a people at war.
Divided into three parts, Islands in the Stream is Hemingway's last work, originally published posthumously in 1970, nine years after his death. Thomas Hudson is an artist and adventurer. In the 1930s, Hudson is living in the Bimini Islands in the Gulf Stream. Separated from his sons for most of the year by their controlling mother, Hudson lives a life carved out by the rolling waves of the sea and the currents of the tide. When his sons come to visit the island, Hudson is forced to come to terms with his unfamiliar role as a father. This compelling novel follows Hudson's evolution from contemplative artist to antisubmarine adventurer during WWII. Hudson must face the harsh realities of life and death, alongside a cast of colourful and vivid characters, in war-time Cuba and at sea. Drawing on Hemingway's own experiences, Islands in the Stream combines one of his most complex and troubled characters with his most exquisite descriptions of nature, in a novel rich in both reflection and action.