ABBEY'S CHOICE MARCH 2015 ----- 'There's a journey we must go on, and no more delay...'
The extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize winning The Remains of the Day
The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.
The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards - some strange and other-worldly - but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.
Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.
Jack McNulty is a 'temporary gentleman', an Irishman whose commission in the British army in the Second World War was never permanent.
In 1957, sitting in his lodgings in Accra, he urgently sets out to write his story. He feels he cannot take one step further, or even hardly a breath, without looking back at all that has befallen him. He is an ordinary man, both petty and heroic, but he has seen extraordinary things. He has worked and wandered around the world - as a soldier, an engineer, a UN observer - trying to follow his childhood ambition to better himself. And he has had a strange and tumultuous marriage.
Mai Kirwan was a great beauty of Sligo in the 1920s, a vivid mind, but an elusive and mysterious figure too. Jack married her, and shared his life with her, but in time she slipped from his grasp.
A heart-breaking portrait of one man's life - of his demons and his lost love - The Temporary Gentleman is, ultimately, a novel about Jack's last bid for freedom, from the savage realities of the past and from himself.
It's June 2011. Stick and Mac are a couple of months shy of eighteen; summer's approaching and they're about to leave their north Manchester estate for the beaches of southern Spain. But the night before they're planning leave, Mac ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, the victim of a random knife attack, and suddenly Stick's going nowhere. His mum doesn't want him to leave the house; his dad's desperate to be his best friend; and his nan's boyfriend keeps telling him Mac's doing just fine in the spirit world. Then he meets J and she might just be everything he needs. Except she's a firebrand with a grudge against the police, and the August riots are just around the corner...
Life has its ups and downs. From the author of The Universe Versus Alex Woods comes a dark, painful and witty novel about a woman whose life is spiralling out of control. You're going to find some of my actions frustrating. I'm hard to live with, maddening, uneven - I get that. But I can't stand around listing my faults or we'll be here for ever. All I ask right now is that you indulge me. For as long as it lasts, this is going to be one hell of a ride.
18 years old and fresh out of high school, Karl Ove Knausgaard moves to a tiny fisherman's village far north of the polar circle to work as a school teacher. He has no interest in the job itself - or in any other job for that matter. His intention is to save up enough money to travel while finding the space and time to start his writing career. Initially everything looks fine: He writes his first few short stories, finds himself accepted by the hospitable locals and receives flattering attention from several beautiful local girls.
But then, as the darkness of the long polar nights start to cover the beautiful landscape, Karl Ove's life also takes a darker turn. The stories he writes tend to repeat themselves, his drinking escalates and causes some disturbing blackouts, his repeated attempts at losing his virginity end in humiliation and shame, and to his own distress he also develops romantic feelings towards one of his 13-year-old students. Along the way, there are flashbacks to his high school years and the roots of his current problems. And then there is the shadow of his father, whose sharply increasing alcohol consumption serves as an ominous backdrop to Karl Ove's own lifestyle.
Clover has loved James for as long as she can remember, since before she knew what what love was. But fate seems determined to keep them apart.
As children, Clover and James played beside a turquoise sea under cloudless skies, their Caribbean island home a place of pleasure and privilege, of lush lawns and tennis parties. In such a paradise nothing should obstruct the kind of happiness Clover dreams of, except that, as she discovers, true love is often harder than paradise allows for. And when Clover's mother falls out of love with her husband, a web of complications is woven that may take Clover a lifetime to unravel. If she ever can...
Tender and true, The Forever Girl traces love's unpredictable path to maturity with style, wit and feeling.
This novel is the story of a lie. But it is also a story of laughter and tears, of life itself.
When her chronically unemployed husband runs off to start a crocodile farm in Kenya with his mistress, Josephine Cortes is left in an unhappy state of affairs. The mother of two is forced to make ends meet on her meagre salary as a medieval history scholar. Meanwhile, Josephine's charismatic sister Iris seems to have it all - a wealthy husband, gorgeous looks, and a tres chic Paris address - but secretly she dreams of bringing meaning back into her life. And then a dinner party changes the sisters' destinies. Iris is seated next to a famous book publisher to whom she spins a tale of the 12th century romance she's writing. When Iris charms him into offering her a lucrative deal for her book, she offers her sister a deal of her own: Josephine will write the novel and pocket all the proceeds, but the book will be published under Iris's name. All is well - until the book becomes the literary sensation of the season...
Join Katherine Pancol in a Skype hook-up at Alliance Francaise (just behind Abbey's on Clarence) on Tuesday 17 March: Details and Bookings
'Ann-Marie MacDonald captures the dark hilarity of parenthood like nobody else. I gulped down Adult Onset in a single day.' Emma Donoghue, author of Room
Mary Rose McKinnon has two children with her partner Hilary and a fractured relationship with her mother Dolly; she also has issues with anger management and lives in fear of hurting the children, these feelings seem somehow rooted in a part of her childhood she has trouble remembering. Is Dolly - the kind of big personality who makes all Mary Rose's friends, and even waiters in coffee shops, exclaim 'I love your Mum!' - really harbouring a dark secret about what caused Mary Rose's childhood injuries, and is Mary Rose doomed to follow the same path with her own children?
This is a heartbreaking, hilarious, hugely satisfying novel about family ties and the joy and agony of parenthood. Ann-Marie MacDonald gets under the reader's skin and gives voice to the feelings we have all experienced but may never have examined.
Even when you have received a death sentence, you still have to live...
Life just seems like a big party sometimes, at which we all gradually get edged to the door, and then we are out in the cold. But the party continues without us. This is the story of Louis, who never quite fitted in, and of his younger brother who always tagged along. Two brothers on one final journey together, wading through the stuff that is thicker than water.
Tender-hearted, at times achingly funny, This is the Life is a moving testimony to both the resilience of the human spirit and to the price of strawberries.
ABBEY'S CHOICE MARCH 2014 ----- A prisoner on death row watches and listens to what happens around him. We don’t know what he’s done, because he can’t face it himself. He hears The Lady try to make sense of one of his fellow inmate’s life and actions in an attempt to save him from execution; he sees The Priest lost in the maze of good intentions and diminishing faith; he watches the beginnings of something fragile between them. The prisoner shrinks from any contact, but reading and re-reading brings colour to his cell – that and the Horses.
Language is the enchantment in his dark world, and as the story unfolds, if we do not and can not condone, we come to understand the prisoner’s life. A powerful book best consumed in one sitting, then thought about quietly long afterwards. Lindy
Even monsters need peace. Even monsters need a person who truly wants to listen - to hear - so that someday we might find the words that are more than boxes. Then maybe we can stop men like me from happening...
A prisoner sits on death row in a maximum security prison. His only escape from his harsh existence is through the words he dreams about, the world he conjures around him using the power of language. For the reality of his world is brutal and stark. He is not named, nor do we know his crime. But he listens. He listens to the story of York, the prisoner in the cell next to him whose execution date has been set. He hears the lady, an investigator who is piecing together York's past. He watches as the lady falls in love with the priest and wonders if love is still possible here. He sees the corruption and the danger as tensions in 'this enchanted place' build. And he waits. For even monsters have a story...
Autumn has finally arrived in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina, heralded by a strange old man appearing with a beaten-up suitcase. He has stories to tell, stories that could change the lives of the Waverley women forever. But the Waverleys have enough trouble on their hands. Quiet Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley's Candies, but it's nothing like she thought it would be, and it's slowly taking over her life. Claire's wild sister Sydney, still trying to leave her past behind, is about to combust with her desire for another new beginning. And Sydney's fifteen-year-old daughter Bay has given her heart away to the wrong boy and can't get it back. From the author of the New York Times bestselling sensation GARDEN SPELLS, FIRST FROST is magical and atmospheric, taking readers back into the lives of the gifted Waverley women - back to their strange garden and temperamental apple tree, back to their house with a personality of its own, back to the men who love them fiercely - proving that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It's where the real story begins.
Daniel and Vanessa Parker are an American success story. He is a Washington, D.C. power broker, and she is a doctor with a thriving practice. But behind the facade, their marriage is a shambles, and their teenage son, Quentin, is self-destructing. In desperation, Daniel dusts off a long-delayed dream - a sailing trip around the world. Little does he know that the voyage he hopes will save them may destroy them instead. Half a world away, on the lawless coast of Somalia, Ismail Ibrahim is plotting the rescue of his sister, Yasmin, from the man who murdered their father. Driven to crime by love and loyalty, he hijacks ships for ransom money. There is nothing he will not do to save her, even if it means taking innocent life. Paul Derrick is the FBI's top hostage negotiator. His twin sister Megan, is a celebrated defense attorney. When Paul is called to respond to a hostage crisis at sea, he has no idea how far it will take them both into their traumatic past - or the chance it will give them to redeem the future. Across continents and oceans, through storms and civil wars, their paths converge in a single, explosive moment. It is a moment that will test them, and break them, but that will also leave behind a glimmer of hope - that out of the ashes of tragedy the seeds of justice and reconciliation can grow, not only for themselves but also for Somalia itself.
The Rider has no memory of who he is, or how he came to be lying - dying - in the brutal heat of the North African desert. Rescued by a band of deserters, the Rider begins to piece together his identity, based on shards of recollection and the letters in his post bag. The Letter Bearer is unlike any other novel of World War Two. It asks profound questions about trauma, warfare and the experience of desertion. This gripping story asks us to consider how men build hope when they have nothing left - not even a name.
Mightier than the Sword opens with an IRA bomb exploding during the MV Buckingham's maiden voyage across the Atlantic - but how many passengers lose their lives?
When Harry Clifton visits his publisher in New York, he learns that he has been elected as the new president of English PEN, and immediately launches a campaign for the release of a fellow author, Anatoly Babakov, who's imprisoned in Siberia. Babakov's crime? Writing a book called Uncle Joe, a devastating insight into what it was like to work for Stalin. So determined is Harry to see Babakov released and the book published, that he puts his own life in danger. His wife Emma, chairman of Barrington Shipping, is facing the repercussions of the IRA attack on the Buckingham. Some board members feel she should resign, and Lady Virginia Fenwick will stop at nothing to cause Emma's downfall. Sir Giles Barrington is now a minister of the Crown, and looks set for even higher office, until an official trip to Berlin does not end as a diplomatic success. Once again, Giles's political career is thrown off balance by none other than his old adversary, Major Alex Fisher, who once again stands against him at the election. But who wins this time? In London, Harry and Emma's son, Sebastian, is quickly making a name for himself at Farthing's Bank in London, and has proposed to the beautiful young American, Samantha. But the despicable Adrian Sloane, a man interested only in his own advancement and the ruin of Sebastian, will stop at nothing to remove his rival.
Jeffrey Archer's compelling Clifton Chronicles continue in this, his most accomplished novel to date. With all the trademark twists and turns that have made him one of the world's most popular authors, the spellbinding story of the Clifton and the Barrington families continues.
War's mess and muddle, the brutality and the inanity of fighting-few have better captured this than Isaac Babel, who was a journalist with the Soviet First Cavalry Army. His unflinching portrayal of the murderous havoc of battle is offset by an unexpected and wry humour: having seen the fighting up close, Babel is able to find the funny side of war while depicting its bloody side-in all its mesmerising and casual violence. The lyricism and bitterness that characterise the thirty-five short stories of Red Cavalry are stunningly reproduced in this new translation by the award-winning Boris Dralyuk.
'Stay Up With Me belongs to the tradition of the classic American story and, like John Cheever, Barbash dramatizes the messy lives of New Yorkers' Independent on Sunday A newly single mother wrestles with the evidence of her son's love life during his Christmas vacation; an anxious husband persists in playing the host at his annual drinks party even though his marriage is in trouble and his wife mysteriously absent; a young man watches his widowed father become the toast of Manhattan's midlife dating scene while he struggles to find his own footing in life ...The characters in Tom Barbash's acclaimed, Folio Prize-nominated collection explore the myriad ways we seek to connect with each other and the sometimes cruel world around us. In the classic tradition of John Cheever or Tobias Wolff, Barbash laces his narratives with sharp wit, psychological acuity and pathos, so that they pierce the heart and linger in the imagination.
Set over the last half of the twentieth century, Onward Toward What We're Going Toward is the epic story of the decline and fall of an American family.
Postwar newlyweds Chic and Diane Waldbeeser are determined to carve out a life for themselves and their son, Lomax, in Middleville, Illinois. But when ten-year-old Loxax dies, Chic and Diane take refuge in religion, haiku poetry, doll collecting, food and bowling as they try to make sense of their overwhelming grief and guilt. Meanwhile Chic's older brother, Buddy, struggles to make a life with his exotic, naive wife Lijy - who is hiding a devastating secret of her own - while attempting to introduce the residents of Middleville to vegetarianism and Ayurveda. (An unusual endeavour in mid-century Middle America.)
Onward Toward What We're Going Toward is a bittersweet paean to failed lives and missed opportunities, and a deeply heartfelt and gloriously funny dissection of the American Dream.
When Natasha, a lonely congressional aide in D.C., meets Michael Faulk, an Episcopalian priest struggling with his faith, the stars seem to align.
The blossoming of their love, over the spring and summer of 2001, is intellectually gratifying and intensely passionate. A month before their wedding, Natasha is vacationing in Jamaica and Faulk is in New York when the terrorist attacks of September 11 shatter the innocence of the nation. Alone in a state of abject terror and convinced that Faulk is dead, Natasha endures a private trauma of her own: she is raped by a young man on the shores of the Caribbean. A few days later, she and Faulk are reunited, but the horror of that day, and Natasha's inability to speak of it, irrevocably create a schism in their relationship, between 'before' and 'after'.
In beautifully wrought, deeply unsettling prose, Bausch plumbs the complexities of trauma and how we respond to it, in public and in private. Before, During, and After is an exquisite and excruciating dissection of intimacy, of the secrets we must keep even as they destroy us. An unforgettable tour de force from one of America's most distinguished and commanding storytellers.
Under the tablecloth, Frances's hand reached for mine and clasped it. I knew what it meant, that clasp and the mischievous grateful glance that accompanied it: it meant I was thanked, that there were secrets here. I could accept that. I too had secrets - who doesn't? Sent abroad to Egypt in 1922 to recover from the typhoid that killed her mother, eleven-year-old Lucy is caught up in the intrigue and excitement that surrounds the obsessive hunt for Tutankhamun's tomb. As she struggles to comprehend an adult world in which those closest to her are often cold and unpredictable, Lucy longs for a friend she can love. When she meets Frances, the daughter of an American archaeologist, her life is transformed. As the two girls spy on the grown-ups and try to understand the truth behind their evasions, a lifelong bond is formed. Haunted by the ghosts of her past, the mistakes she made and the secrets she kept, Lucy disinters her past, trying to make sense of what happened all those years ago in Cairo and the Valley of the Kings. And for the first time in her life, she comes to terms with what happened after Egypt, when Frances needed Lucy most.
Uncle Charles, the quiet, measured art historian, taught Pierre everything he knows about art. But after his death, Uncle Charles' private notebooks reveal the intensity and passion of his short love affair with a younger woman. Little does Pierre know that the unravelling of this doomed love affair will change his own life for ever. But then he happens to meet the daughter of his uncle's lover...Rendezvous in Venice is a superbly crafted homage to love and art, and the ties which bind the two.
This is the story of what happens when Issy Bradley dies. It is the story of Ian - husband, father, maths teacher and Mormon bishop - and his unshakeable belief that everything will turn out all right if he can only endure to the end, like the pioneers did. It is the story of his wife Claire's lonely wait for a sign from God and her desperate need for life to pause while she comes to terms with what's happened. It is the story of the agony and hope of Zippy Bradley's first love. The story of Alma Bradley's cynicism and reluctant bravery. And it is the story of seven-year-old Jacob. His faith is bigger than a mustard seed, probably bigger than a toffee bonbon and he's planning to use it to mend his broken family with a miracle. Incredibly moving, unexpectedly funny and so sharply observed it will make you feel as if you could pick the woodchip off the bedroom wall, A Song for Issy Bradley explores the outer reaches of doubt and faith. But mostly it's a story about a family trying to work out how to carry on when their world has fallen apart.
Will has never been to the outside, at least not since he can remember. And he has certainly never gotten to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who drowns in panic at the thought of opening the front door. Their little world comprises only the rooms in their home, each named for various exotic locales and filled with Will's art projects.
Soon the confines of his world close in on Will. Despite his mother's protestations, Will ventures outside clad in a protective helmet and braces himself for danger. He eventually meets and befriends Jonah, a quiet boy who introduces Will to skateboarding. Will welcomes his new world with enthusiasm, his fears fading and his body hardening with each new bump, scrape, and fall. But life quickly gets complicated. When a local boy goes missing, Will and Jonah want to uncover what happened. They embark on an extraordinary adventure that pulls Will far from the confines of his closed-off world and into the throes of early adulthood and the dangers that everyday life offers.
If I Fall, If I Die is a remarkable debut full of dazzling prose, unforgettable characters, and a poignant and heartfelt depiction of coming of age.
Gerard McQuaid has been waiting for his start in life: his house, his girl, his land. And with rural Ireland being swept up by the Celtic Tiger and villages becoming towns, the electrician's moment has finally arrived. With the chance to run a big job, McQuaid finds himself on Birchview Manor, a decrepit estate where the dreams of modern Ireland crash up against the weight of history. As McQuaid gets further into the restoration, he falls deeper into the story of the estate's previous owner, Lord Henry Lefoyle, whose fate begins to loom ghost-like over McQuaid's own.
In this electrifying debut from a bold new Irish voice, John Connell deftly treads the footsteps of one ordinary man's rise and fall through the boom and bust of contemporary Ireland, weaving past and present together in a beautiful and devastating journey.
Michael Cunningham's luminous, compassionate new novel begins with a vision.
It's November 2004. Barrett Meeks, having lost love yet again, is walking through Central Park when he is suddenly and inexplicably inspired to look up at the sky, where he sees a pale, translucent light that seems to regard him in a distinctly godlike way. Although Barrett doesn't believe in visions - or in god, for that matter - he can't deny what he's seen. At the same time, in the not-quite-gentrified Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, Beth, who's engaged to Barrett's older brother, Tyler, is dying of colon cancer. Beth, Tyler, and Barrett have cobbled together a more or less happy home. Tyler, a struggling musician with a drug problem, is trying and failing to write a wedding song for his wife-to-be - something that will be not merely a sentimental ballad but an enduring expression of eternal love. Barrett, haunted by the light, turns unexpectedly to religion. Tyler grows increasingly convinced that only drugs can release his deepest creative powers. Beth tries to face mortality with as much courage and stoicism as she can summon.
Cunningham follows the Meeks brothers as each turns down a decidedly different path in his search for transcendence. In subtle, lucid prose, he demonstrates a profound empathy for his conflicted characters and a singular understanding of what lies at the depth of the human soul.
'The Snow Queen', beautiful and heartbreaking, comic and tragic, proves once again that Cunningham is one of the great novelists of this generation.
Anna Benz lives in comfort and affluence with her husband and three young children in Dietlikon, a picture-perfect suburb of Zurich. Anna, an American expat, has chosen this life far from home; but, despite its tranquility and order, inside she is falling apart.
Feeling adrift and unable to connect with her husband or his family; with the fellow expatriates who try to befriend her; or even, increasingly, her own thoughts and emotions, Anna attempts to assert her agency in the only way that makes sense to her: by engaging in short-lived but intense sexual affairs. But adultery, too, has its own morality, and when Anna finds herself crossing a line, she will set off a terrible chain of events that ends in unspeakable tragedy.
As her life crashes down around her, Anna must then discover where one must go when there is no going back...
Weddings, romance, humour and happy-ever-after endings. The deliciously romantic new novel from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author of Recipe for Love, A French Affair and The Perfect Match. In a small Cotswold country town, Beth, Lindy and Rachel are looking for new beginnings. So they set up in business, organising stylish and perfectly affordable vintage weddings. Soon they are busy arranging other people's Big Days. What none of them know is that their own romances lie waiting, just around the corner...
Most of us have a plan. Somewhere to go if something awful happens. Pilgrim Jones doesn't. She looks up at a departures board and takes the first flight. She alights on the edge of Africa. Over confessions and strong gin, she's lured into a world of mercenaries and philanthropists, delusional heroes and witchdoctors in polyester suits. But what about the beating absence, the thing she's done? Shame is a novel about a world out of time, about magic and chance, Europe and Africa, learning to live and living to learn. It will transport you from diplomatic dinners to a land where fireflies light the sky, and a desolate, magical coastline where anything - anything - might happen.
Frank has been in a car accident*. The doctor tells him he lost his spleen, but Frank believes he has lost more. He is missing memories - of the people around him, of the history they share and of how he came to be in the crash. All he remembers is that he is a lawyer who specialises in small print. But when Oscar, his brother, takes the family company into business with an inventively cruel corporation** and Alice, his wife, starts to seem oddly unlike the woman he remembers, Frank's world starts to unspool and the terms and conditions that he has lived his life by*** begin to change.
*apparently quite a serious one
**we can't tell you what it's called for legal reasons, but believe us, it's evil
***and which are rarely in his favour
From the number one bestselling author of Tempting Fate and The Accidental Husband comes Jane Green's stunning new novel about a shattered marriage and a devastating betrayal.
A perfect stranger wants her perfect life. Grace Chapman has the perfect life, living comfortably with her husband, bestselling author Ted, in a picture-perfect farmhouse on the Hudson River in New York State. Then Ted advertises for a new assistant, and Beth walks into their lives. Organized, passionate and eager to learn, Beth quickly makes herself indispensable to Ted and his family.
But Grace soon begins to feel side-lined in her home - and her marriage - by this ambitious younger woman. Is Grace just paranoid, as her husband tells her, or is there more to Beth than first thought?
A boat has gone missing. Goods have been stolen. There is blood in the water. It is the twenty-first century and a crew of pirates is terrorizing the San Francisco Bay. Phil is a husband, a father, a struggling radio producer and the owner of a large condo with a view of the water. But he'd like to be a rebel and a fortune hunter. Gwen is his daughter. She's fourteen. She's a student, a swimmer and a best friend. But she'd like to be an adventurer and an outlaw. Phil teams up with his young, attractive assistant. They head for the open road, attending a conference to seal a deal. Gwen teams up with a new, fierce friend and some restless souls. They head for the open sea, stealing a boat to hunt for treasure. We Are Pirates! is a novel about our desperate searches for happiness and freedom, about our wild journeys beyond the boundaries of our ordinary lives. Also, it's about a teenage girl who pulls together a ragtag crew to commit mayhem in the San Francisco Bay, while her hapless father tries to get her home.
'Katherine Heiny's work does something magical: elevates the mundane so that it has the stakes of a mystery novel, gives women's interior lives the gravity they so richly deserve - and makes you laugh along the way.' Lena Dunham
In the title story, we meet Maya, who is torn between her wryly funny boyfriend and the allure of her veterinarian. In Andorra, a woman's lover calls her every Thursday as he drives to meet his wife at marriage counselling. How to Give the Wrong Impression shows us a woman pining for her roommate, a man who will hold her hand but then tell her that her palm is sweaty. In The Dive Bar a girl agrees to have a drink with her married lover's wife. Revisiting Maya in several stories, chronicling her various states of love, this is a collection about how we are unfaithful to each other, both wilfully and unwittingly.
Populated with unwelcome house guests, disastrous birthday parties, needy but loyal friends, and flirtatious older men, the stories are emotionally astute, sexy, and disarming - and they introduce us to a tart, and marvellous, new voice.
This is a dark and powerful debut novel set in the hardscrabble American heartlands. 'If I knew for a certain'ty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life...' After trying to help Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness, social worker Pete Snow comes face-to-face with the boy's profoundly disturbed father, Jeremiah. With courage and caution, Pete slowly earns a measure of trust from this paranoid survivalist itching for a final conflict that will signal the coming End Times. But as Pete's own family spins out of control, Jeremiah's activities spark the full-blown interest of the FBI, putting Pete at the centre of a massive manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed. In this shattering and iconic novel, Smith Henderson explores the complexities of freedom, community, grace, suspicion and anarchy, brilliantly depicting America's disquieting and violent contradictions. Fourth of July Creek is an unforgettable, unflinching debut that marks the arrival of a major literary talent.
Remembrance Day 1920: A wartime secret connects three women's lives: Hettie whose wounded brother won't speak; Evelyn who still grieves for her lost lover; and Ada, who has never received an official letter about her son's death, and is still waiting for him to come home. As the mystery that binds them begins to unravel, far away, in the fields of France, the Unknown Soldier embarks on his journey home. The mood of the nation is turning towards the future - but can these three women ever let go of the past?
In 1946 Regina Robichard is a rarity. A young New York civil rights lawyer, working for Thurgood Marshall, Reggie stumbles across a letter asking her boss to investigate the case of a young black soldier whose body has been found floating in the river in Mississippi. It fires her zeal. For Reggie, justice is not the only draw to this case. The letter is signed by the reclusive M. P. Calhoun, author of one of the most banned books in the country, a book Reggie loved as a child, about the friendship between three children, black and white, a magical forest - and a murder. Reggie has just three weeks in the South to investigate. But once down in Mississippi, amid the intoxicating landscape of cotton fields and lush plantations, Reggie not only finds herself further away from New York than she had ever imagined, but walking directly into M. P. Calhoun's book, a place where more than one type of justice exists.
If you loved One Day and The Rosie Project, you will fall head-over-heels for The Two of Us. Falling in love is the easy part. What matters most is what happens next...Fisher and Ivy have been an item for a whole nineteen days. And they just know they are meant to be together. The fact that they know little else about each other is a minor detail. Over the course of twelve months, in which their lives will change forever, Fisher and Ivy discover that falling in love is one thing, but staying there is an entirely different story. The Two of Us is a charming, honest and heart-breaking novel about life, love, and the importance of taking neither one for granted.
A provocative thriller about a dynamic Israeli lawyer - famous for defending accused Palestinians - whose views are tested when her own son is taken captive by Hezbollah.
Dahlia Barr is a devoted mother, soon-to-be divorced wife, lover of an American television correspondent. She is also a brash and successful Israeli attorney who is passionate about defending Palestinians accused of terrorism. One day, to her astonishment, the Israeli national police approach Dahlia with a tantalizing proposition: Join us, and become the government's arbiter on when to use the harshest of interrogation methods - what some would call torture. Dahlia is intrigued. She has no intention of permitting torture, but can she change the system from within?
She takes the job. As Dahlia settles into her new role, her son Ari, a twenty-year-old lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces, is kidnapped by Hezbollah and whisked over the border to Lebanon. The one man who may hold the key to Ari's rescue is locked in a cell in police headquarters. He is an Arab who has a long and complicated history with Dahlia. And he's not talking. Yet.
Without telling her family, Elyria takes a one-way flight to New Zealand, abruptly leaving her stable life in Manhattan, her home, her career and her loving husband. As the people she has left behind scramble to figure out what has happened to her, Elyria embarks on a hitchhiker's odyssey, testing fate by travelling in the cars of overly kind women and deeply strange men, tacitly being swept into the lives of strangers, and sleeping in fields, forests, and public parks. As she journeys from Wellington to Picton, Takaka, Kaikoura and onwards she asks herself, what is it that I am missing? How can a person be missing? Full of mordant humour and uncanny insights, Nobody Is Ever Missing is a startling tale of love, loss, and the dangers encountered in the search for self-knowledge. It is a novel which goes far beyond the story of a physical journey and asks what it means to be human, to be a woman, and to be at the mercy of forces beyond one's own control.
In 1975, a black child is mysteriously born to white parents. His name is Radar Radmanovic.
Falling in with a secretive group of puppeteers and scientists, he is soon forced to confront the true nature of his identity. Though Radar is raised in suburban New Jersey, his story rapidly becomes entangled with events stretching from Belgrade in a time of siege to arctic Norway, from Cambodia in the years before the murderous Khmer Rouge regime to the modern-day Congo. It explores the furthest reaches of quantum physics, forgotten history, puppetry and human experience. It's also about one man, one family and how far you may need to travel to know yourself.
I Am Radar is a story greater than all of its remarkable parts, a breath-taking, highly addictive joyride through the worst humanity has to offer only to arrive at a place of wonder.
1871. Cattle-dealer Solomon Meijer has made a reputation for himself as one of the few honest Jews in Endingen, a rare Swiss town in which Jews are allowed to reside. He leads a largely untroubled life, rewarded by his work and comforted at home by his wife and two daughters. But all of this is set to end when he answers a knock at the door in the middle of the night. On the doorstep stands his young distant cousin, Janki, half-dead and begging for refuge. The pitiful figure is invited in and given a coveted place in the bosom of the family, but when Janki recovers and regains his ambition and his fine-looks, he will change the Meijer family's lives for generations to come...In the tradition of the great family romances of the nineteenth century, Melnitz is the saga of the Swiss-Jewish Meijer family, spanning five generations from the Franco-Prussian War to World War II. It is a novel of fate, fortune and great falls; a homage to the sunken world of yiddish culture and a celebration of the enduring spirit of biting Jewish humour.
The new novel from Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants and the Guardian First Book Award-winning A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. When Moran, Ruyu, and Boyang were young, they were involved in a mysterious 'accident' in which a young woman was poisoned. Now grown up, the three friends are separated by this incident, and by time and distance. Boyang stayed in China, while Moran and Ruyu emigrated to the United States. All three remain haunted by what really happened. A breathtaking page-turner, Kinder Than Solitude resonates with provocative observations about human nature and the virtues of loyalty. In mesmerizing prose, and with profound philosophical insight, Yiyun Li unfolds this remarkable story, even as she explores the impact of personality and the past on the shape of a person's present and future.
A ruthless American killing machine named Rock rules over a secret, blood-soaked empire of riches and murder: Floating City. At his command is the Torch - the tool of ultimate evil that one man can destroy: Nicholas Linnear. But only when he faces the harrowing truth about the Yakuza - the Japanese criminal underworld he despises - and about Koei, the woman he loved as no other, will he find the inner strength to annihilate Floating City and honor his family's debt to the dead of the Yakuza, the Kaisho. While half a world away, his longtime friend and ex-NYPD detective Lew Croaker hunts the Kaisho's would-be assassins, Linnear infiltrates a vast web of terror, crossing the line that divides good from evil, sensuality from death, and love from betrayal.
California, 1993: Neil Collins and Adam Tayler, two young British men on the cusp of adulthood, meet at a hostel in San Diego. They strike up a friendship that, while platonic, feels as intoxicating as a romance; they travel up the coast together, harmlessly competitive, innocently collusive, wrapped up in each other.
On a camping trip to Yosemite they lead each other to behave in ways that, years later, they will desperately regret. The story of a friendship built on a shared guilt and a secret betrayal, The Faithful Couple follows Neil and Adam across two decades, through girlfriends and wives, success and failure, children and bereavements, as power and remorse ebb between them. Their bifurcating fates offer an oblique portrait of London in the boom-to-bust era of the nineties and noughties, with its instant fortunes and thwarted idealism.
California binds them together, until - when the full truth of what happened emerges, bringing recriminations and revenge - it threatens to drive them apart.
The Faithful Couple confirms Miller as one of the most exciting and sophisticated novelists in the UK - someone who can tell a great story, with a sense of serious moral complexity. This is that rare bird: a literary novel with mass appeal as well as the potential to win prizes.
Venice, a really long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from Britain who also happens to be a favorite of the Doge: the rascal-Fool, Pocket.This trio of cunning plotters--the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago--have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising a spirited evening with a rare Amontillado sherry and a fetching young noblewoman. Their invitation is, of course, a ruse. The wine is drugged; the girl is nowhere in sight. These scoundrels have something far less amusing planned for the man who has consistently foiled their quest for power and wealth. But this Fool is no fool . . . and the story is only beginning.Once again, Christopher Moore delivers a rousing literary satire and a cast Shakespeare himself would be proud of: Shylock; Iago; Othello; a dozen or so disposable villains; a cadre of comely wenches; the brilliant Fool; his sidekick, Drool; his monkey, Jeff; a lovesick sea serpent; and a ghost (there's always a bloody ghost).Wickedly witty and outrageously inventive, The Serpent of Venice pays cheeky homage to the Bard and illuminates the absurdity of the human condition as only Christopher Moore can.
In these eight masterful stories, Lorrie Moore, explores the passage of time, and summons up its inevitable sorrows and comic pitfalls.
In 'Debarking', a newly divorced man tries to keep his wits about him as the US prepares to invade Iraq. In 'Foes', a political argument goes grotesquely awry as the events of 9/11 unexpectedly manifest at a fundraising dinner in Georgetown. In 'The Juniper Tree', a teacher, visited by the ghost of her recently deceased friend, is forced to sing 'The Star Spangled Banner' in a kind of nightmare reunion. And in 'Wings', we watch the unraveling of two once-hopeful musicians, who neither held fast to their dreams, nor struck out along other paths.
Gimlet-eyed social observation, the public and private absurdities of American life, dramatic irony, and enduring half-cracked love wend their way through each of these narratives, in Moore's characteristic style that is always tender, never sentimental and often heartbreakingly funny.
This is longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014.
'Ma, I feel exhausted with consuming, with taking and grabbing and using. I am so bloated that I feel I cannot breathe any more. I am leaving to find some air, some place where I shall be able to purge myself, push back against the life given me and make my own. I feel I live in a borrowed house. It's time to find my own... Forgive me...'
Calcutta, 1967. Unnoticed by his family, Supratik has become dangerously involved in extremist political activism. Compelled by an idealistic desire to change his life and the world around him, all he leaves behind before disappearing is this note... The ageing patriarch and matriarch of his family, the Ghoshes, preside over their large household, unaware that beneath the barely ruffled surface of their lives the sands are shifting. More than poisonous rivalries among sisters-in-law, destructive secrets, and the implosion of the family business, this is a family unravelling as the society around it fractures. For this is a moment of turbulence, of inevitable and unstoppable change: the chasm between the generations, and between those who have and those who have not, has never been wider.
Ambitious, rich and compassionate The Lives of Others anatomises the soul of a nation as it unfolds a family history. A novel about many things, including the limits of empathy and the nature of political action, it asks: how do we imagine our place amongst others in the world? Can that be reimagined? And at what cost?
This is a novel of unflinching power and emotional force.
The only novel from bestselling author Alice Munro, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Catching frogs, grazing knees, singing songs to save England from Hitler - that was childhood for Del Jordan, and now she's impatient for more. More than she can find in the encyclopedias sold by her mother, or in the half-understood innuendos dispensed by best friend Naomi, or in the whispers of boys during Friday night dances. Just like the girls in the movies, she wants to get started on real life. In her only novel, Alice Munro turns her eye to the frustrations, embarrassments, glee and bewilderment of adolescence, and to the brushes with sex, death, violence and birth that shape the lives of girls and women.
When fifteen-year-old Becs meets Bracken, she is convinced she's found her soul mate. So what if he's much older, and who cares about her exams? He's gorgeous, he gets her, she feels free with him, and when he holds her she feels safe. But is she? When her best friend is assaulted, one of a spate of attacks against girls from her school, the world suddenly seems a much more dangerous place. Who is it safe to trust? Should she follow her head or her heart? Becs is forced to make choices that will affect the rest of her life. Set during the summer of '76, to the music of David Bowie and the Rolling Stones, Pretty Thing is a powerful story of first encounters, dark obsession and last chances. It pits true love against real life and asks: is love really all you need?
France, 1940. Lucile Angellier's husband has been captured as a prisoner-of-war, and all she can do is wait for him - and tend to the household controlled by her domineering mother-in-law. Their small village is soon occupied by a regiment of German soldiers, forcing the locals to coexist with an invading Nazi force. Lieutenant Bruno von Falk takes up lodgings with the Angellier women, and Lucile struggles with her growing feelings for the handsome officer - soon a powerful love draws them together, and they too fall victim to the tragedy of war. Irene Nemirovsky began writing Suite Francaise in 1940, but her death in Auschwitz prevented her from seeing the day, sixty-five years later, that the novel would be discovered by her daughter and hailed worldwide as a masterpiece.
Luke Livingstone is a lucky man. He's a father and grandfather, a respected solicitor, a pillar of the community. He has a loving wife in Eilish, children who adore him and an idyllic home in the Oxfordshire countryside. But Luke is struggling with an unbearable secret, one that is close to destroying him. All his life, Luke has hidden the truth about himself - a truth so fundamental that it will shatter his family, rock his community and leave him an outcast. Luke has nowhere left to run. He must either end his life, or become the woman he knows himself to be - whatever the cost. His family is tested to its limits, as each of them is forced to consider what makes a person essentially themselves. What do you do when you find that your husband - your father, your son - is not who you thought? Can you ever love him again? A beautiful and dramatic portrayal of a family in turmoil.
In a small town in western Nigeria, four young brothers - the youngest is nine, the oldest fifteen - use their strict father's absence from home to go fishing at a forbidden local river. The encounter a dangerous local madman who predicts that the oldest brother will be killed by another. This prophesy breaks their strong bond, and unleashes a tragic chain of events of almost mythic proportions.
Passionate and bold, The Fishermen is a breathtakingly beautiful novel, firmly rooted in the best of African storytelling. With this powerful debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices in world literature.
Honeydew is Edith Pearlman's first new collection of stories since the National Book Critics' Circle Award-winning Binocular Vision, which brought her to rapturous acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, and at one stroke established her as 'the equal of Updike or Munro'. The stories in Honeydew are unmistakably by Pearlman: they are stories that are novels in miniature; whole lives in ten pages. They are minutely observant of people, of their foibles and failings, but also of their moments of kindness and truth. We almost overlooked Edith Pearlman. Honeydew will confirm how lucky we were that we didn't.
As a child, Klaudia Meyer is terrified of her father. Knowing of the horrific things he's done in his past, she's also deeply ashamed of being his daughter. So when she escapes to university she uses it as an opportunity to reinvent herself as the happy-go-lucky Eliza Bennet. But when something happens that forces Klaudia back home, she becomes trapped, tragically, inside a double life. The man she's fallen in love with knows her as Eliza. Yet unexpected secrets from her father's past lead Klaudia, finally, to face up to her real heritage. And soon she begins to suspect that she's not the only one in the family with a hidden identity - nor the only one capable of ending a life ...Powerful and tragic but brimming with love, this is a searing drama of forgotten secrets, heritage and identity. Most of all, it's a story about learning to accept who we really are.
Shacochis returns to occupied Haiti in The Woman Who Lost Her Soul before sweeping across time and continents to unravel tangled knots of romance, espionage and vengeance. In riveting prose, Shacochis builds a complex and disturbing story about the coming of age of America in a pre-9/11 world.
Set over fifty years and in four countries facing different wars, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul is National Book Award winner Bob Shacochis's magnum opus that brings to life, through the mystique and allure of history, an intricate portrait of catastrophic events that led up to the war on terror and the America we know today.
Upton Sinclair's classic revelatory novel about turn-of-the-century business and immigrant labor practices--with an afterword by Dr. Barry Sears, the New York Times bestselling author of The Zone. Jurgis Rudkus, a young Lithuanian immigrant in search of a better life, faces instead an epic struggle for survival. His story of factory life in Chicago in the early twentieth century is a saga of barbarous working conditions, crushing poverty, crime, disease, and despair. Upton Sinclair's vivid depiction of the horrors of Chicago's stockyards and slaughterhouses aroused such public indignation that a government investigation was called, eventually resulting in the passage of pure food laws. More than a hundred years later, The Jungle continues to pack the same emotional power it did when it was first published.
The first novel in a dazzling new epic trilogy from the winner of the Pulitzer Prize; a literary adventure that will span a century in America.
1920. After his return from the battlefields in France, Walter Langdon and his wife Rosanna begin their life together on a remote farm in Iowa. As time passes, their little family will grow: from Frank, the handsome, willful first-born, to Joe, whose love of animals and the land sustains him; from Lillian, beloved by her mother, to Henry who craves only the world of his books; and Claire, the surprise baby, who earns a special place in her father's heart.
As Walter and Rosanna struggle to keep their family through good years and hard years - to years more desperate than they ever could have imagined, the world around their little farm will turn, and life for their children will be unrecognizable from what came before. Some will fall in love, some will have families of their own, some will go to war and some will not survive. All will mark history in their own way.
Tender, compelling and moving from the 1920s to the 1950s, told in multiple voices as rich as the Iowan soil, Some Luck is an astonishing feat of storytelling by a prize-winning author writing at the height of her powers.
The thrilling debut from comedy writer and stand up star, Will Smith - a novel about loneliness, about not belonging and about the corroding effects of keeping secrets.
Jersey 1987, and the storm clouds are gathering over Colin Bygate. Sitting on a headland stewing over the discovery that his wife used to date Rob de la Haye, a brash hotelier who is everything that Colin is not, he spots a pupil near the edge of the cliff. Worried that the boy may have intended to jump, he drives him home, hoping that his gloomy imagination was playing tricks. But when the boy fails to turn up to school the next day, Colin feels duty bound to track him down, pitting him against the Island establishment who would rather there was a little less noise around this particular absence.
A web of characters is spun around this mystery, each with their own secrets. For living in Jersey, where everyone knows everyone else's business, you must become your own island.
Two couples. Two love stories. One epic tale.
Ninety-one-year-old Ira Levinson is in trouble. Struggling to stay conscious after a car crash, an image of his adored - and long-dead - wife Ruth appears. Urging him to hang on, she lovingly recounts the joys and sorrows of their life together - how they met, the dark days of WWII and its unrelenting effect on their families. A few miles away, college student Sophia Danko's life is about to change. Recovering from a break-up, she meets the young, rugged Luke and is thrown into a world far removed from her privileged school life. Sophia sees a new and tantalising future for herself, but Luke is keeping a secret that could destroy it all.
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples, separated by years and experience, whose lives are about to converge in the most unexpected - and shocking - of ways.
The new love story from the multi-million-copy bestselling author of The Notebook, The Lucky One and The Best of Me. Nicholas Sparks is one of the world's most beloved authors.
I was going to be an ichthyologist when I grew up. I was going to live in Australia or Indonesia or Belize or the Red Sea and spend most of my day submerged in that same warm water. A fishtank stretching thousands of miles. The problem with the aquarium was that we couldn't join them.
Twelve-year-old Caitlin lives alone with her mother in subsidised housing next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while she waits to be picked up after school, Caitlin visits the local aquarium to study the fish. Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, Caitlin accesses a shimmering universe beyond her own. When she befriends an old man at the tanks one day, who seems as enamoured of the fish as she, Caitlin cracks open a dark family secret and propels her once-blissful relationship with her mother towards a precipice of terrifying consequence.
In crystalline and graceful prose, Aquarium takes us into the heart of a brave young girl whose longing for love and capacity for forgiveness transform the damaged people around her. Relentless and heartbreaking, primal and redemptive, Aquarium is a transporting story from one of the best writers working today.
The House of Farrell - home of The Cream, an iconic face product that has seen women flocking to its bijoux flagship store in the Berkeley Arcade since 1953. At Farrell, you can rely on the personal touch. The legendary Athina Farrell remains the company's figurehead and in her kingdom at the Berkeley Arcade, Florence Hamilton plies their cosmetics with the utmost discretion. She is sales advisor - and holder of secrets - extraordinaire. But of course the world of cosmetics is changing and the once glorious House of Farrell is now in decline, its customers tempted away by more fashionable brands. Enter Bianca Bailey, formidable business woman, mother of three, and someone who always gets her way. Athina and Bianca lock horns over the future of the House of Farrell but it is the past that tells its devastating tale of ambition and ego, passion and wonder. Here is a tale of survival ...and a perfect heritage.
Reviewers have been describing Fay Weldon's inimitable voice for years. Now, here is Fay Weldon in her own words, selecting and introducing her favourite short stories from across her career as one of Britain's foremost contemporary novelists. Waspish, wise and wickedly witty, this is a collection to treasure for ever.
Ellie Barton has spent her young life living in the dilapidated manor house with her elderly father. Her duty is to her aristocratic lineage, something of which she is often reminded by those few people around her. But Marlford, the local village founded by her grandfather, is in decay - subsidence from the old salt mines is destroying the buildings, the books in the memorial library are mouldering, and old loyalties and assumptions are shifting. When two idealistic young men decide to squat in the closed wing of the house, they show her a world much wider than Marlford, and Ellie begins to feel trapped beneath the unbearable weight of history and expectation.
Four twenty-somethings share an apartment in Tokyo. In Parade each tells their story: their lives, their hopes and fears, their loves, their secrets. Kotomi waits by the phone for a boyfriend who never calls. Ryosuke wants someone that he can't have. Mirai spends her days drawing and her nights hanging out in gay bars. Naoki works for a film company, and everyone treats him like an elder brother. Then Satoru turns up. He's eighteen, homeless, and does night work of a very particular type. In the next-door apartment something disturbing is going on. And outside, in the streets around their apartment block, there is violence in the air. From the writer of the cult classic Villain, Parade is a tense, disturbing, thrilling tale of life in the city.