“I was sitting on the Stansted Express when I read the final chapters of this book. Big mistake. I could not stop crying, and yet I could not stop reading. The good thing was that oddly nobody wanted to sit near me.”
Anna Fitzgerald doesn’t want her sister to die. But she’s sick of helping her to live. Anna was born to be a perfect genetic match for Kate, who at just two years old was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia. For thirteen years, she has acted as donor to her sister. Now, Kate needs a kidney, and nobody is asking Anna how she feels about it, they’re just assuming she will donate. Until the Sheriff serves the papers that will rock their family’s world: Anna is suing her parents for the rights to her own body …
“I can’t believe I’m recommending a book about a spider. But the wise and generous Charlotte saves Wilbur the pig, and quietly sacrifices her own life, and it is properly heartbreaking”
This is the story of a little girl named Fern who loved a little pig named Wilbur and of Wilbur’s dear friend, Charlotte A. Cavatica, a beautiful large grey spider. With the unlikely help of Templeton the rat, and a wonderfully clever plan of her own, Charlotte saves the life of Wilbur, who by this time has grown up to be quite a pig.
“I was a bit lukewarm about this book initially, but then it hits you with a sucker punch two thirds of the way through. I sobbed so loudly that a receptionist at the hotel where I was staying was sent to check that I was okay.”
In 1975 art historian Leo Hertzberg discovers an extraordinary painting by an unknown artist in a New York gallery. He buys the work, tracks down its creator, Bill Weschler, and the two men embark on a life-long friendship. This is the story of their intense and troubled relationship, of the women in their lives and their work, of art and hysteria, love and seduction and their sons – born the same year but whose lives take very different paths.
“The story of Anne Frank is known by everyone. But the truth and poignancy of her words – and our knowledge of her eventual fate – makes this a melancholic and heartbreaking read.”
First published over sixty years ago, Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl has reached millions of young people throughout the world. In July 1942, thirteen-year-old Anne Frank and her family, fleeing the occupation, went into hiding in an Amsterdam warehouse. Over the next two years Anne vividly describes in her diary the frustrations of living in such close quarters, and her thoughts, feelings and longings as she grows up. Her diary ends abruptly when, in August 1944, they were all betrayed.
“There were plenty of warnings that this book would prove devastating. But on finishing I went as far as emailing the book’s editor in the hope that I had misunderstood the ending, so badly did I want Bee, the central character, to be okay. I won’t disclose what she said.”
We don’t want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn’t. And it’s what happens afterwards that is most important. Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.
“A sense of foreboding thrums through this fascinating, funny, book like drumbeats. But when Ezekiel, the heroine Blessing’s young brother, meets his almost inevitable end, its impact is still shocking.”
‘Everything changed after Mama found Father lying on top of another woman.’ Blessing and her brother Ezikiel adore their larger-than-life father, their glamorous mother and their comfortable life in Lagos. But all that changes when their father leaves them for another woman. Their mother is fired from her job at the Royal Imperial Hotel – only married women can work there – and soon they have to quit their air-conditioned apartment to go and live with their grandparents in a compound in the Niger Delta. Adapting to life with a poor countryside family is a shock beyond measure after their privileged upbringing in Lagos. Told in Blessing’s own beguiling voice, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away shows how some families can survive almost anything. At times hilarious, always poignant, occasionally tragic, it is peopled with characters you will never forget.
“Keep an eye out for this one because it’s set to be huge! A tense and gripping thriller, The Girl on the Train follows Rachel whose life has descended into divorce and alcohol dependency.”
A soldier wounded in the Civil War, Inman turns his back on the carnage of the battlefield and begins the treacherous journey home to Cold Mountain, and to Ada, the woman he loved before the war began. As Inman attempts to make his way across the mountains, through the devastated landscape of a soon-to-be-defeated South, Ada struggles to make a living from the land her once-wealthy father left when he died. Neither knows if the other is still alive.
“Sometimes the most powerful love stories are those that comprise restraint and things unsaid. The unspoken love affair between Stevens and Miss Kenton is shot through with regrets and missed opportunities.”
‘After all what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished?’ In the summer of 1956, Stevens, the ageing butler of Darlington Hall, embarks on a leisurely holiday that will take him deep into the English countryside and into his past…A contemporary classic, The Remains of the Day is Kazuo Ishiguro’s beautiful and haunting evocation of life between the wars in a Great English House, of lost causes and lost love.
“The story of Gray herself left me a little cold. I was surprisingly unmoved by her epic search for her boyfriend, lost in France. But the scenes when the two Jewish boys, hidden and protected for much of the book, are sent to the gas chamber, are completely harrowing.”
In 1942, Charlotte Gray, a young scottish woman, goes to Occupied France on a dual mission – officially, to run an apparently simple errand for a British special operations group and unofficially, to search for her lover, an English airman who has gone missing in action. In the small town of Lavaurette, Sebastian Faulks presents a microcosm of France and its agony in ‘the black years’. Here is the full range of collaboration, from the tacit to the enthusiastic, as well as examples of extraordinary courage and altruism. Through the local resistance chief Julien, Charlotte meets his father, a Jewish painter whose inspiration has failed him. In a series of shocking narrative climaxes in which the full extent of French collusion in the Nazi holocaust is delineated, Faulks brings the story to a resolution of redemptive love.
“Tragic, melancholy portrait of a slowly disintegrating marriage, given an extra dimension by the suggestion that the fictional couple, with its mentally ill wife Nicole, mirrored the Fitzgerald’s own doomed marriage.”
Between the First World War and the Wall Street Crash the French Riviera was the stylish place for wealthy Americans to visit. Among the most fashionable are psychoanalyst Dick Diver and his wife Nicole, who hold court at their villa. Into their circle comes Rosemary Hoyt, a film star, who is instantly attracted to them, but understands little of the dark secrets and hidden corruption that hold them together. As Dick draws closer to Rosemary, he fractures the delicate structure of his marriage and sets both Nicole and himself on to a dangerous path where only the strongest can survive. In this exquisite, lyrical novel, Fitzgerald has poured much of the essence of his own life; he has also depicted the age of materialism, shattered idealism and broken dreams.
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Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life.
As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?