From Emma Donoghue, the international bestselling author of Room, comes Akin, a brilliant tale of love, loss and family, enjoyed by our evening book group in August.
A retired New York professor’s life is thrown into chaos when he takes his great-nephew to the French Riviera, in hopes of uncovering his own mother’s wartime secrets.
Noah is only days away from his first trip back to Nice since he was a child when a social worker calls looking for a temporary home for Michael, his eleven-year-old great-nephew. Though he has never met the boy, he gets talked into taking him along to France. This odd couple, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, argue about everything from steak hache to screen time, and the trip is looking like a disaster. But as Michael’s ease with tech and sharp eye help Noah unearth troubling details about their family’s past, both of them come to grasp the risks that people in all eras have run for their loved ones, and find they are more akin than they knew.
Written with all the tenderness and psychological intensity that made Room a huge bestseller, Akin is a funny, heart-wrenching tale of an old man and a boy who unpick their painful story and start to write a new one together.
‘If Room forced home truths on us, about parenthood, responsibility and love, Akin deals with similar subject matter more subtly, but in the end just as compellingly‘ – Guardian
Sussex-based author and illustrator Sophy Henn is a firm local favourite having wowed local primary schools with her highly entertaining author visits for her previous series, the hilarious Bad Nana books. Her young fans will be delighted that she’s now back with the first in a new series for readers aged 7-10.
‘Pizazz’ is a 9 year old girl who just happens to have … SUPER POWERS!
If you think being born into a family of super-heroes sounds cool, think again! Pizazz has to wear the same flappy-caped outfit EVERY DAY, it’s a PAIN always having to go off to save the world at inconvenient times, sometimes she doesn’t want to ALWAYS be the good guy, and try explaining your WEIRD super-hero family to friends at your new school….! And don’t even ASK about Pizazz’s superpower…
Snappy, fast and funny, with absolutely BRILLIANT illustrations, Pizazz is a highly entertaining read for children aged 7+.
INDIE BOOKSELLERS AUGUST ‘BOOK OF THE MONTH’
Emily St John Mandel’s previous novel, the best-selling cult hit ‘Station Eleven’ uncomfortably imagined a post-pandemic world, ravaged by a lethal swine-flu. Fans of ‘Station Eleven’ will spot familiar characters and settings in her poignant, evocative new novel, ‘The Glass Hotel’, which hovers in a parallel universe, just before the pandemic, and centres on the 2008 financial crash and the spectacular toppling of a Ponzi scheme.
This is an exquisitely other-worldly novel, which, like the Glass Hotel of its title, is somehow crystalline and prismatic, with multiple threads of narrative interweaving through time. The story centres on Vincent, a directionless young woman working as a bartender at the Glass Hotel in a remote Vancouver island location, who is picked up by a wealthy financier, and, chameleon-like, adapts to a new life as a trophy-wife.
She drifts through this life, oddly untouched by the trappings of immense wealth, until it all comes crashing down after her husband’s unscrupulous financial dealings come back to bite him. The narrative glitches
back and forth in time, before and after the Ponzi scheme collapse, snap-shotting its victims and perpetrators, returning again and again to Vincent, her childhood on the remote island, her troubled, drug-addicted brother, beginning and ending with the eventual mystery of her disappearance while working on board a cargo ship.
Cleverly constructed with intricate layers, sensitive characterisations, and writing which is both precise and dream-like, this will appeal to fans of writers such as David Mitchell.
A new novel from Lisa See, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, set in the fascinating, unforgettable world of the formidable female pearl divers of Jeju, a small Korean island.
Mi-ja and Young-sook are best friends who come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother.
As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village.
The Island of Sea Women is an epic set over many decades, beginning during the period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, through World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, right up to the modern era of cell phones and wetsuits for the women divers.
Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point. This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a fascinating upside-down world, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the
‘No one writes about female friendship… with more insight and depth than Lisa See‘ Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees
What happened to the women we were supposed to become?
Hannah, Cate and Lissa are young, vibrant and inseparable. Living on the edge of a common in East London, their shared world is ablaze with art and activism, romance and revelry – and the promise of everything to come.
They are electric. They are the best of friends.
Ten years on, they are not where they hoped to be.
Amidst flailing careers and faltering marriages, each hungers for what the others have. And each wrestles with the same question: what does it take to lead a meaningful life? The most razor-sharp and heartbreaking novel of the year, EXPECTATION is a novel about finding your way: as a mother, a daughter, a wife, a rebel.
‘Profoundly intelligent and humane. Deserves to feature on many a prize shortlist‘ GUARDIAN
99% of women will identify with this, apparently!
In the small town of Crozon in Brittany, a library houses manuscripts that were rejected for publication: the faded dreams of aspiring writers. Visiting while on holiday, young editor Delphine Despero is thrilled to discover a novel so powerful that she feels compelled to bring it back to Paris to publish it. The book is a sensation, prompting fevered interest in the identity of its author – apparently one Henri Pick, a now-deceased pizza chef from Crozon. Sceptics cry that the whole thing is a hoax: how could this man have written such a masterpiece? An obstinate journalist, Jean-Michel Rouche, heads to Brittany to investigate. By turns farcical and moving, The Mystery of Henri Pick is a fast-paced comic mystery enriched by a deep love of books – and of the authors who write them. Quaint and very French. From the Walter Presents series.