Coming this week – my pick of the new fiction titles to 20th September 2020

I can’t believe how quickly a week goes by, but here we are again. A fair few more than last week and a fairly eclectic mix for you to choose from so hopefully you’ll find something to suit.

The Glorious Guinness Girls by Emily Hourican

The Glorious Guinness Girls: A story of the scandals and secrets of the famous society girls by [Emily Hourican]

LOVE AFFAIRS, LIES, SCANDALS, SECRETS…

Aileen. Maureen. Oonagh. The private lives of the Glorious Guinness Girls fascinated a nation. But privilege always has its price…

Granddaughters of the first Earl of Iveagh, the three daughters of Ernest Guinness are glamorous society girls, skipping from party to party, the toast of Dublin and London. Darlings of the press, with not a care in the world.

But what beautiful ruins lie behind the glass of their privileged worlds? The love affairs, the scandals, the tragedies, the secrets…

Inspired by fascinating real events and a remarkable true story, from the the brittle glamour of 1920s London to the turmoil of Ireland’s War of Independence, this dramatic, richly textured reading group novel takes us into the heart of a beautiful but often painful hidden world.


Where the Edge is by Gráinne Murphy

Where the Edge Is by [Gráinne Murphy]

As a sleepy town in rural Ireland starts to wake, a road subsides, trapping an early-morning bus and five passengers inside. Rescue teams struggle and as two are eventually saved, the bus falls deeper into the hole.

Under the watchful eyes of the media, the lives of three people are teetering on the edge. And for those on the outside, from Nina, the reporter covering the story, to rescue liaison, Tim, and Richie, the driver pulled from the wreckage, each are made to look at themselves under the glare of the spotlight.

When their world crumbles beneath their feet, they are forced to choose between what they cling to and what they must let go of.


Life After You by Sian O’Gorman

Life After You: A heart-warming story of love, loss and family by [Sian O'Gorman]

What if the one you’ve lost, is the one person you need to find?

Milly Bryne’s world came crashing down when she lost her beloved Dad and boyfriend in a matter of weeks.
Losing her Dad has broken her family. Losing her soul mate made has made her give up on life and love.
After swerving from stability to chaos to despair, Milly finally believes she has her life back on track when the unexpected return of a familiar face to Ireland throws her life once more into a spin.
Milly is forced to decide if her new life is the one for her, or if there is another path that will bring even greater riches of joy, excitement and fun into her world.
Life just isn’t worth living if your heart isn’t in it?


Don’t look For Me by Wendy Walker

Don't Look For Me by [Wendy Walker]

One night, Molly Clarke walked away from her life. Or at least, that’s the story.

The car abandoned miles from home. The note found at a nearby hotel. The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together.

It happens all the time. Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over.

But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?


The Glass House by Beatrice Colin

The Glass House: A Novel by [Beatrice Colin]

Scotland, 1912. Antonia McCulloch’s life hasn’t gone the way she planned. She and her husband, Malcolm, have drifted apart; her burgeoning art career came to nothing; and when she looks in the mirror, she sees disappointment. But at least she will always have Balmarra, her family’s grand Scottish estate, and its exquisite glass house, filled with exotic plants that can take her far away.

When her estranged brother’s wife, Cicely Pick, arrives unannounced, with her young daughter and enough trunks to last the summer, Antonia is instantly suspicious. What besides an inheritance dispute could have brought her glamorous sister-in-law all the way from India? Still, Cicely introduces excitement and intrigue into Antonia’s life, and, as they get to know one another, Antonia realizes that Cicely has her own burdens to bear. Slowly, a fragile friendship grows between them. But when the secrets each are keeping become too explosive to conceal, the truth threatens their uneasy balance and the course of their entire lives.


Remember Me by Mario Escobar

Remember Me: A Spanish Civil War Novel by [Mario Escobar]

Amid the shadows of war, one family faces an impossible choice that will change their lives forever.

Madrid, 1934. Though the Spanish Civil War has not yet begun, the streets of Madrid have become dangerous for thirteen-year-old Marco Alcalde and his younger sisters, Isabel and Ana. When Marco’s parents align themselves against General Franco and his fascist regime, they have no inkling that their ideals will endanger them and everyone they love—nor do they predict the violence that is to come.

When the Mexican government promises protection to the imperiled children of Spain, the Alcaldes do what they believe is best: send their children, unaccompanied, across the ocean to the city of Morelia—a place they’ve never seen or imagined. Marco promises to look after his sisters in Mexico until their family can be reunited in Spain, but what ensues is a harrowing journey and a series of heartbreaking events. As the growing children work to care for themselves and each other, they feel their sense of home, family, and identity slipping further and further away. And as their memories of Spain fade and the news from abroad grows more grim, they begin to wonder if they will ever see their parents again or the glittering streets of the home they once loved.

Based upon the true stories of the Children of Morelia, Mario Escobar’s Remember Me—now available for the first time in Englishexplores the agony of war and paints a poignant portrait of one family’s sacrificial love and endurance.


All the Acorns on the Forest Floor by Kim Hooper

All the Acorns on the Forest Floor by [Kim Hooper]

For many women, becoming a mother is the strongest expression of love they know, for others the conscience choice to not have children empowers them to live their truth. Motherhood looks different for all of the women in Kim Hooper’s, All the Acorns On the Forest Floor.

Alex is pregnant with her second child, fearful because her first pregnancy ended at 16 weeks. Deb is reckoning with the fact that she was abandoned as a newborn by her mother. Wendy is wrestling with her early feelings on having children. These stories are interwoven into the stories of other women who are intentionally childless, adults reckoning with adoptions, and unwed women who had to make difficult choices.

This novel-in-stories is designed to tug at the heart strings, but also provide hope, comfort, and insight into the true nature of women’s shared experiences with the narrative of motherhood and society’s expectations. We see the women at their most vulnerable, making decisions that will forever change the course of their lives. As each character’s narrative unfolds, the book illustrates how small and connected people’s lives really are, no one’s circumstances are as unique as they feel.

All the Acorns On the Forest Floor is a novel about mothers and daughters and the sometimes difficult relationships they have with those closest to them. These are stories of the deep, abiding love mothers and children have for one another, but also of how fragile those relationships can be when difficult decisions must be made.

Hooper has created a novel that draws you in and doesn’t let go until the last page has been turned; readers will be anxious to discover how these women’s stories are intertwined and inspired by the strength each character shows as they plunge into the world of motherhood, no matter what that world looks like.


The Unwanted Dead by Chris Lloyd

The Unwanted Dead by [Chris Lloyd]

Paris, Friday 14th June 1940.
The day the Nazis march into Paris. It made headlines around the globe.

Paris police detective Eddie Giral – a survivor of the last World War – watches helplessly on as his world changes forever.

But there is something he still has control over. Finding whoever is responsible for the murder of four refugees. The unwanted dead, who no one wants to claim.

To do so, he must tread carefully between the Occupation and the Resistance, between truth and lies, between the man he is and the man he was.

All the while becoming whoever he must be to survive in this new and terrible order descending on his home.


An Archive of Happiness by Elizabeth Reeder

An Archive of Happiness by [Elizabeth Reeder]

An Archive of Happiness is set in the Scottish Highlands over the course of one day during the Avens family’s annual get-together. Its the summer solstice and theirs is a fractured family, broken by arguments, by things said and not said, by a mother who has left and a father who was left behind. What happens on this day will force them to cleave together to survive and redraw the traditional bonds of family. ‘This is such a big-hearted, intricate and compelling novel: it is as robust and delicate as the landscapes it inhabits. Reeder tells a story of loss, fracture and repair, every sentence infused with both clear-sightedness and love.’ -Jenn Ashworth ‘An Archive of Happiness is a poignant, multi-layered exploration of family relationships brilliantly revealed. A haunting story told in exquisite prose’ – Ruth Hogan


Long Live the Post Horn! by Vigdis Hjorth

Long Live the Post Horn! by [Vigdis Hjorth]

llinor, a 35-year-old media consultant, has not been feeling herself; she’s not been feeling much at all lately. Far beyond jaded, she picks through an old diary and fails to recognise the woman in its pages, seemingly as far away from the world around her as she’s ever been. But when her coworker vanishes overnight, an unusual new task is dropped on her desk. Off she goes to meet the Norwegian Postal Workers Union, setting the ball rolling on a strange and transformative six months.
This is an existential scream of a novel about loneliness (and the postal service!), written in Vigdis Hjorth’s trademark spare, rhythmic and cutting style.


The Smuggler’s Daughter by Kerry Barrett

The Smuggler’s Daughter: Heartwrenching and gripping historical fiction with a mystery to uncover by [Kerry Barrett]

Only she knows the truth. Only she can save them.

1799
Emily Moon lives with her mother in an inn on a clifftop in the darkest reaches of Cornwall. After her father mysteriously disappears, her mother finds solace at the bottom of a bottle, and the only way to keep afloat is to turn a blind eye to the smugglers who send signals from the clifftops. But Emily knows that the smugglers killed her father to ensure his silence, and she will not let his murder go unpunished…

Present day
After a case ends in tragedy, police officer Phoebe Bellingham flees to Cornwall for a summer of respite. But rather than the sunny Cornwall of her dreams, she finds herself on storm-beaten cliffs, surrounded by stories of ghosts and smugglers – and the mysterious Emily Moon, who vanished without a trace over two centuries ago. As rain lashes down around her, Phoebe determines to find the truth behind the rumours – but what she uncovers will put herself in danger too…


What Are Friends For? by Lizzie O’Hagan

What Are Friends For?: The will-they-won't-they romance of the year! by [Lizzie O'Hagan]

Everyone gives their friends advice when it comes to dating, but what happens when it all goes wrong?

Eve 
doesn’t have time for dating, but having watched her best friend and flatmate have her heart broken one too many times, she reluctantly volunteers to play her Cupid.

Max is too much of a hopeless romantic to find the algorithms of online dating anything other than clinical, but he lives with his romantically-challenged best friend who desperately needs his advice.

And after all, what are friends for?

As Eve and Max become more involved in their best friends’ relationship, they quickly realise there is a fine line between instruction and imitation, especially when they find they can’t stop thinking about their best friend’s date…


Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier

Pizza Girl by [Jean Kyoung Frazier]

Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl, our dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial about it all. She’s grieving the death of her father, avoiding her loving boyfriend, and flagrantly ignoring her future.

Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighbourhood, who comes to depend on weekly deliveries of pickle-covered pizzas for her son’s happiness.

As one woman looks toward motherhood and the other toward middle age, the relationship between the two begins to blur in strange, complicated, and ultimately heartbreaking ways.

Bold, tender, and unexpected, Pizza Girl is a moving and funny portrait of a flawed, unforgettable young woman as she tries to find her place in the world.


If I Could Say Goodbye by Emma Cooper

If I Could Say Goodbye: a heartbreaking and unforgettable story of love, loss and the power of family by [Emma Cooper]

Jennifer Jones’ life began when her little sister, Kerry, was born. So when her sister dies in a tragic accident, nothing seems to make sense any more.

Despite the support of her husband, Ed, and their wonderful children, Jen can’t comprehend why she is still here, while bright, spirited Kerry is not.

When Jen starts to lose herself in her memories of her sister, she doesn’t realise that the closer she feels to Kerry, the further she gets from her family.

Jen was never able to say goodbye to her sister. But what if she could?

Would you risk everything if you had the chance to say goodbye?


The Abstainer by Ian McGuire

The Abstainer by [Ian McGuire]

Manchester, 1867
 
Two men, haunted by their pasts.
Driven by the need for justice.
 
Blood begets blood.
In a fight for life and legacy.
 
Stephen Doyle arrives in Manchester from New York. He is an Irish-American veteran of the Civil War and a member of the Fenians, a secret society intent on ending British rule in Ireland, by any means necessary. Now he has come to seek vengeance.
 
James O’Connor has fled grief and drink in Dublin for a sober start in Manchester as Head Constable. His mission is to discover and thwart the Fenians’ plans. When his long-lost nephew arrives on his doorstep, he never could have foreseen how this would imperil his fragile new life – or how his and Doyle’s fates would come to be intertwined. 
 
The rebels will be hanged at dawn, and their brotherhood is already plotting revenge.


Coming Home to Hope Street by Marcie Steele

Coming Home to Hope Street: An uplifting story of new beginnings, love and hope (The Hope Street Series Book 2) by [Marcie Steele, Mel Sherratt]

Livvy has no choice but to return to Hope Street, the childhood home she left over twenty years ago. Along with her sixteen-year-old daughter, Pip, she turns up on the doorstep, hoping for forgiveness from her sister.

Hannah thought she’d never see Livvy again. She’s overwhelmed with emotion but locks away her real feelings. How could Livvy stay away without any contact? And why has she come back now?

It isn’t long before the charm of the market town of Somerley begins to work its magic. Hannah is opening a book shop in the square, adjoining The Coffee Stop, and Livvy’s offer to help out brings the sisters closer together.

But when someone from Livvy’s past arrives unannounced too, he threatens everything she’s built up since her return. Can Livvy convince her sister, and her new friends, that her intentions to return were good ones? Or will her dreams of settling down and being happy again become nothing but a closed book?


The Cottage of Curiosities by Celia Anderson

The Cottage of Curiosities: The most heartwarming, beautiful book of the year from the bestselling author! (Pengelly Series, Book 2) by [Celia Anderson]

Tucked away amongst the winding, cobbled streets of Pengelly, the old stone cottage on Memory Lane is full of secrets. Brimming with trinkets and treasures, there are thousands of stories hidden within its walls.

Fifty-four-year-old Grace Clarke arrives in Pengelly determined to uncover the secrets of her past. Standing outside the little cottage, she feels sure that the answers she craves lie inside. The truth about her mysterious long-lost mother and the even more mysterious gifts she was born with…


The Baby Group by Caroline Corcoran

The Baby Group: a gripping new crime thriller with a twist you won’t see coming, from the author of bestsellers like Through The Wall by [Caroline Corcoran]

Her life was perfect. Until the video.

Scarlett’s golden life suddenly unravels when someone sends a shocking video of her to everyone she knows. The only people who claim they haven’t seen it are the friends in her new mothers’ group: Cora, Emma and Asha.

Scarlett is forced to delve into her past to discover who is out to get her. But as her circle of trust gathers around her, she has to ask – are her friends as innocent as they seem?


D (a Tale of Two Worlds) by Michel Faber

A modern-day Dickensian fable and a celebration of friendship and humanity, by the acclaimed author of The Crimson Petal and the White.

It all starts on the morning the letter D disappears from the language.
First, it vanishes from her parents’ conversation at breakfast, then from the road signs outside. Soon the local dentist and the neighbour’s Dalmatian are missing, and even the Donkey Derby has been called off.

Though she doesn’t know why, Dhikilo is summoned to the home of her old history teacher Professor Dodderfield and his faithful Labrador, Nelly Robinson. And this is where our story begins.

Set between England and the wintry land of Liminus, a world enslaved by the monstrous Gamp and populated by fearsome, enchanting creatures, D (Tale of Two Worlds) is a mesmerising tale of friendship and bravery in an uncertain world. Told with simple beauty and warmth, its celebration of moral courage and freethinking is a powerful reminder of our human capacity for strength, hope and justice.


Eudora Honeysett is Quite Well, Thank You by Annie Lyons

Eudora Honeysett is Quite Well, Thank You: The most feel good, page-turning and joyful fiction book of 2020! by [Annie Lyons]

Eudora Honeysett is done – with all of it. Having seen first-hand what a prolonged illness can create, the eighty-five-year-old has no intention of leaving things to chance. With one call to a clinic in Switzerland she takes her life into her own hands.

But then ten-year-old Rose arrives in a riot of colour on her doorstep. Now, as precocious Rose takes Eudora on adventures she’d never imagined she reflects on the trying times of her past and soon finds herself wondering – is she ready for death when she’s only just experienced what it’s like to truly live?


Their Silent Graves by Carla Kovach

Their Silent Graves: A completely gripping and addictive crime thriller (Detective Gina Harte Book 7) by [Carla Kovach]

Dressed in garish Halloween costumes, two teenage girls run through a patch of dense woodland towards the outskirts of town. But before they can reach the safety of the streets beyond, they make a shocking discovery.

Following a piece of old rope, the girls find a large mound of freshly laid earth, undisturbed in the darkness of the trees. Clawing at the ground beneath them, they make contact with something solid. When they realise what they’ve discovered, the silence is broken by their piercing screams as they stare down at the shallow grave.

Without looking back, they run as fast as they can, failing to spot the person nearby watching their every move…

And when another grave is found just days later, it’s clear a serial killer is praying on the small town. But who is the killer watching now? And when will another grave be filled?


Dear Reader : The Comfort and Joy of Books by Cathy Rentzenbrink

For as long as she can remember, Cathy Rentzenbrink has lost and found herself in stories. Growing up she was rarely seen without her nose in a book and read in secret long after lights out. When tragedy struck, books kept her afloat. Eventually they lit the way to a new path, first as a bookseller and then as a writer. No matter what the future holds, reading will always help.

Dear Reader is a moving, funny and joyous exploration of how books can change the course of your life, packed with recommendations from one reader to another.


The Kingdom by Jo Nesbo

The Kingdom: The new thriller from the no.1 bestselling author of the Harry Hole series by [Jo Nesbo]

When Roy and Carl’s parents die suddenly, sixteen-year-old Roy is left as protector to his impulsive younger brother. But when Carl decides to travel the world in search of his fortune, Roy stays behind in their sleepy village, satisfied with his peaceful life as a mechanic.

Some years later, Carl returns with his charismatic new wife, Shannon – an architect. They are full of exciting plans to build a spa hotel on their family land. Carl wants not only to make the brothers rich but the rest of the village, too.

It’s only a matter of time before what begins as a jubilant homecoming sparks off a series of events that threaten to derail everything Roy holds dear, as long-buried family secrets begin to rise to the surface…


Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith

Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike 5) by [Robert Galbraith]

Private Detective Cormoran Strike is visiting his family in Cornwall when he is approached by a woman asking for help finding her mother, Margot Bamborough – who went missing in mysterious circumstances in 1974.

Strike has never tackled a cold case before, let alone one forty years old. But despite the slim chance of success, he is intrigued and takes it on; adding to the long list of cases that he and his partner in the agency, Robin Ellacott, are currently working on. And Robin herself is also juggling a messy divorce and unwanted male attention, as well as battling her own feelings about Strike.

As Strike and Robin investigate Margot’s disappearance, they come up against a fiendishly complex case with leads that include tarot cards, a psychopathic serial killer and witnesses who cannot all be trusted. And they learn that even cases decades old can prove to be deadly . . .


Just Like You by Nick Hornby

Just Like You by [Nick Hornby]

Lucy married just the sort of man you might expect: a university graduate who runs his own business. Unfortunately he turned out to have serious dependency issues.

Joseph is shaking off the memory of his last date, a girl who ticked all the right boxes and also drove him up the wall.

On an average Saturday morning in a butcher’s shop in North London, Lucy and Joseph meet on opposite sides of the counter. She is a teacher and mother of two, with a past she is trying to forget; he is an aspiring DJ with a wide-open future that maybe needs to start becoming more focused. Lucy and Joseph are opposites in almost all ways. Can something life-changing grow from uncommon ground?

Nick Hornby’s brilliantly observed, tender and brutally funny new novel gets to the heart of what it means to fall headlong in love with the best possible person – someone who may not be just like you at all.


No Love Lost by Robert Crouch

No Love Lost (The Kent Fisher mysteries Book 6) by [Robert Crouch]

How can a simple job interview end in complete carnage?

When Mandy Paige seeks Kent Fisher’s help to find the mother who abandoned her as a baby, he has no idea of the mayhem his investigation will unleash. With only a photograph of a woman he once knew, he discovers she left her office one Friday afternoon twenty years ago and never returned.

Did Helen Cassidy escape an abusive husband or was she abducted and murdered?

People connected to Helen begin to die in mysterious circumstances. An old foe returns, leaving cryptic messages on the windscreen of Kent’s car. He seems to know Kent’s every move, hounding and taunting the sleuth, attacking those who can help him solve the mystery.

When the main suspect dies, Kent’s investigation lies in tatters – until he realises he’s not the one pursuing the killer. The killer’s pursuing him.


High as the Waters Rise by Anja Kampmann

One night aboard an oil drilling platform in the Atlantic, Waclaw returns to his cabin to find that his bunkmate and companion, Mátyás, has gone missing. A search of the rig confirms his fear that Mátyás has fallen into the sea.

Grief-stricken, he embarks on an epic emotional and physical journey that takes him to Morocco, to Budapest and Mátyás’s hometown in Hungary, to Malta, Italy, and finally to the mining town of his childhood in Germany. Waclaw’s encounters along the way with other lost and yearning souls – Mátyás’s angry, grieving half-sister; lonely rig workers on shore leave; a truck driver who watches the world change from his driver’s seat – bring us closer to his origins while also revealing the problems of a globalized economy dependent on waning natural resources. High as the Waters Rise is a stirring exploration of male intimacy, the nature of memory and grief, and the cost of freedom – the story of a man who stands at the margins of a society from which he has profited little, though its functioning depends on his labor.


The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez by Rudy Ruiz

The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez: A Novel by [Rudy Ruiz]

In the 1950s, tensions remain high in the border town of La Frontera. Penny loafers and sneakers clash with boots and huaraches. Bowling shirts and leather jackets compete with guayaberas. Convertibles fend with motorcycles. Yet amidst the discord, young love blooms at first sight between Fulgencio Ramirez, the son of impoverished immigrants, and Carolina Mendelssohn, the local pharmacist’s daughter. But as they’ll soon find out, their bonds will be undone by a force more powerful than they could have known.

Thirty years after their first fateful encounter, Fulgencio Ramirez, RPh, is conducting his daily ritual of reading the local obituaries in his cramped pharmacy office. After nearly a quarter of a century of waiting, Fulgencio sees the news he’s been hoping for: his nemesis, the husband of Carolina Mendelssohn, has died.

A work of magical realism, The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez weaves together the past and present as Fulgencio strives to succeed in America, break a mystical family curse, and win back Carolina’s love after their doomed youthful romance. 


That’s it for this week folk – Happy Reading!!

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