In Emmett Farmer's world, books are the feared receptacles of the memories 'bound' into them. Experiences are erased and secrets are hidden. Collins' prose is magical, immersing the reader in a world that is strange yet familiar, real but constantly shifting. The most original and captivating novel this reviewer has read in a long time!
Having survived Auschwitz due to her youth and beauty, Cilka's liberation is short-lived as she is sent to a Siberian gulag for collaborating with the enemy. This heart-rending novel follows her unimaginable struggle to survive and ultimately find love.
We think: fitting sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Riveting sequel to Margaret Atwood's dystopian classic, The Handmaid's Tale. Fast-paced and narrated from three different perspectives (the testaments), the novel takes us into the heart of Gilead which is beginning to rot from within...
Frannie Langton's 'confessions' encompassing life as a plantation house slave, abandonment and love in Georgian London and trial for murder at the Old Bailey are the framework for this accomplished and gripping novel. Fantastic period detail and a compelling heroine combine in an engrossing page-turner.
We think: atmospheric and original - so good we can't wait for her next novel!
The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
It's perfectly normal for sisters to help each other out, though disposing of dead bodies would stretch any relationship! This darkly funny debut novel opens with Korede cleaning up after her sister who has an inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends...what happens when the love lives of the sisters intersect?
We think: fast paced and funny
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
'Great Achilles. Brilliant Achilles, shining Achilles, godlike Achilles...How the epithets pile up. We never called him any of those things; we called him the 'butcher'.'
Pat Barker imagines the untold story of the women at the heart of history's greatest epic. Timeless themes resonate through the voice of her narrator, Briseis, a pawn in the machinations of the Greek warriors.
According to the judges, this is an 'exquisitely intimate portrait of a marriage shattered by racial injustice...a story of love, loss and loyalty, the resilience of the human spirit painted on a big political canvas'. Not to mention the fact that the Obamas apparently loved it...
We think: worthy winner but check out the rest of the short list in Latest News
'Artificial intelligence is not sentimental - it is biased towards best possible outcomes. The human race is not a best possible outcome'. So says one of the key characters in this darkly entertaining novel which grapples with future prospects for humanity.
Novel based on the memories of Dita Kraus who, aged 14, became the secret 'librarian' of Auschwitz, custodian of a handful of illegal books. A moving testimony to the power of the written word which transcends the misery of life in the camps.
We think: incredibly powerful story, sensitively told
In 1940, eighteen year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage...ten years later, a bill of reckoning is due when she realises that all actions have consequences. Funny, pacy and a great read.
We think: Atkinson at her best - well crafted and entertaining
Introducing Ulf Varg, head of the Sensitive Crimes Squad, tasked with solving cases that other detectives can't or won't handle. A funny, light-hearted and gentle foray into crime fiction in these turbulent times!
We think: a relaxing antidote to Nordic Noir!
The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith
19 year old Paul navigates an unconventional relationship in Julian Barnes' acclaimed new novel which explores the question: 'Would you rather love the more, and suffer the more; or love the less and suffer the less?'
Is it even possible to choose?
We think: elegant, heart-felt and sophisticated - from an old master
Gretel's estrangement from her mother comes to an end with a chance phone call - and there is nothing for Gretel to do but to wade deeper into her past, where family secrets and aged prophesies all come tragically alive.
We think: a "weird and wonderful" debut novel already getting great reviews