There's a whole new crop of books to look forward to in 2022 and May is full of great reads! Whether you want a page-turning thriller, a gripping historical novel or a feel-good read, we've got some great choices out this month.
The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn
We first meet Cristabel as she waits in a faded country house by the sea in Dorset for her father to bring home his new wife. As Cristabel grows up, she pushes against society’s expectations of her and later joins the British intelligence operations in occupied France during the Second World War. I was swept away by this compelling, beautifully written debut and its plucky heroine.
Sun Damage by Sabine Durrant
One of our best thriller writers returns with a multilayered novel that keeps readers on the back foot throughout. Ali has been working with con man Sean and, when they fall out, she runs away, passing herself off as a chef for a wealthy British family holidaying in the South of France. Will Sean catch up with her or will someone closer to home find her out first?
Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander
Fans of Eleanor Oliphant will love this big-hearted book about a woman who has not left her home for 1,214 days. Meredith is a wonderful character – funny, strong and very relatable – and the slow reveal about why she’s become a recluse is gripping.
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
This grown-up take on Freaky Friday balances humour and poignancy so well. On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice falls asleep at her father’s house and wakes up aged 16 again. This time, she’s determined to right the wrongs in her life, including a plan to save her ailing father, who is on his deathbed in the other timeline.
It All Comes Down To This by Therese Anne Fowler
This drama about three sisters fighting over their mum’s will ticked all my boxes. Wealthy family full of dysfunction? Tick! New England beach house setting? Tick! All three sisters are relatably flawed and your alliance switches between them with each twist in the story. Big tick!
Quilt On Fire by Christie Watson
There’s been a wealth of books about the menopause in the last few years, but this stood out for its honesty and humour. As a nurse of 20 years, Christie thought she knew it all but is shocked by her changing body and mood. A must-read for any woman in midlife.
Fight Night by Miriam Toews
The award-winning author of All My Puny Sorrows returns with a read about three generations of women sharing a house. Preteen Swiv has been suspended from school, so is spending her days with her feisty but frail grandma, while her pregnant mum looks for acting work. The dynamic between them is touching and funny.
Honor by Thrity Umrigar
Already a big hit in the US (and a Reese Witherspoon book club choice), this powerful punch of a story follows journalist Smita, who returns home to India for the first time in 20 years. There, she ends up covering a story of a Hindu woman who is attacked by her own family for marrying a Muslim man.
The Love Of My Life by Rosie Walsh
Walsh’s The Man Who Didn’t Call was a word-of-mouth bestseller and this novel has the same winning combination of big emotions and didn’t-see-that-coming twist. When Leo finds some confusing paperwork among his wife Emma’s things, he realises the woman he loves has lied to him about who she is.
Still Water by Rebecca Pert
Jane returns to the Shetlands for a quiet life, but the discovery of her long-missing mother’s body in a flooded quarry means she must face up to what happened 20 years earlier. Told from Jane’s perspective in the present day and through her mum’s diaries, it’s an atmospheric slow burn of a read, with a sense of foreboding that grows with each page.
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