As the days get brighter and longer (or at least let's hope they will!), we're looking forward to lounging in the garden with a good book or two. 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.
Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny
Heiny’s Standard Deviation (read it now!) is one of my favourite novels, so I had high expectations for this – and I wasn’t disappointed. When Jane moves to Michigan and falls for Duncan, she soon realises he has a playboy past. She only plans on having a fling with him, but an accident changes everything. This finely observed book about love, unconventional families and the glorious mess that is life is pure bliss.
Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly
This slow-burn thriller set in the competitive ballet world is Kelly’s best yet. The knives are out when Ava, prima ballerina at the London Russian Ballet Company, gets the role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. The story cleverly mirrors the ballet with switched identities, deception and genius twists and turns.
My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley
The toxic bond between a mother and daughter is at the heart of this stunning novel. Bridget sees her mother just once a year and their awkward encounters are excruciating to read. It’s insightful, mordantly funny, moving and full of passages about family dynamics that will strike a chord for many.
The Dictionary Of Lost Words by Pip Williams
Esme sits at her father’s feet as he and a team of men work to complete a dictionary in 1900s Oxford. She secretly steals words they discard, which often relate to women, and collects them in her own dictionary. This is a unique story about a woman forging her own way in the world.
The Final Revival Of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton
Daisy Jones & The Six fans will love this story about a fictional music duo. In the early 1970s, racially motivated violence at a show ends in the death of their drummer. Decades later, the drummer’s daughter writes a biography of the group and uncovers what happened on that tragic night.
The Thin Place by CD Major
Journalist Ava is irresistibly drawn to Overtoun House when she covers a story there. Woven around her narrative are those of previous inhabitants: a girl locked in her room and a lonely newly married woman. Read it for the eerie atmosphere and the surprising way the three women’s stories come together.
Northern Spy by Flynn Berry
Tessa is working on the political show she produces when news of an IRA robbery of a service station comes in. She watches in shock as an image of her sister pulling on a black mask appears on screen. The backdrop of the conflict in Northern Ireland and Tessa’s struggles as a single mum make this a great read.
The High House by Jessie Greengrass
Set in a future where climate crisis is an imminent disaster, Francesca has prepared her former holiday home as a sort of ark for herself, her stepdaughter and son and locals Sally and Grandy. The fact this is so grounded in reality and the ordinariness of the lives of the group make it all the more moving.
Another Life by Jodie Chapman
Anna and Nick meet as teenagers while working at a cinema and have an intense summer relationship. Nick has a tragic past and Anna, as a child of Jehovah’s Witnesses, has been raised preparing for the end of days. Years later, they’re drawn back into each other’s lives and rekindle their relationship, but can they make it work?
The Imposter by Anna Wharton
Chloe is working as a newspaper archivist when she’s drawn to the story of a local child who’s been missing for 20 years. The parents have never given up hope, as Chloe discovers when she becomes their lodger. This is a well-crafted debut by an author who keeps you guessing about the characters until the last page.
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