In brief: Sandwich; How to Love Your Daughter; Mapmatics – review

<span>Catherine Newman’s Sandwich, ‘a gem of a novel’, is set in Cape Cod.</span><span>Photograph: Brendan2505/Stockimo/Alamy</span>
Catherine Newman’s Sandwich, ‘a gem of a novel’, is set in Cape Cod.Photograph: Brendan2505/Stockimo/Alamy


Catherine Newman
Doubleday, £16.99, pp240

On her annual, multigenerational holiday to Cape Cod, Rocky knows that her family is on the brink of change. Mourning her kids growing up and her parents growing old, she is in the throes of the menopause while having to confront past traumatic experiences that have left her emotionally bruised and vulnerable. Newman’s second work of fiction confirms her as a writer with a sharp ear for dialogue, astute emotional insight, and an infectious sense of humour. A gem of a novel.

How to Love Your Daughter

Hila Blum
Bloomsbury, £9.99, pp272 (paperback)

The arresting opening scene of Blum’s novel sees her protagonist, Yoella, spying through the window of a house at a family dinner; the family comprises her estranged daughter and two granddaughters she has never met. What follows is a meditative exploration of maternal love and motherly failings as Yoella gradually reveals the cause of her daughter’s hostility. While the denouement doesn’t quite deliver on the novel’s earlier suspense, it’s nonetheless an intense and emotively raw portrayal of maternal devotion.

Mapmatics: How We Navigate the World Through Numbers

Paulina Rowinska
Picador, £22, pp384

Charting the mathematical foundations of cartography, Rowinska takes the reader on an expansive journey through time and place to reveal how the human experience has been – and continues to be – intrinsically linked to the maps we use to navigate our way through the world. Covering everything from air travel and tube transport to geology and computer science, it’s a comprehensive work.

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