Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Friday 26 May 2017

Wivenhoe Bookshop Reading Group at The Black Buoy

SUPPER  & BOOK TALK AT THE BLACK BUOY

‘STRONGER THAN SKIN’

LITERARY SUPPER

WITH STEPHEN MAY

7pm Weds 26th April 2017

Black Buoy

Wivenhoe

£20 for 2 courses + glass of wine + book discount

Mains

Roasted corn-fed chicken breast, sautéed potatoes, chestnut mushrooms, chorizo, spicy tomato sauce and fresh vegetables

Salmon and prawn gratin in a white wine, cream and parsley sauce, topped with cheddar and panko breadcrumbs, new potatoes and fresh vegetables

Warm salad with baby spinach and ham hock topped with a poached egg

Spinach, goats cheese, mushroom and cream sauce pie, boulangere potatoes, vegetarian gravy and fresh vegetables (V)

Puds

Belgian chocolate cheesecake with cream

Apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice-cream

Trio of clotted cream ice-cream, honeycomb, strawberries & cream and chocolate fudge brownie, served with chocolate tube wafers

Cheese board selection with celery, homemade relish and biscuits

Drinks

Merlot

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Rose

Corona Bottled Lager

Fresh Orange Juice

To book send an email with your menu choices

To join call 01206 824050

About the Book

A story of a toxic love gone wrong, with a setting that moves easily between present day London and 1990s Cambridge, Stronger Than Skin is compulsively readable, combining a gripping narrative with a keen eye for the absurdities of the way we live now.

‘Mark Chadwick is cycling home from work, eager to get back to his pregnant wife Katy and two children, when he sees the police calling at his house. He knows exactly why they are there and he knows that the world he has carefully constructed over twenty deliberately uneventful years is about to fall apart. He could lose everything.’

About the Author

Stephen May’s first novel TAG was longlisted for Wales Book of The Year and won the Media Wales Reader’s Prize. His second, Life! Death! Prizes! was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Novel Award and The Guardian Not The Booker Prize. He also collaborates on performance pieces with theatre-makers, artists, film-makers, musicians and dancers.

Praise for ‘Stronger Than Skin’

Author Stephen May

‘From the first hook on page four, the reader is held in the grip of a pacy, clever plot which drip-feeds revelations to keep the pages of this literary thriller turning. Excellent stuff.’
-The Daily Mail

‘Stronger than Skin is a sexy and compelling love story. Bold in its conception, enchanting with its characters, this book delivers fresh insights into the affairs of the heart, and grips the reader right until its twisted end. ’
-Monique Roffey

‘A gripping tale with a well designed plot and great twists. A definite page-turner.’
-Jess Richards

‘Full of warmth with a dark, complex heart.’
-Emma Unsworth

‘The story hooks you in lightly, and then takes a grip; a proper page-turner to the last. ’
-Rachel Seiffert

To book or join call 01206 824050 or send an email

2017 Dates

18th Jan, 22nd Feb, 22nd Mar, 26th April, 24th May, 21st June, 19th July, NO MEETING IN AUGUST, 20th Sept, 25th Oct, 29th Nov and NO MEETING IN DECEMBER.

March 22nd 2017 ‘Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain’ by Barney Norris

‘There exists in all of us a song waiting to be sung which is as heart-stopping and vertiginous as the peak of the cathedral. That is the meaning of this quiet city, where the spire soars into the blue, where rivers and stories weave into one another, where lives intertwine.’

One quiet evening in Salisbury, the peace is shattered by a serious car crash. At that moment, five lives collide – a flower seller, a schoolboy, an army wife, a security guard, a widower – all facing their own personal disasters. As one of those lives hangs in the balance, the stories of all five unwind, drawn together by connection and coincidence into a web of love, grief, disenchantment and hope that perfectly represents the joys and tragedies of small town life.’

Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain’

‘One of our most exciting young writers’ The Times

‘Wonderful…I was hooked from the first page. It’s the real stuff.’ – Michael Frayn
‘Deeply affecting’ – Guardian
‘Superb’ – Mail on Sunday
‘Barney Norris is a rare and precious talent’ – Evening Standard

About the Author

Barney Norris was born in Sussex in 1987, and grew up in Salisbury.
Upon leaving university he founded the theatre company Up In Arms. He won the Critics’ Circle and Offwestend Awards for Most Promising Playwright for his debut full-length play Visitors.
He is the Martin Esslin Playwright in Residence at Keble College, Oxford.

About the Reading Group

Join us for book talk and fine dining at the Black Buoy, Wivenhoe, where we meet monthly for an informal discussion of our chosen book.  The group was founded in 2003, and we celebrated our 10th anniversary in 2013.

The Black Buoy is a 300-year-old inn located close to the River Colne near the waterfront of the historic port of Wivenhoe serving freshly-prepared and home-cooked dishes and award-winning ales in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Discussion is informal, and many new friendships have been made – what better way to break the ice with a stranger than to have both read the same book and be eager to discuss it over a relaxing glass of wine?

How To Join

To join us simply provide us with your email address, and we’ll let you know the monthly book choice. We’ll also email you the menus for the dinner meeting. All you need to do is read the book,  reply with your menu choices, and pop into the shop to pay before the meeting. Membership also entitles you to a special price on the book. N.B. Payment must be received by the Saturday before each meeting, and cash is preferable, as card payment attracts a transaction fee of 50p.

The requirements of the restaurant mean that should you need to cancel we are unable to refund payment unless a minimum of 24 hours notice is given by calling 01206 824050.

PREVIOUS BOOK CHOICES

Feb 22nd 2017 ‘Poems on the Underground’ a miscellany

After thirty one years and almost 500 poems, Poems on the Underground has become a familiar and welcome sight on London’s Tube, paying tribute to the magnificent tradition of English poetry, and to those who have contributed to its richness and diversity.
In this beautiful paperback edition, poems old and new, familiar and unfamiliar explore such diverse topics as love, London, exile, family, dreams, war, music and nature.
Hundreds of poets are featured, including Owen Sheers, Paul Muldoon, Sylvia Plath, William Blake, D. H. Lawrence, Kathleen Raine, Roger McGough, Wilfred Owen, Wendy Cope and John Clare, among many others.

January 18th 2017 ‘Golden Hill’ by Francis Spufford

‘One rainy evening in November, a handsome young stranger fresh off the boat pitches up at a counting-house door in Golden Hill Street: golden_hill-xlarge_transildtzbe0ua51vhhtywffp8py0-7ablnmn1-ad8kbcbqthis is Mr Smith, amiable, charming, yet strangely determined to keep suspicion simmering. For in his pocket, he has what seems to be an order for a thousand pounds, a huge amount, and he won’t explain why, or where he comes from, or what he can be planning to do in the colonies that requires so much money.

Should the New York merchants trust him? Should they risk their credit and refuse to pay? Should they befriend him, seduce him, arrest him; maybe even kill him?’

Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘Golden Hill’

Golden Hill is a novel of gloriously capacious humanity, thick-woven with life in all its oddness and familiarity, a novel of such joy it leaves you beaming, and such seriousness that it asks to be read again and again … this novel is verifiable gold.’  Sunday Telegraph

The intoxicating effect of Golden Hill is much more than an experiment in form. [Spufford] has created a complete world, employing his archivist skills to the great advantage of his novel … This is a book born of patience, of knowledge accrued and distilled over decades, a style honed by practice. There are single scenes here more illuminating, more lovingly wrought, than entire books.’ Financial Times

A cunningly crafted narrative that, right up to its tour de force conclusion, is alive with tantalising twists and turns … This is a dazzlingly written novel. Little brilliances of metaphor and phrasing gleam everywhere. Sunday Times

Like a newly discovered novel by Henry Fielding with extra material by Martin Scorsese. Why it works so well is largely down to Spufford’s superb re-creation of New York … His writing crackles with energy and glee, and when Smith’s secret is finally revealed it is hugely satisfying on every level. For its payoff alone Golden Hill deserves a big shiny star.  The Times

Splendidly entertaining and ingenious … Throughout Golden Hill, Spufford creates vivid, painterly scenes of street and salon life, yet one never feels as though a historical detail has been inserted just because he knew about it. Here is deep research worn refreshingly lightly … a first-class period entertainment. Guardian

Golden Hill shows a level of showmanship and skill which seems more like a crowning achievement than a debut . [Spufford] brings his people and situations to life with glancing ease … They all live and breathe with conviction … His descriptive powers are amazing … Spufford’s extraordinary visual imagination and brilliant pacing seems to owe more to the movies than anything else. Evening Standard

Utterly captivating … pitch perfect from the opening sentence. BBC Radio 4

About the Author

Francis Spufford was born in 1964, is married with a ten-year-old daughter, and  teaches on the MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths College, London. he talks about his writing here:

‘Officially, I’ve been a writer of non-fiction for the last twenty years – now, though, I’ve completed my shy, crabwise crawl towards fiction, and have a book which is an honest-to-goodness entirely made-up story. No foot-notes, no invisible scaffolding of facts holding it up: “Golden Hill” .

More specifically, it’s an eighteenth century novel. It’s set in the winter of 1746, in what was then the very small British colonial town of New York; but it’s also written like a novel from the eighteenth century. So the story of the charming but unreliable-seeming young Mr Smith, who turns up from London with a document in his pocket that may be a fraud or may be worth a fortune, is as hectically stuffed with event as it would have been if Fielding or Smollett had written it.

Eighteenth-century readers expected to get their money’s worth, and “Golden Hill” contains (among other things) a mystery, a political intrigue, a love story, a ball, a duel, a high-stakes card game, a trial, a dash of horror, a play-within-a-play, some surprisingly graphic sex and a rooftop chase. As a slow writer, I enjoyed working on something that runs fast. It was intricate fun devising and winding up the book’s clockwork. But I hope it’s also a story that feels alive, and makes the past feel alive too, while Mr Smith runs for his life, and the snow falls on Manhattan Island.’

November 23rd ‘His Bloody Project’ by Graeme MaCrae Burnett

bloodyMan Booker Prize 2016, shortlisted

Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary.

The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae.

A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country’s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence.

Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘His Bloody Project’

‘Spellbinding… Riveting, dark and ingeniously constructed.’ – Sunday Times

‘A fiendishly readable tale that richly deserves the wider attention the Booker has brought it.’ – The Guardian

‘Gripping, blackly playful and intelligent.’ – The Times

‘One of the most convincing and engrossing novels of the year.’ – The Scotsman

‘An astonishing piece of writing… a voice that sounds startlingly authentic.’ – The Telegraph

About the Author

Graeme is one of Scotland’s brightest literary talents. Born and brought up in Kilmarnock, he spent some years working as an English teacher in Prague, Bordeaux, Porto and London, before returning to Glasgow and working for eight years for various independent television companies. He has degrees in English Literature and International Security Studies from Glasgow and St Andrews universities respectively.

His first novel, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau (Contraband, 2014), received a New Writer’s Award from the Scottish Book Trust, was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award and was a minor cult hit. Set in small-town France, it is the compelling psychological portrayal of a peculiar outsider pushed to the limit by his own feverish imagination.

His second novel, His Bloody Project, has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016.

 

October 19th ‘The Good Son’ by Paul McVeigh

Mickey Donnelly is smart, which isn’t a good thing in his part of town. Despite having a dog called Killer and being in love with the girl next door, everyone calls him
‘gay’. It doesn’t help that his best friend is his little sister, Wee Maggie, and that everyone knows he loves his Ma more than anything 9781784630232in the world. He doesn’t think much of his older brother Paddy and really doesn’t like his Da. He dreams of going to America, taking Wee Maggie and Ma with him, to get them away from Belfast and Da. Mickey realises it’s all down to him. He has to protect Ma from herself. And sometimes, you have to be a bad boy to be a good son.

Praise for ‘The Good Son’

‘Mickey is the funniest, most endearing human being for whom we feel huge compassion as he faces each adversity. This novel envelops the reader with its humanity and its down-to-earth humour leaves you laughing.’ —BookTrust

‘A vivid, poignant and thrilling tale of troubled boyhood, The Good Son is a lot better than good – it’s outstanding.’ —Toby Litt

‘The Good Son is bursting with action, love, loss, betrayal and so much more – it is the sort of book you pick up and hours later emerge from, wondering where the time went.’ – Culture Northern Ireland

About the Author

Paul McVeigh’s work has been performed on stage and radio, published in print and been translated into 7 languages.

He began his career as a playwright in his home town, Belfast, before moving to London where he wrote comedy shows, which were performed at the Edinburgh Festival and in London’s West End.

Paul won The McCrea Literary Award in 2015, and his short stories have been published in literary journals and anthologies, read on BBC Radio 5 and commissioned by BBC Radio 4. He is the co-founder of London Short Story Festival and Associate Director at Word Factory.

The Good Son, his first novel, was Brighton’s City Reads for 2016, and has received the following accolades:

Shortlisted for The Polari First Book Prize 2016

Finalist for The People’s Book Prize 2016

Shortlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2016

Chosen for City Reads 2016

Shortlisted for the Guardian Not the Booker prize

ELLE Best Books of 2015

The Reading Agency: Books of 2015

September 21st ‘The Crossing’ by Andrew Miller

millerShe is sailing. She is alone. Ahead of her is the world’s curve and beyond that, everything else. The known, the imagined, the imagined known.

‘Who else has entered Tim’s life the way Maud did? This young woman who fell past him, lay seemingly dead on the ground, then stood and walked. That was where it all began.

As magnetic as she is inscrutable, Maud defies expectations and evades explanation – a daughter, girlfriend and mother who, in the wake of a tragedy, embarks on a dangerous voyage across the Atlantic, not knowing where it will lead . . .’

Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘The Crossing’

‘Exquisite prose…infused with nautical detail and the cool brine of the sea, this is perfect summer reading.’ — Sarah Hall, Observer

‘Fabulous….questions about Maud, will linger in your mind long after you close this remarkable novel.’ — Kate Clanchy, Guardian

‘Hypnotic… Andrew Miller has a poet’s ear but he can also write white-knuckle passages that will leave you winded by towering waves. Most surprising of all, you’ll find yourself rooting for Maud as she confronts the limits of her own detachment.’ — Mail on Sunday

Part relationship study, part sailing yarn, this odd yet enthralling book lingers long in the mind.’— Neville Hawcock, Books of the Year, Financial Times

‘A beautiful novel; moving, funny, mysterious and compelling. Maud is a stunning creation – a great modern heroine with a pure ancient heart.’ — Patrick Marber

About the Author

Andrew Miller’s first novel, Ingenious Pain, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and greeted as the debut of an outstanding new writer. It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the

Andrew Miller Costa Book Awards 2012 London, England - 24.01.12 Mandatory Credit: Lia Toby/WENN.com

International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour Prize for the best foreign novel published in Italy.

It was followed by Casanova, then Oxygen, which was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award in 2001, The Optimists, and One Morning Like A Bird. In 2011, his sixth novel, Pure, was published to great acclaim and went on to win the Costa Book of the Year Award.

Andrew Miller’s novels have been translated into thirty languages. Born in Bristol in 1960, he has lived in Spain, Japan, France and Ireland, and currently lives in Somerset.

July 20th ‘Sweet Caress’ by William Boyd

boyd

‘Amory Clay’s first memory is of her father doing a handstand – but it is his absences that she chiefly remembers.

Her Uncle Greville, a photographer, gives her both the affection she needs and a camera, which unleashes a passion that irrevocably shapes her future. She begins an apprenticeship with him in London, photographing socialites for magazines.

But Amory is hungry for more and her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demi-monde of 1920s Berlin, New York in the 1930s, the Blackshirt riots in London, and France during the Second World War, where she becomes one of the first women war photographers. ‘

Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘Sweet Caress’

“An utterly compelling read … The effect of Amory is that of an interesting woman with a life well-lived, who is not content to sit back and be beautiful as an adored wife or mistress. She grasps every opportunity with both hands, wherever it leads her. Not a bad epitaph, and a tribute to Boyd’s skill that we miss her like a friend when we, and she, reach the end” – Independent

“Sweet Caress is a rattling good “what will happen next?” story and, on another level, a meditation, in fiction, on women and the lens…”Caress” is just the right word for the feel of this novel. Boyd deals with heavy themes with the lightest touch. We’re lucky to have him writing for us” – John Sutherland, The Times

“Boyd is a brilliant novelist … Sweet Caress is an audacious, sweeping, rich layer cake of a novel, at once a textual hall of mirrors and a brilliant tale of a life well lived” – Elizabeth Day, Observer

“Clever and compelling … A thrilling piece of craft, a meditation on work and life and everything in between” – Guardian

About the Author

WILLIAM BOYD has received world-wide acclaim for his novels, which have been published around the world and translated into over thirty languages.

Born in Accra, Ghana, in 1952, Boyd grew up there and in Nigeria. He was educated at Gordonstoun School and attended the universities of Nice and Glasgow and Jesus College, Oxford, where he studied for a D.Phil in English Literature. He was also a lecturer in English Literature at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, from 1980-83. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He has been presented with honorary Doctorates in Literature from the universities of St. Andrews, Stirling, Glasgow and Dundee. In 2005 he was awarded the CBE.

He is married and divides his time between London and South West France.

June 22nd ‘The Loney’ by Andrew Michael Hurley

About the Book

loney‘Two brothers. One mute, the other his lifelong protector.

Year after year, their family visits the same sacred shrine on a desolate strip of coastline known as the Loney, in desperate hope of a cure.

In the long hours of waiting, the boys are left alone. And they cannot resist the causeway revealed with every turn of the treacherous tide, the old house they glimpse at its end . . .

Many years on, Hanny is a grown man no longer in need of his brother’s care.

But then the child’s body is found.

And the Loney always gives up its secrets, in the end.’

Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘The Loney’

This is a novel of the unsaid, the implied, the barely grasped or understood, crammed with dark holes and blurry spaces that your imagination feels compelled to fill’ Observer

‘A masterful excursion into terror’ The Sunday Times

‘Here is the masterpiece by which Hurley must enter the Guild of the Gothic: it pleases me to think of his name written on some parchment scroll, alongside those of Walpole, Du Maurier, Maturin and Jackson’  Guardian

‘Written with the skill of a poet’  The Times, Books of the Year
‘An eerie, disturbing read that doesn’t let up until its surprise ending’  Daily Mail

About the Author

Andrew Michael Hurley has lived in Manchester and London, and is now based in Lancashire, where he teaches English

Andrew Michael Hurley

Andrew Michael Hurley

Literature and Creative Writing.

He has had two collections of short stories published by Lime Tree Press. The Loney is his first novel – it was first published in October 2014 by Tartarus Press, a tiny independent publisher based in Yorkshire, as a 300-copy limited-edition.

It won the 2015 Costa First Novel award, Times ‘Book of the Year’ 2015, and was voted Book of the Year at the British Book Industry 2016 awards.

May 25th ‘Carol’ by Patricia Highsmith

About the Book

carol

Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when a beautiful, alluring woman in her thirties walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love.
Therese is an awkward nineteen-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn’t love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter. As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol’s world, she soon realizes how much they both stand to lose..
Publisher’s Synopsis
First published pseudonymously in 1952 as The Price of Salt, Carol is a hauntingly atmospheric love story set against the backdrop of fifties’ New York.

Praise for ‘Carol’

“’Has the drive of a thriller but the imagery of a romance … This is a book that is hard to set aside; it demands to be read late into the night with eyes burning and heart racing’” –  Val McDermid

“’A document of persecuted love … perfect’” –  Independent

“’Gently exploratory, genuinely moving’” –  Mail on Sunday

“’An original, honest novel, a remarkable imaginative achievement by any standard … compelling’” –  Financial Times

About the Author

patPatricia Highsmith was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1921.

 Her first novel, Strangers On A Train, was made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. The Talented Mr Ripley, published in 1955, was awarded the Edgar Allan Poe Scroll by the Mystery Writers of America and introduced the fascinating anti-hero Tom Ripley, who was to appear in many of her later crime novels.

Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, in February 1995. Her last novel, Small g: A Summer Idyll, was published posthumously just over a month later.

April 20th ‘At Hawthorn Time’ by Melissa Harrison

hawthorn

About the Book

‘Howard and Kitty have recently moved to Lodeshill after a life spent in London; now, their marriage is wordlessly falling apart. Custom car enthusiast Jamie has lived in the village for all of his nineteen years and dreams of leaving it behind, while Jack, a vagrant farm-worker and mystic in flight from a bail hostel, arrives in the village on foot one spring morning, bringing change. All four of them are struggling to find a life in the modern countryside; all are trying to find ways to belong.

Building to an extraordinary climax over the course of one spring month, At Hawthorn Time is both a clear-eyed picture of rural Britain, and a heartbreaking exploration of love, land and loss.’

Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘At Hawthorn Time’

“A magical, hypnotically strange book of love and dreams, tragedy and myth, At Hawthorn Time sent shivers down my spine. Soaked deep in hedgerows and fields, it is a profoundly unsentimental yet deeply compassionate meditation on searching for myth and meaning, on our need to belong, and the place of history in the history of place. Harrison is writing us a new kind of modern pastoral: peopled, raw, messy, and shining” –  Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk

“At Hawthorn Time is intensely moving, a book overshadowed by disaster but still careful, precise, and hypnotically beautiful” –  Evie Wyld

“Her perceptions encompass both the beauty and the indifference of nature to us and the way human beings are doing their best to destroy nature … Harrison plays with our expectations very skilfully. Every time someone gets into their car or goes near a road, you wonder whether this will be the moment; the rich vitality of the season underscores the poignancy of what is to come … Harrison has mastered a kind of writing which links people to place in a manner that amplifies both … An absorbing work of fiction – one that promises bigger things in the future from this notably gifted author” –  Amanda Craig, Literary Review

“The novel is as much a hymn to the ancient life-force of nature as it is a reminder of the underlying fragility of our busy modern world … Harrison writes with impressive detail about our hedgerows, fields, and woodlands … Carefully crafted writing” –  Holly Williams, Independent on Sunday

“Acute, effortless … So much unforced life is here that Harrison is readily comparable with Elizabeth Taylor and Penelope Lively; but she has a distinction all her own – and her growing audience must hope to live long enough to read everything she writes” –  Spectator

“Harrison’s love of the natural world and its traditions vibrates poetically through every page, but this is an up-to-date reading of the national psyche … Harrison’s imagination is wonderfully strange, her writing beautifully assured and controlled. At Hawthorn Time is social satire, but also a political protest against the intensive and increasing privatisation of the countryside, and a love letter to the power of nature – which persists whether we understand it or not” –  Kate Saunders, The Times

About the Author

Melissa Harrison’s debut novel ‘Clay‘ won the Portsmouth First Fiction Award, and was chosen by Ali Smith as a Book of the Year for 2013.
Her second novel ‘At Hawthorn Time’ was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2015 and longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016. A freelance writer, occasional photographer and columnist for The Times, the Weekend FT and the Guardian, she lives in South London.

March 23rd ‘The Buried Giant’ by Kazuo Ishiguro

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The extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize winning The Remains of the Day.

About the Book

‘There’s a journey we must go on, and no more delay . . .

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased. The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years.

They expect to face many hazards – some strange and other-worldly – but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another. Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.’

Publishers Synopsis

Praise for ‘The Buried Giant’

‘This novel…touches deeply on human concerns, and takes us on a journey that is as deep as it is mesmerising.’ The Independent

‘The Buried Giant is an exceptional novel.’ The New York Times

About the Author

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Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro’s seven previous books have won him wide renown and many honours around the world. His work has been translated into over forty languages. The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go have each sold in excess of 1,000,000 copies in Faber editions alone, and both were adapted into highly acclaimed films.

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and came to Britain at the age of five. He is the author of six novels: A Pale View of Hills (1982, Winifred Holtby Prize), An Artist of the Floating World (1986, Whitbread Book of the Year Award, Premio Scanno, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Remains of the Day (1989, winner of the Booker Prize), The Unconsoled (1995, winner of the Cheltenham Prize), When We Were Orphans (2000, shortlisted for the Booker Prize) and Never Let Me Go (2005, Corine Internationaler Buchpreis, Serono Literary Prize, Casino de Santiago European Novel Award, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize). Nocturnes (2009), a collection of stories, was awarded the Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa International Literary Prize.

In 1995 Ishiguro received an OBE for Services to Literature, and in 1998 the French decoration of Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

Feb 17th 2016 ‘A God in Ruins’ by Kate Atkinson

About the Book

‘A God in Ruins relates the life of Teddy Todd – would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century.  For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

This gripping, often deliriously funny yet emotionally devastating book looks at war – that great fall of Man from grace – and the effect it has, not only on those who live through it, but on the lives of the subsequent generations.  It is also about the infinite magic of fiction.

Those who loved the bestselling Life After Life will recognise Teddy as Ursula Todd’s adored younger brother – but for those who have not read it, A God in Ruins  stands fully on its own. Few will dispute that it proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the most exceptional novelists of our age.’

Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘A God in Ruins’

Better than most fiction you’ll read this year‘  The Times

Brilliant…a major writer‘  David Mitchell

Magnificent‘  Washington Post

Extraordinarily affecting, dazzling’  Telegraph

Devastating‘  New York Times

Engrossing‘  Irish Independent

Inexhaustibly ingenious‘  Hilary Mantel

A marvel‘  Gillian Flynn

Bleakly funny‘  Financial Times

About the Author

Kate Atkinson was born in York and now lives in Edinburgh.

She won the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Her four bestselling novels featuring former detective Jackson Brodie became the BBC television series Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs. Her last novel, Life After Life, was the winner of the Costa Novel Award and the South Bank Sky Arts Literature Prize, and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize. It was also voted Book of the Year for the independent booksellers associations on both sides of the Atlantic. Her new novel, A God in Ruins, is a companion to Life After Life, although the two novels can be read independently.

She was appointed MBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, and was voted Waterstones UK Author of the Year at the 2013 Specsavers National Book Awards.

January 20th 2016 ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ by Anne Tyler

Happy New Year – joy, love and peace to all!

Join us for our first gathering of 2016 to discuss Anne Tyler’s Booker Prize shortlisted award-winning novel.

‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…’

About the Book

‘This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that summer’s day in 1959. The whole family on the porch, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before.

From that porch we spool back through the generations, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define the family. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century – four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their home…’

Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’

Tyler’s twentieth novel finds fresh fictional riches in imaginative territory she has been exploring for half a century… Atmospherically rendered, the passage of time has both entertaining and heart-rending results. She has never written with more finesse, vitality and acuteness
Sunday Times, book of the year

Tyler’s sentences are wholly hers, instantly recognisable and impossible to duplicate
Observer, Books That Made Our Year 2015

May be her best yet, though, to be honest, this is what I always tend to say after reading the latest Anne Tyler. I’ve now read it twice, and I may well read it again
Mail on Sunday

The extraordinary thing about her writing is the extent to which she makes one believe every word, deed and breath
Guardian

What a wonderful, natural writer she is… she knows all the secrets of the human heart
Monica Ali

A glorious, unsentimental treat
Independent

The writing is beautiful, unshowy, spare yet bountiful, the distilled style of a long lifetime of creating great novels
Spectator

About the Author

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Breathing Lessons and many other bestselling novels, including The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Saint Maybe, Ladder of Years, A Patchwork Planet, Back When We Were Grownups, The Amateur Marriage, Digging to America and The Beginner’s Goodbye.
 In 2012 she received the Sunday TimesAward for Literary Excellence, which recognises a lifetime’s achievement in books and her most recent novel, A Spool of Blue Thread, was a Sunday Times bestseller and shortlisted for both the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize 2015.

PREVIOUS BOOKS

November 25th ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ by Marlon James

We’re ending the year on a high note with Marlon James’s superb 2016 Man Booker Prize Winner. Thank you to all for top notch book talk in 2015 – have a very Merry Christmas, and we look forward to more enjoyable evenings in 2016.

About the Book

‘JAMAICA, 1976 – Seven gunmen storm Bob Marley’s house, machine guns blazing. The reggae superstar survives, but the gunmen are never caught.

From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a dazzling display of masterful storytelling exploring this near-mythic event. Spanning three decades and crossing continents, A Brief History of Seven Killings chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters – slum kids, one-night stands, drug lords, girlfriends, gunmen, journalists, and even the CIA. Gripping and inventive, ambitious and mesmerising, A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of the most remarkable and extraordinary novels of the twenty-first century.’

Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’

‘Marlon James’s writing can be at once at once punchy and lyrical; can alternate strange, dreamy poetry with visceral action; and can bring persuasive life to a kaleidoscopic range of characters. [This book] showcases the extraordinary capabilities of a writer whose importance can scarcely be questioned’  – Independent

‘A vivid plunge into a crazed, violent and corrupt world… executed with swaggering aplomb’ – Irvine Welsh

‘It’s like a Tarantino remake of “The Harder They Come” but with a soundtrack by Bob Marley and a script by Oliver Stone and William Faulkner…epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex.’ – New York Times

‘[James’s] talent has grown from book to book, and his imagination consistently shines a light on dark and gory places…this is a work that explores the aesthetics of cacophony and also the aesthetics of violence.’ – Guardian

‘resembles James Ellroy’s LA Quartet in its blistering violence, multiple voices and view of history”from the gutter to the star”‘ – The Daily Telegraph

About the Author

Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1970. He graduated from the University of the West Indies with a degree in literature. He currently teaches a creative writing course in Minnesota and is working on his next novel.

October 21st ‘A Place Called Winter’ by Patrick Gale

About the Book

To find yourself, sometimes you must lose everything.

A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence – until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything.

Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonised Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before.

In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, loosely based on a real life family mystery, Patrick Gale has created an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking. It is a novel of secrets, sexuality and, ultimately, of great love.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘A Place Called Winter’

‘Written in prose of beautiful lucidity…..a tender tale of loss and love.’

Sunday Times

‘Harry Cane is one of the many, the disappeared who were not wanted by their families or their societies, and whose stories were shrouded with shame. This fascinating novel is their elegy.’

The Guardian

‘A mesmerising storyteller, this novel is written with intelligence and warmth.’

The Times

About the Author

Patrick was born on 31 January 1962 on the Isle of Wight, where his father was prison governor at Camp Hill, as his grandfather had been at nearby Parkhurst. He was the youngest of four – one sister, two brothers, spread over ten years. The family moved to London, where his father ran Wandsworth Prison, then to Winchester. At eight Patrick began boarding as a Winchester College Quirister at the cathedral choir school, Pilgrim’s. At thirteen he went on to Winchester College. He finished his formal education with an English degree from New College, Oxford in 1983.

He has never had a grown-up job. For three years he lived at a succession of addresses, from a Notting Hill bedsit to a crumbling French chateau. While working on his first novels he eked out his slender income with odd jobs; as a typist, a singing waiter, a designer’s secretary, a ghost-writer for an encyclopedia of the musical and, increasingly, as a book reviewer.

His first two novels, The Aerodynamics of Pork and Ease were published by Abacus on the same day in June 1986. The following year he moved to Camelford near the north coast of Cornwall and began a love affair with the county that has fed his work ever since.

He now lives in the far west, on a farm near Land’s End with his husband, Aidan Hicks. There they raise beef cattle and grow barley. Patrick is obsessed with the garden they have created in what must be one of England’s windiest sites and which includes England’s westernmost walled rose garden, and he deeply resents the time his writing makes him spend away from working in it. As well as gardening, he plays both the modern and baroque cello. He chairs the North Cornwall Book Festival, patron of Penzance LitFest and a director of both Endelienta and the Charles Causley Trust. His chief extravagance in life is opera tickets.

Sept 23rd ‘Mr Mac and Me’ by Esther Freud

About the Book

In this tender and compelling story of an unlikely friendship, Esther Freud paints a vivid portrait of a home front community during the First World War, and of a man who was one of the most brilliant and misunderstood artists of his generation.

‘Thomas Maggs, the son of the local publican, lives with his parents and sister in a village on the Suffolk coast in 1914. He is the youngest child, and the only son surviving. Life is quiet – shaped by the seasons, fishing and farming and the summer visitors.

Then one day a mysterious Scotsman arrives. To Thomas he looks for all the world like a detective, in his black cape and hat of felted wool, and the way he puffs on his pipe as if he’s Sherlock Holmes. Mac is what the locals call him when they whisper about him in the inn. And whisper they do, for he sets off on his walks at unlikely hours, and stops to examine the humblest flowers. He is seen on the beach, staring out across the waves as if he’s searching for clues. But Mac isn’t a detective, he’s the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and together with his red-haired artist wife, they soon become a source of fascination and wonder to Thomas.Yet just as Thomas and Mac’s friendship begins to blossom, war with Germany is declared. The summer guests flee and are replaced by regiments of soldiers on their way to Belgium, and as the brutality of war weighs increasingly heavily on this coastal community, they become more suspicious of Mac and his curious behaviour.’
Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘Mr Mac and Me’

“A compelling tale beautifully told, Mr Mac & Me is as close to a perfect novel as anything I’ve read in a long time. I loved every page of it” –  Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto“I was utterly absorbed in the language and the story and the world of it … You know how it is when a writer draws into a place and you begin to feel it is more substantial than the one around you? That is how this book was for me. I truly loved it” –  Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry“’I loved and admired Mr Mac and Me more than I can say’” –  Francis Wyndham“Attending to Esther Freud’s still, truthful voice becomes not only a pleasure but a necessity” –  Jonathan Coe“Freud has a precious and remarkable gift” –  The Times“A superbly gifted writer” –  New York Times Book Review“The best that art can be: full of exploration, full of intuition, full of generosity – and full of love” –  Julie Myerson
In 1993 Esther was named a Granta Best of Young British Novelist. She has since written seven other novels, including The Sea House, Love Falls and Lucky Break. She also writes stories, articles and travel pieces for newspapers and magazines, and teaches creative writing at the Faber Academy. Esther lives in London and Suffolk.

July 22nd ‘How to be Both’ by Ali Smith

About the Book

Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith’s novels are like nothing else.

How to be both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions.

There’s a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real – and all life’s givens get given a second chance.’

Publisher’s Synopsis

About the Author

Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962 and lives in Cambridge.
She is the author of Artful, There but for the, Free Love, Like, Hotel World, Other Stories and Other Stories, The Whole Story and Other Stories, The Accidental, Girl Meets Boy and The First Person and Other Stories.

Praise for ‘How to be Both’

‘Brims with palpable joy’ Daily Telegraph

‘She’s a genius, genuinely modern in the heroic, glorious sense’ Alain de Botton

‘I take my hat off to Ali Smith. Her writing lifts the soul’ Evening Standard

To book call us on 02106 824050 or contact us by email

24th June Literary Dinner with ‘She Rises’ author Kate Worsley

Kate Worsley’s stunning debut ‘She Rises’ was published to critical acclaim and won the HWA Debut Crown for New Historical Fiction, and is shortlisted for the New Angle Prize for Literature 2015.

Published by Bloomsbury, the novel is a seafaring adventure set in 1740s Harwich, and packed with smugglers and secret passages, rum-toting sailors, romance, and adventure in exotic parts.

About the Book

It is 1740 and Louise Fletcher, a young dairymaid on an Essex farm, has been warned of the lure of the sea for as long as she can remember – after all, it stole away her father and brother.

But when she is offered work in the bustling naval port of Harwich, as maid to a wealthy captain’s daughter, she leaps at the chance to see more of the world.

There she meets Rebecca, her haughty young mistress, who is unlike anyone Louise has encountered before: as unexpected as she is fascinating….

Publisher’s Synopsis

About the Author

Kate Worsley lives on the Essex coast. She has a BA in English Literature from University College London, and an MA in Creative Writing (Novels) from City University London.

Kate spent many years as a journalist, editor and subeditor on national and specialist newspapers and magazines such as the Independent, and the Guardian.

Her debut novel was published to great critical acclaim, and she is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow in the Department of Literature, Film & Theatre Studies at the University of Essex.

She also runs summer weekend writing retreats in Mistley, Essex and performs with the She Rises shanty crew. Her next novel is set in the 1930s.

Praise for ‘She Rises’

“An immensely enjoyable novel, full of energy, intelligence and delicious turns of phrase. Worsley does just what a great historical novelist should do: she inhabits her characters without strain, without fuss, but with obvious assurance, making them and their period feel utterly close and convincing. I can’t wait to see more of her fiction” –  Sarah Waters

“This debut novel leaves convention behind to tell a rollicking story of love and adventure. Harwich is gloriously reinvented as a place of smuggling, secrets and a decidedly contemporary passion. This is a fresh take on historical fiction; enjoyably witty and playful” –  The Times

“For those readers eagerly anticipating the next effort from the queen of historical revisionism Sarah Waters, look no further than Kate Worsley’s debut novel.

The maritime adventure She Rises will tide you over nicely … Meticulously and elegantly plotted from the very first page. The moment of their meeting, when it arrives, is jaw-droppingly good. Packed with smugglers and secret passages, rum-toting sailors, romance, and adventure in exotic parts, She Rises sings to its reader with the dulcet hypnotising tones of its true heroine, the sea; luring you in, then lulling you into its rolling pace” –  Independent

To book call us on 02106 824050 or contact us by email

May 27th ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’ by Richard Flanagan

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is a love story unfolding over half a century between a doctor and his uncle’s wife, which was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2014.

‘Taking its title from one of the most famous books in Japanese literature, written by the great haiku poet Basho, Flanagan’s novel has as its heart one of the most infamous episodes of Japanese history, the construction of the Thailand-Burma Death Railway in World War II.

In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Death Railway, surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever.’

Man Booker Prize synopsis

Praise for ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’

“Elegantly wrought, measured, and without an ounce of melodrama, Flanagan’s novel is nothing short of a masterpiece.” Financial Times

“A moving and necessary work of devastating humanity and lasting significance.” Seattle Times

“A novel of extraordinary power, deftly told and hugely affecting. A classic in the making.” The Observer

“Nothing could have prepared us for this immense achievement . . . The Narrow Road to the Deep North is beyond comparison.” The Australian

“A devastatingly beautiful novel.” The Sunday Times

“The book Richard Flanagan was born to write.” The Economist

“It is the story of Dorrigo, as one man among many POWs in the Asian jungle, that is the beating heart of this book: an excruciating, terrifying, life-altering story that is an indelible fictional testament to the prisoners there.” —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

“A supple meditation on memory, trauma, and empathy that is also a sublime war novel . . . Pellucid, epic, and sincerely touching.” Publishers Weekly

“Homeric . . . Flanagan’s feel for language, history’s persistent undercurrent, and subtle detail sets his fiction apart. There isn’t a false note in this book.” Irish Times

“I loved this book. Not just a great novel but an important book in its ability to look at terrible things and create something beautiful. Everyone should read it.” —Evie Wyld, author of All the Birds, Singing

“In an already sparkling career, this might be his biggest, best, most moving work yet.” —Sunday Age (Melbourne)

“An unforgettable story of men at war . . . Flanagan’s prose is richly innovative and captures perfectly the Australian demotic of tough blokes, with their love of nicknames and excellent swearing. He evokes Evans’s affair with Amy, and his subsequent soulless wanderings, with an intensity and beauty that is as poetic as the classical Japanese literature that peppers this novel.”The Times (London)

“Extraordinarily beautiful, intelligent, and sharply insightful . . . Flanagan handles the horrifyingly grim details of the wartime conditions with lapidary precision and is equally good on the romance of the youthful indiscretion that haunts Evans.”Booklist

“Virtuosic . . . Flanagan’s book is as harrowing and brutal as it is beautiful and moving . . . This deeply affecting, elegiac novel will stay with readers long after it’s over.” Shelf Awareness
 
“Devastating . . . Flanagan’s father died the day this book was finished. But he would, no doubt, have been as proud of it as his son was of him.” The Independent (UK)

“Mesmerising . . . A profound meditation on life and time, memory and forgetting . . . A magnificent achievement, truly the crown on an already illustrious career.” —Adelaide Advertiser

About Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan is the author of five previous novels—Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, and Wanting—which have received numerous honors and have been published in twenty-six countries.

April 22nd ‘Elizabeth is Missing’ by Emma Healey

Meet Maud.

Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Sometimes her home is unrecognizable – or her daughter Helen seems a total stranger.

But there’s one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.

Because somewhere in Maud’s damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about.

Everyone, except Maud . . .

Publisher’s Synopsis

Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2014

Shortlisted for National Book Awards Popular Fiction Book 2014

Shortlisted for National Book Awards New Writer of the Year 2014

Longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2014

Longlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction 2015

Praise for ‘Elizabeth is Missing’

‘A thrillingly assured, haunting and unsettling novel, I read it at a gulp’ Deborah Moggach, author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Elizabeth Is Missing will stir and shake you: the most likeably unreliable of narrators, real mystery at its compassionate core…’ Emma Donoghue, author of Room

‘Resembling a version of Memento written by Alan Bennett’ Daily Telegraph

‘One of those mythical beasts, the book you cannot put down’ Jonathan Coe, author of The Rotters Club

‘Every bit as compelling as the frenzied hype suggests. Gripping, haunting’ Observer

March 25th ‘Butcher’s Crossing’ by John Williams

John William’s ‘Stoner’ was a publishing phenomonen in 2013, propelled by word of mouth, and doubtless some influential enthusiasts.

In ‘Butcher’s Crossing’ he has written an entirely different but similarly unique novel – described by his publisher as  ‘skewering romantic notions of the Wild West with a brilliant, brutal tale of buffalo hunters that reverberates with understated power.’

‘Will Andrews is no academic. He longs for wildness, freedom, hope and vigour. He leaves Harvard and sets out for the West to discover a new way of living.In a small town called Butcher’s Crossing he meets a hunter with a story of a lost herd of buffalo in a remote Colorado valley, just waiting to be taken by a team of men brave and crazy enough to find them. Will makes up his mind to be one of those men, but the journey, the killing, harsh conditions and sheer hard luck will test his mind and body to their limits.’
Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘Butcher’s Crossing’

‘Stoner showed us a writer who had written a great book. To those of us who didn’t know already, Butcher’s Crossing reveals John Williams to be more than that: forgotten writer as he was, he was unquestionably also a great one.’

The Independent

‘Tough-minded and disillusioned but susceptible to beauty and human warmth….supremely well-written and built to last.’

The Spectator

‘Williams, in reducing the elements of his story to nothing more than close attention to events, has produced something timeless and great.’

The Guardian

Feb 18th ‘The Miniaturist’ by Jessie Burton

‘The Miniaturist’ is Jessie Burton’s first novel.

‘There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.

On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways . . .Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.’

Publisher’s Synopsis

Praise for ‘The Miniaturist’

Powerful and richly imagined – Sunday Times

Fabulously gripping – The Observer

The Miniaturist is the rarest of things – beautifully written, yet also a compelling page-turner. It’s haunting, magical and full of surprises, the kind of book that reminds you why you fell in love with reading – S J Watson

Jan 21st – 2015 ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ by Robert Galbraith

The acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

‘ When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

A war veteran, wounded both physically and psychologically, Strike’s life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . .

 A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London – from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho – The Cuckoo’s Calling is a remarkable book. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.’

Publisher’s Synopsis

 Wivenhoe Bookshop – Feed Your Head

 

 

 

 

 

 

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