French Braid – Anne Tyler – £16.99 hardback
When the kids are grown and Mercy Garrett gradually moves herself out of the family home, everyone is determined not to notice. Over at her studio, she wants space and silence. She won’t allow any family clutter.
Not even their cat, Desmond. Yet it is a clutter of untidy moments that forms the Garretts’ family life over the decades, whether that’s a painstaking Easter lunch or giving a child a ride, a fateful train journey or an unexpected homecoming. And it all begins in 1959, with a family holiday to a cabin by a lake.
It’s the only one the Garretts will ever take, but its effects will ripple through the generations.
Murder Before Evensong – Richard Coles – £16.99 hardback
Canon Daniel Clement is Rector of Champton. He has been there for eight years, living at the Rectory alongside his widowed mother – opinionated, fearless, ever-so-slightly annoying Audrey – and his two dachshunds, Cosmo and Hilda. When Daniel announces a plan to install a lavatory in church, the parish is suddenly (and unexpectedly) divided: as lines are drawn, long-buried secrets come dangerously close to destroying the apparent calm of the village. And then Anthony Bowness – cousin to Bernard de Floures, patron of Champton – is found dead at the back of the church, stabbed in the neck with a pair of secateurs. As the police move in and the bodies start piling up, Daniel is the only one who can try and keep his fractured community together… and catch a killer.
Bury Your Dead – Louise Penny – £8.99 paperback
As Quebec City shivers in the grip of winter, its ancient stone walls cracking in the cold, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache plunges into the strangest case of his celebrated career. A man has been brutally murdered in one of the city’s oldest buildings – a library where the English citizens of Quebec safeguard their history. And the death opens a door into the past, exposing a mystery that has lain dormant for centuries; a mystery Gamache must solve if he’s to catch a present-day killer.
Haven – Emma Donoghue – £16.99 hardback
In seventh-century Ireland, a scholar and priest called Artt has a dream telling him to leave the sinful world behind. Taking two monks – young Trian and old Cormac – he travels down the river Shannon in search of an isolated spot on which to found a monastery.
Drifting out into the Atlantic, the three men find an impossibly steep, bare island inhabited by tens of thousands of birds, and claim it for God. Their extraordinary landing spot is now known as Skellig Michael. But in such a place, far from all other humanity, what will survival mean? Haunting, moving and vividly told, Haven displays Emma Donoghue’s trademark world-building and psychological intensity – but this tale is like nothing she has ever written before .
Brown Baby – Nikesh Shukla – £9.99 paperback
How do you find hope and even joy in a world that is prejudiced, sexist and facing climate crisis? How do you prepare your children for it, but also fill them with all the boundlessness and eccentricity that they deserve and that life has to offer?In Brown Baby, Nikesh Shukla, author of the bestselling The Good Immigrant, explores themes of sexism, feminism, parenting and our shifting ideas of home. This memoir, by turns heartwrenching, hilariously funny and intensely relatable, is dedicated to the author’s two young daughters, and serves as an act of remembrance to the grandmother they never had a chance to meet.
Through love, grief, food and fatherhood, Shukla shows how it’s possible to believe in hope.
Bitter Orange – Claire Fuller – £8.99 paperback
Frances Jellico is dying. A man who calls himself the vicar visits, hoping to extract a deathbed confession.
He wants to know what really happened that fateful summer of 1969, when Frances – tasked with surveying a dilapidated country house – first set eyes on the glamorous bohemian couple, Cara and Peter. She recalls the relationship they forged through sweltering days, lavish dinners and elaborate lies, and the Judas hole through which she would spy on the couple. Were the signs there right from the beginning? Or was it impossible to avoid the crime that split their lives open like rotten fruit?
The Marriage Portrait – Maggie O’Farrell – £25.00 hardback
Winter, 1561. Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara, is taken on an unexpected visit to a country villa by her husband, Alfonso. As they sit down to dinner it occurs to Lucrezia that Alfonso has a sinister purpose in bringing her here. He intends to kill her. Lucrezia is sixteen years old, and has led a sheltered life locked away inside Florence’s grandest palazzo. Here, in this remote villa, she is entirely at the mercy of her increasingly erratic husband. What is Lucrezia to do with this sudden knowledge? What chance does she have against Alfonso, ruler of a province, and a trained soldier? How can she ensure her survival. The Marriage Portrait is an unforgettable reimagining of the life of a young woman whose proximity to power places her in mortal danger.