Miss Benson’s Beetle, Rachel Joyce, Hardback, £16.99. It’s 1950. In a devastating moment of clarity, Margery Benson abandons her dead-end job and advertises for an assistant to accompany her on an expedition. She’s going to travel to the other side of the world to search for a beetle that may or may not exist. Enid Pretty is not the companion Margery had in mind. And yet together they will be drawn into an adventure that will exceed every expectation. They’ll risk everything, break all the rules, and at the top of a red mountain, discover their best selves. This is an intoxicating adventure story, but it also explores what it means to be a woman.
A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom, John Boyne, Hardback, £16.99. This is the extraordinary new novel from acclaimed writer John Boyne. Ambitious, far-reaching and mythic, it introduces a group of characters whose lives we will come to know and follow through time and space, until they reach their natural conclusion. It starts with a family, a family which will mutate. For now, it is a father, mother and two sons. One son has his father’s violence in his blood, one lives his mother’s artistry. One leaves. One stays. They’ll be joined by others whose deeds will change their fate. Their stories will intertwine and evolve over the course of two thousand years and they will meet again and again at different times and in different places. From distant Palestine at the dawn of the first millennium to a life amongst the stars in the third. While the world will change around them, their destinies will remain the same. It must play out as foretold.
The Pull of the Stars, Emma Donoghue, Hardback, £16.99. Dublin, 1918. In a country doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city centre, where expectant mothers who have come down with an unfamiliar flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s world step two outsiders: Doctor Kathleen Lynn, (on the run from the police), and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney. In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over the course of three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. An unforgettable and deeply moving story of love and loss, from the bestselling author of The Wonder and Room.