The Rome Affair BY KAREN SWAN (PAN MACMILLAN)
Francesca Hackett leaves her past behind in London to start over in the Eternal City, as a tour guide. When a handbag is unceremoniously dumped in her bin, she discovers it belongs to Elena Damiani, a famed socialite. She returns the bag, and it’s met with much joy by Elena, as it contains an unopened letter. The two women are instantly intrigued by each other, and when Francesca loses her job, Elena employs the former guide to write her memoir – only to have long-forgotten secrets resurface. Swan uses vivid imagery to transport readers to Italy, from the comfort of their living room.
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Rituals BY KELLEY ARMSTRONG (LITTLE, BROWN)
After discovering that she was adopted by one of Chicago’s well-off families – and her biological parents are in fact convicted serial killers – Olivia Jones is determined to make a new life for crime series will see Olivia come up against a previously unknown evil force that has been watching her since she was a child – watching and waiting. Get ready for a twisty plot, and some serious page turning.
Are You Sleeping? BY KATHLEEN BARBER (PAN MACMILLAN)
Fans of the podcast Serial will enjoy journalist Poppy Parnell unravels a cold murder case on her viral podcast, Reconsidered: The Chuck Buhrman Murder. Little does she know that her attempt to solve Chuck’s murder will lead to her own life unravelling as well as that of Chuck’s daughter Josie, who has done everything she can to escape her past. A page-turning debut.
The Sunshine Sisters BY JANE GREEN (PAN MACMILLAN)
Audiences fell in love with actress Ronni Sunshine in the ’60s. She was Hollywood’s sweetheart but, behind closed doors, she was a self-centred, bitter mother to her three daughters. In the years that followed, Nell, Meredith and Lizzy not only became estranged from their mother, but from each other too. When Ronni is diagnosed with a form of motor neurone disease, she hopes she can convince her daughters to come home one last time. Can this dysfunctional family overlook past.
Queen Of The Free State BY JENNIFER FRIEDMAN (TAFELBERG PUBLISHERS
In this evocative memoir, Friedman childhood while growing up on a farm in the Free State during the ‘50s and ‘60s. Weaving together a collection of short tales about her parents’ high her father’s ongoing abuse, she takes readers on a powerful journey. You will chuckle out loud and shed a tear or two.
ESSENTIALS BOOK OF THE MONTH THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS BY ARUNDHATI ROY (PENGUIN)
Anjum started out life as Aftab, a young boy who was celebrated for his singing. At 15 years old, she decides to leave her family, and former self, behind to join a group of transgender women and intersex people called ‘hijras’. After setting up a guesthouse on a graveyard, Anjum becomes an adoptive mother to a baby girl, who was left abandoned on a rubbish heap. This tandem-narrative tale is something to really sink your teeth into; it’s been 20 years since Roy’s last novel – the The God of Small Things – and it’s worth the long wait.
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