I could not put this book down – a brilliantly engaging read and one of the best books I’ve read in a long while. I’m looking forward to her next book, The Foundling, coming out in February 2020. Stacey will be one of the authors attending our Pudding, Read, Love event on Thursday 13th February at the Guildhall, Abingdon.
In a time of suspicion and accusation, to be a woman is the greatest risk of all . . .
Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn’t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.
Then she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife. Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong. As Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the north-west, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her.
But is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Soon the two women’s lives will become inextricably bound together as the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood’s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth.
Only they can save each other.
The Familiars is available in paperback for £8.99.
Imogen Says: “I’ve read a huge amount of amazing books this year, but from the second I opened The Starless Sea, I knew that this book would steal my heart. A story about stories, it is a love letter to words and books and the magic that weaves between the people who read them and tell them. When Zachary finds an old book in his uni library, he starts to read it, only to find his own memories in the third chapter. This mystery leads him to a masked ball, then to a door – a door that opens to an underground world filled with stories. On books and parchment and in the very air.
But where there are stories, there is danger – and Zachary has to navigate the stories in the Harbor along with his own, to see where they will all end up.
This is a truly stunning book – if you’ve read The Night Circus, you’ll be familiar with Morgenstern’s way of writing, that sucks you in so much you forget that you’re only holding a book (if you haven’t, that’s also a beautiful book!). It’s the type of book that has you blinking as you raise your head from the page, has you looking out for those doors everywhere you look. Honestly, if there’s one book you pick up this season (for yourself or for presents!) make it this one. You won’t be disappointed! ”
The Starless Sea is available in hardback for £16.99.
From the author of the number one international bestseller The History of Bees, a captivating new novel about the threat of a worldwide water shortage as seen through the eyes of a father and daughter. In 2019, seventy-year-old Signe sets out on a hazardous voyage to cross an entire ocean in only a sailboat. She is haunted by the loss of the love of her life, and is driven by a singular and all-consuming mission to make it back to him.
In 2041, David flees with his young daughter, Lou, from a war-torn Southern Europe plagued by drought. They have been separated from the rest of their family and are on a desperate search to reunite with them once again, when they find Signe’s abandoned sailboat in a parched French garden, miles away from the nearest shore. As David and Lou discover personal effects from Signe’s travels, their journey of survival and hope weaves together with Signe’s, forming a heartbreaking, inspiring story about the power of nature and the human spirit in this second novel from the author of the “spectacular and deeply moving” (New York Times bestselling author Lisa See) The History of Bees.
The End of the Ocean is available in hardback for £16.99. Email us to order your copy.
When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach.
This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse.
Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but o save one would mean sacrificing the other…
Available in paperback for £8.99. Get in touch to order your copy.
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath.
Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp.
Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason.
After the horrific accident at Bennington, the two friends – once inseparable roommates – haven’t spoken in over a year. But Lucy is standing there, trying to make things right. Perhaps Alice should be happy.
She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy, always fearless and independent, helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country. But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice – she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn.
Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind. Tangerine is an extraordinary debut, so tightly wound, so evocative of 1950s Tangier, and so cleverly plotted that it will leave you absolutely breathless.
Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners. But the final wishes of the ‘Keeper of Lost Things’ have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters…
Isma is free. After years spent raising her twin siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she is finally studying in America, resuming a dream long deferred.
But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London – or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream: to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. Handsome and privileged, he inhabits a London worlds away from theirs.
As the son of a powerful British Muslim politician, Eamonn has his own birthright to live up to – or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz’s salvation? Two families’ fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined in this searing novel that asks: what sacrifices will we make in the name of love? A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles’ Antigone, Home Fire is an urgent, fiercely compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide – confirming Kamila Shamsie as a master storyteller of our times.
In the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this dazzling and ambitious literary debut follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees – and to their children and one another – against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis. England, 1851.
William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive-one that will give both him and his children honour and fame. United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper and fights an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation. China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident-and is kept in the dark about his whereabouts and condition-she sets out on a gruelling journey to find out what happened to him.
Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees joins these three very different narratives into one gripping and thought-provoking story that is just as much about the powerful relationships between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity.