The Silent Kookaburra by Liza Perrat – kindly supplied by the author
All eleven-year-old Tanya Randall wants is a happy family. But Mum does nothing besides housework, Dad’s always down the pub and Nanna Purvis moans at everyone except her dog. Then Shelley arrives –– the miracle baby who fuses the Randall family in love for their little gumnut blossom.
Tanya’s life gets even better when she meets an uncle she didn’t know she had. He tells her she’s beautiful and could be a model. Her family refuses to talk about him. But that’s okay, it’s their little secret.
Then one blistering summer day tragedy strikes, and the surrounding mystery and suspicion tear apart this fragile family web.
A summer of second chances…
Just a week before her big day, Sarah returns home to find a note from her husband-to-be – the wedding’s off! So when her boss decides to send her on an epic cycling trip, from Venice to Rome, it seems like the perfect distraction…
Although she never expected the distraction to come in the form of her oh-so-handsome, but slightly serious, cycling companion, Miles. And with still 600 miles of beautiful scenery, mouthwatering food and delicious wine yet to cover, anything could happen!
A twenty-six year old newlywed on the path to a prestigious legal career in London buys a decrepit, revolutionary-era ruin in the tiny Burgundian village of Magny-les-Villers. Was that split-second, life-altering decision profoundly wise or utterly insane? Find out in My Grape Escape – a story for anyone who’s imagined taking a U-Turn in life to seize their joy.
We all have secrets……
Ambitious journalist Rosa Fernley has been asked to fulfil her grandmother Jocelyn’s dying wish. Jocelyn has also passed on a secret – in the summer of 1968, fleeing from the terror of a bullying husband, she visited the mysterious Tintagel Castle. Jocelyn wasn’t seeking love, but she found it on the rugged clifftops in the shape of Jory, a local man as enigmatic and alluring as the region itself. But she was already married, and knew her husband would never let her find happiness and peace in Jory’s arms.
Now as her days are nearing their end, she begs Rosa to go back to Tintagel, but is unwilling, or unable, to tell her why. Rosa is reluctant – she has a job in London, a deadline that won’t wait and flights of fancy are just not in her nature. Nevertheless, she realises it might be the last thing she will do for her beloved grandmother and agrees to go.
Once in Tintagel, Rosa is challenged to confront secrets of her own, as shocking events threaten to change everything she has ever believed about herself and her family. She also meets a guide to the castle, Talan, a man who bears a striking resemblance to Jory.
Will the past remain cloaked in tragedy, sadness and the pain of unrequited love? Or can Rosa find the courage and strength to embrace the secrets of the past, and give hope to the future?
Plucky and headstrong Mildred Holland revelled in the eight years she and her husband, the vicar William Holland, spent travelling 1840s Europe, finding inspiration in recording beautiful artistic treasures and collecting exotic artifacts. But William’s new posting in a tiny Suffolk village is a world apart and Mildred finds a life of tea and sympathy dull and stifling in comparison.
When a longed-for baby does not arrive, she sinks into despondency and despair. What options exist for a clever, creative woman in such a cossetted environment?
A sudden chance encounter fires Mildred’s creative imagination and she embarks on a herculean task that demands courage and passion. Defying her loving but exasperated husband, and mistrustful locals who suspect her of supernatural powers, Mildred rediscovers her passion and lives again through her dreams of beauty.
Inspired by the true story of the real Mildred Holland and the parish church of Huntingfield in Suffolk, the novel is unique, emotive and beautifully crafted, just like the history that inspired it.
Virginia Woolf in Manhattan by Maggie Gee – 99p
Bestselling author Angela Lamb is going through a mid-life crisis. She dumps her irrepressible daughter Gerda at boarding school and flies to New York to pursue her passion for Woolf, whose manuscripts are held in a private collection. When a bedraggled Virginia Woolf herself materialises among the bookshelves and is promptly evicted, Angela, stunned, rushes after her on to the streets of Manhattan. Soon Angela is chaperoning her troublesome heroine as the latter tries to understand the internet and scams bookshops with ‘rare signed editions’. Then Virginia insists on flying with Angela to Istanbul, finds a Turkish admirer and steals the show at an International Conference on – Virginia Woolf. Virginia Woolf in Manhattan is a witty and profound novel about the miraculous possibilities of a second chance at life.
This week I also took delivery of the following books as part of my Urbane Book Club membership. Fuller details already published here.