Happy Monday – it’s temptation time again. Looking at the titles that are scheduled for next week, this week represents the lull before I what suspect might be a storm. That said, there’s plenty to choose from, so here we go.
The index is a guide as to what format the title is being released in. In some cases the title might already have been published in a different format. For those readers interested in audio editions I’ve indicated availability with the addition of a red button after the purchasing links – this makes it a bit easier to scan through and pick them up. The categories are intended to give you an indication of price and/or suitability depending on your preferred reading format. I have not complicated matters further by attempting to throw genres into the mix.
(NB As an Amazon Associate, Bookshop and Hive Affiliate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases)
Fragile Monsters by Catherine Menon
Mary is a difficult grandmother for Durga to love. She is sharp-tongued and ferocious, with more demons than there are lines on her palms. When Durga visits her in rural Malaysia, she only wants to endure Mary, and the dark memories home brings, for as long as it takes to escape.
But a reckoning is coming. Stuck together in the rising heat, both women must untangle the truth from the myth of their family’s past. What happened to Durga’s mother after she gave birth? Why did so many of their family members disappear during the war? And who is to blame for the childhood tragedy that haunts her to this day?
In her stunning debut novel Catherine Menon traces one family’s story from 1920 to the present, unravelling a thrilling tale of love, betrayal and redemption against the backdrop of natural disasters and fallen empires. Written in vivid technicolour, with an electric daughter-grandmother relationship at its heart, Fragile Monsters explores what happens when secrets fester through the generations.
As they will learn, in a place ravaged by floods, it is only a matter of time before the bones of the past emerge.
Love in Case of Emergency by Daniela Krien (date may have changed from 6th April)
What happens when women fulfill their roles as wives, mothers, friends, lovers, sisters, and daughters? What comes next? Award-winning author Daniela Krien explores these questions in this powerful novel of friendship, love, loss, and everything in between.
Krien explores the hopes, ambitions, challenges, and disappointments that shape modern women’s lives, offering intimate insights on motherhood and childlessness, bereavement, infidelity, and divorce. At the heart of the novel are five very different women who find themselves hurtling towards a new way of living without knowing quite how they got there.
Hardback & eBook releases
London Burning by Anthony Quinn
London, Burning is a novel about the end of the 1970s, and the end of an era. It concerns a nation divided against itself, a government trembling on the verge of collapse, a city fearful of what is to come, and a people bitterly suspicious of one another. In other words, it is also a novel about now.
Vicky Tress is a young policewoman on the rise who becomes involved in a corruption imbroglio with CID. Hannah Strode is an ambitious young reporter with a speciality for skewering the rich and powerful. Callum Conlan is a struggling Irish academic and writer who falls in with the wrong people. While Freddie Selves is a hugely successful theatre impresario stuck deep in a personal and political mire of his own making. These four characters, strangers at the start, happen to meet and affect the course of each other’s lives profoundly.
The story plots an unpredictable path through a city choked by strikes and cowed by bomb warnings. It reverberates to the sound of alarm and protest, of police sirens, punk rock, street demos, of breaking glass and breaking hearts in dusty pubs. As the clock ticks down towards a general election old alliances totter and the new broom of capitalist enterprise threatens to sweep all before it. It is funny and dark, violent but also moving.
The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams
In 1901, the word ‘bondmaid’ was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it.
Motherless and irrepressibly curious, Esme spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of lexicographers are gathering words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary.
Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day, she sees a slip containing the word ‘bondmaid’ flutter to the floor unclaimed.
Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women’s experiences often go unrecorded. She begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.
The Bohemians by Jasmin Darznik
A dazzling novel of one of America’s most celebrated photographers, Dorothea Lange, exploring the wild years in San Francisco that awakened her career-defining grit, compassion, and daring.
“To take a truly good picture you have to learn to see, not just look.”
In 1918, a young and bright-eyed Dorothea Lange steps off the train in San Francisco, where a disaster kick-starts a new life. Her friendship with Caroline Lee, a vivacious, straight-talking Chinese American with a complicated past, gives Dorothea entrée into Monkey Block, an artists’ colony and the bohemian heart of the city. Dazzled by Caroline and her friends, Dorothea is catapulted into a heady new world of freedom, art, and politics. She also finds herself unexpectedly falling in love with the brilliant but troubled painter Maynard Dixon. Dorothea and Caroline eventually create a flourishing portrait studio, but a devastating betrayal pushes their friendship to the breaking point and alters the course of their lives.
The Bohemians captures a glittering and gritty 1920s San Francisco, with a cast of unforgettable characters, including cameos from such legendary figures as Mabel Dodge Luhan, Frida Kahlo, Ansel Adams, and D. H. Lawrence. A vivid and absorbing portrait of the past, it is also eerily resonant with contemporary themes, as anti-immigration sentiment, corrupt politicians, and a devastating pandemic bring tumult to the city–and the gift of friendship and the possibility of self-invention persist against the ferocious pull of history.
As Dorothea sheds her innocence, her purpose is awakened and she grows into the figure we know from history–the artist whose iconic Depression-era photographs like “Migrant Mother” broke the hearts and opened the eyes of a nation.
The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin
August 1939: London prepares for war as Hitler’s forces sweep across Europe. Grace Bennett has always dreamed of moving to the city, but the bunkers and blackout curtains that she finds on her arrival were not what she expected. And she certainly never imagined she’d wind up working at Primrose Hill, a dusty old bookshop nestled in the heart of London.
Through blackouts and air raids as the Blitz intensifies, Grace discovers the power of storytelling to unite her community in ways she never dreamed—a force that triumphs over even the darkest nights of the war.
Into the Woods by David Mark
If you go into the woods, you’re in for a dark surprise.
Thirty years ago, three girls followed a stranger into the woods. Only two returned. The surviving pair have never been able to remember what happened or what the fate of the third girl was. Local rumours talk of hippies and drugs and mystic rituals, but no one has learned the truth.
This story is just what Rowan Blake needs. He’s in debt, his journalistic career is in tatters – as well as his damaged body – and he’s retreated to the Lake District to write. Yet even Rowan isn’t prepared for the evil he is about to unearth, for the secrets that have been buried in that wood for far too long…
Handle with Care by Ann Devine
The triumphant second novel in the hilarious and heart-warming Ann Devine series, from the bestselling author of the Irish Mammies books. Just once, Ann Devine would like life to be straightforward. But there’s just too much drama knocking about for that to happen. Ann’s family is proving a handful at the moment. Her mother moves in after having a fall, her sister Ger is off ‘finding herself’ in India leaving Ann to look after her teenage, wide a-woke, niece Freya. Her daughter Jennifer is dealing with a love triangle that involves her mother-in-law-to-be. It’s all far from simple. Now Rory, her youngest, has set his sights on a future as a local TD and it’s all Ann can do not to box him up and post him off to the backend of wherever is furthest away from his local ‘mentor’, politician, and all-round chancer Patsy Duggan. Just to save him from himself. Of course, that’s not even an option because now the post office is closing down. The locals are up in arms, but what do the powers-that-be care about rural Ireland? Without really meaning to be, Ann finds herself in the thick of things – and things are getting dodgier by the minute. She only wanted to save the village, but sometimes even saviours need saving from themselves.
The Testimony of Alys Twist by Suzannan Dunn
1553: deeply-divided England rejoices as the rightful heir, Mary Tudor, sweeps to power on a tide of populist goodwill. But the people should have been careful what they wished for: Mary’s mission is to turn back time to an England of old. Within weeks there is widespread rebellion in favour of her heir, her half-sister, Princess Elizabeth, who is everything that Mary isn’t. From now on, Elizabeth will have to use her considerable guile just to stay alive.
Orphan Alys Twist has come a long way – further than she ever dared hope – to work as a laundress at the royal wardrobe. There she meets Bel, daughter of the Queen’s tailor, and seems to have arrived at her own happy ending.
But in a world where appearance is everything, a laundress is in a unique position to see the truth of people’s lives, and Alys is pressed into service as a spy in the errant princess’s household. Alys herself, though, is hardly whiter than white, and when the princess is arrested she must make a dangerous choice.
The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon by Sarah Steele
To unravel that long-lost summer, she had to follow the thread…
Florence Connelly is broken hearted. Her marriage has collapsed under the weight of the loss she shares with her husband, and her beloved grandmother has just died. Even the joy she found in dressmaking is gone.
But things change when Flo opens a box of vintage 1960s dress patterns found inside her grandmother’s wardrobe. Inside each pattern packet is a fabric swatch, a postcard from Europe and a photograph of a mysterious young woman, Nancy Moon, wearing the hand-made dress.
Flo discovers that Nancy was a distant relation who took the boat train to Paris in 1962 and never returned. With no one to stay home for, Flo decides to follow Nancy’s thread. She unravels an untold story of love and loss in her family’s past. And begins to stitch the pieces of her own life back together.
Pretty Things by Janelle Brown
Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. But when her mom falls ill, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, running her most dangerous scam yet.
Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer – but behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy.
After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family’s sprawling mountain estate, a mansion of dark secrets. It’s there that her path collides with Nina’s and gives way to a winter of desire and aspiration, duplicity and revenge.
Paperback & eBook releases
The Tuscan House by Angela Petch
Corbello, Italy, 1947. A woman and a little boy stagger into the ruins of an old house deep in the forest, wild roses overwhelming the crumbling terracotta walls. Since the war, nowhere has been safe. But they both freeze in shock when a voice calls out from the shadows…
For young mother Fosca Sentino, accepting refuge from reluctant British war hero Richard – in Tuscany to escape his tragic past – is the only way to keep her little family safe. She once risked everything to spy on Nazi commanders and pass secret information to the resistenza. But after a heartbreaking betrayal, Fosca’s best friend Simonetta disappeared without trace. The whole community was torn apart, and now Fosca and her son are outcasts.
Wary of this handsome stranger at first, Fosca slowly starts to feel safe as she watches him play with her son in the overgrown orchard. But her fragile peace is shattered the moment a silver brooch is found in the garden, and she recognises it as Simonetta’s…
Fosca has always suspected that another member of the resistenza betrayed her. With Richard by her side, she must find out if Simonetta is still alive, and clear her own name. But how did the brooch end up at the house? And with a traitor hiding in the village, willing to
Nora by Nuala O’Connor (eBook 10th, p/b 12th)
When Nora Barnacle, a twenty-year-old from Galway working as a maid at Finn’s Hotel, meets young James Joyce on a summer’s day in Dublin, she is instantly attracted to him, natural and daring in his company. But she cannot yet imagine the extraordinary life they will share together. All Nora knows is she likes her Jim enough to leave behind family and home, in search of a bigger, more exciting life.
As their family grows, they ricochet from European city to city, making fast friends amongst the greatest artists and writers of their age as well as their wives, and are brought high and low by Jim’s ferocious ambition. But time and time again, Nora is torn between their intense and unwavering desire for each other and the constant anxiety of living hand-to-mouth, often made worse by Jim’s compulsion for company and attention. So, while Jim writes and drinks his way to literary acclaim, Nora provides unflinching support and inspiration, sometimes at the expense of her own happiness, and especially at that of their children, Giorgio and Lucia. Eventually, together, they achieve some longed-for security and stability, but it is hard-won and imperfect to the end.
The Truth and Other Hidden Things by Lea Geller
On the same day Bells Walker learns that her IUD has failed, her husband, Harry, is denied tenure at his Manhattan university. So Bells, Harry, their two adolescent children, and her baby bump move to New York’s Hudson Valley, where Harry has landed a job at Dutchess College in the town of Pigkill.
When the farm-to-table utopia Bells envisioned is anything but, she turns to the blogosphere. Under the pen name the County Dutchess, she anonymously dishes about life in Pigkill, detailing the activities of hypercompetitive parents and kombucha-drinking hipsters. Suddenly, Bells has a place to say all the things she’s been secretly thinking about being a wife and mother. As Bells turns the focus of her blog on her new neighbors, her readership continues to grow, but her scandalous posts hit closer to home: she puts Harry’s new job in jeopardy, derails her children’s lives, and risks the one real friendship she’s built.
When Bells uncovers scandals right under her nose, the Dutchess goes viral, and soon everyone is asking, Who is the County Dutchess? Now Bells has to ask herself if it’s worth losing the people closest to her to finally feel noticed by everyone else.
In a Book Club Far Away by Tif Marcelo
Regina Castro, Adelaide Wilson-Chang, and Sophie Walden usedto be best friends. As Army wives at Fort East, they bonded during their book club and soon became inseparable. But when an unimaginable betrayal happened amongst the group, the friendship abruptly ended, and they haven’t spoken since.
That’s why, eight years later, Regina and Sophie are shocked when they get a call for help from Adelaide. Adelaide’s husband is stationed abroad, and without any friends or family near her new home of Alexandria, Virginia, she has no one to help take care of her young daughter when she has to undergo emergency surgery. For the sake of an innocent child, Regina and Sophie reluctantly put their differences aside to help an old friend.
As the three women reunite, they must overcome past hurts and see if there’s any future for their friendship. Featuring Tif Marcelo’s signature “enchanting prose” (Amy E. Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake) and the books that brought them together in the first place, In a Book Club Far Away honors the immense power of female friendship and how love can defy time, distance, and all old wounds.
Leonora in the Morning Light by Michaela Carter
1940. A train carrying exiled German prisoners from a labor camp arrives in southern France. Within moments, word spreads that Nazi capture is imminent, and the men flee for the woods, desperate to disappear across the Spanish border. One stays behind, determined to ride the train until he reaches home, to find a woman he refers to simply as “her.”
1937. Leonora Carrington is a twenty-year-old British socialite and painter dreaming of independence when she meets Max Ernst, an older, married artist whose work has captivated Europe. She follows him to Paris, into the vibrant revolutionary world of studios and cafes where rising visionaries of the Surrealist movement like Andre Breton, Pablo Picasso, Lee Miller, Man Ray, and Salvador Dali are challenging conventional approaches to art and life. Inspired by their freedom, Leonora begins to experiment with her own work, translating vivid stories of her youth onto canvas and gaining recognition under her own name. It is a bright and glorious age of enlightenment—until the shadow of war looms over Europe and headlines emerge denouncing Max and his circle as “degenerates,” leading to his arrest and imprisonment. Left along as occupation spreads throughout the countryside, Leonora battles terrifying circumstances to survive, reawakening past demons that threaten to consume her.
As Leonora and Max embark on remarkable journeys together and apart, the full story of their tumultuous and passionate love affair unfolds, spanning time and borders as they seek to reunite and reclaim their creative power in a world shattered by war. When their paths cross with Peggy Guggenheim, an art collector and socialite working to help artists escape to America, nothing will be the same.
Based on true events and historical figures, Leonora in the Morning Light is an unforgettable story of love, art, and destiny that restores a twentieth-century heroine to her rightful place in our collective imagination.
The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak
How do you start a new chapter of your life when you haven’t closed the book on the previous one?
Eighteen months ago, Autumn Divac’s husband went missing. Her desperate search has yielded no answers, and she can’t imagine moving forward without him. But for the sake of their two teenage children, she has to try.
Autumn takes her kids home for the summer to the charming beachside town where she was raised. She seeks comfort working alongside her mother and aunt at their bookshop, only to learn that her daughter is facing a huge life change and her mother has been hiding a terrible secret for years. And when she runs into the boy who stole her heart in high school, old feelings start to bubble up again. Is she free to love him, or should she hold out hope for her husband’s return? She can only trust her heart…and hope it won’t lead her astray.
Condemned by R C Bridgestock
An old house. A fire. Two corpses… DI Charley Mann returns in this gripping crime thriller.
West Yorkshire DI Charley Mann is called for what seems a routine job. Prior to demolition a deserted manor house appears to have been the target of an arson attack.
But something isn’t right.
The house has a dark history – and a dark present. When the remains of two bodies are discovered hidden inside, it soon emerges they were murdered decades apart. Who are they? What are their connections to the house? Why were they killed? And what is the connection to the fire? Amongst the ashes, Charley is soon drawn into a web of deceit and violent plots.
The ghosts of the past can be all too real. Face them at your peril, because what goes around, comes around…
The Lake Pavilion by Ann Bennett
India 1935: Amelia Collins, a missionary’s daughter, left destitute by the death of her parents, leaves their home in the Himalayan foothills to find work in Darjeeling. There she meets District Officer Reginald Holden, a powerful older man, who spirits her away from poverty and prejudice to start a new life as his wife in Ganpur.
Amelia soon forms a bond with Reginald’s young son, Arthur, and resumes missionary work in the villages around Ganpur. There, she discovers a pavilion on a lake where the wives of maharajahs once bathed, now abandoned and cloaked in mystery.
When the Indian independence movement flares in Ganpur and Reginald struggles to contain it, Amelia’s world begins to fall apart as she uncovers the shattering truths he has been keeping from her.
Decades later, when Kate Hamilton inherits a rambling country house from her great aunt Amelia, she returns to the village in Buckinghamshire that she left as a teenager in 1944. Sorting through long-hidden papers, she begins to unearth Amelia’s secrets from her years in British India.
But Kate is harbouring a secret of her own – a devastating betrayal from that last summer of the war. She has lived in the shadow of that day ever since, but Kate is convinced that unlocking the truth about Amelia’s Indian past will hold the key to her own future…
Chasing the Italian Dream by Jo Thomas
A summer escape she’ll never forget . . .
Lucia has worked hard as a lawyer in Wales, aiming for a big promotion she hopes will shortly come her way. Finally taking a well-earned break at her grandparents’ house in southern Italy, the sunshine, lemon trees and her nonna’s mouth-watering cooking make her instantly feel at home.
But she’s shocked to learn that her grandfather is retiring from the beloved family pizzeria and will need to sell. Lucia can’t bear the thought of the place changing hands – especially when she discovers her not-quite-ex-husband Giacomo wants to take it over!
Then bad news from home forces Lucia to re-evaluate what she wants from life. Is this her chance to carry on the family tradition and finally follow her dreams?
Trick of the Light by Fiona McCallum
The old saying goes: ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’. But what if your problem is secret?
Erica, newly widowed, is devastated to discover her venture capitalist husband left their finances in ruins. Determined to save her home while protecting her teenage daughters, she vows to get back on her feet without letting them, or anyone else, know the truth.
When her girls head off on a long-planned overseas adventure, Erica focuses on her much-loved job behind a makeup counter to keep her emotionally and financially afloat – although she is troubled by a peculiar encounter at work.
Then she loses her job, the darkness beckons and Erica’s life spirals downwards, further disturbed by strange occurrences in her house. Missing objects. Stopped clocks. Noises in the night. Should she doubt her very sanity? Can she swallow her pride and make herself reach out to her friends in time? Does she have a choice?
My Husband’s Girlfriend by Sheryl Browne
She told my little boy a secret and now he’s gone…
Tucking her little boy Ollie into bed one night, Sarah notices his beloved teddy bear, which she bought him when he was born, is missing and in its place is a new toy given to him by her ex-husband’s new girlfriend, Laura. When she asks Ollie about it, he begins to shift uncomfortably, before whispering ‘Laura told me a big secret and she said I can never tell you’.
Sarah’s heart sinks. But when she raises her concerns, nobody wants to listen. To everyone else, Laura is the perfect stepmother and Sarah is just the jealous ex-wife. But Sarah knew the moment she met Laura she couldn’t trust her, from her overly perfect stepmother act to the way she evaded questions about her own history.
Soon Ollie is asking to spend more time with his dad and Laura, and shrinking away from Sarah. Then, when she calls to him in the garden one day, Ollie doesn’t answer back. The garden is silent. Ollie’s sandpit is empty. Ollie has disappeared.
After the One by Cass Lester
What happens… after The One?
April 16th is always one of Charley’s worst days of the year.
It’s her husband’s birthday, a painful reminder of his death four years ago.
So naturally, her car breaks down.
She nearly gets run over trying to catch the bus.
And then she’s made redundant.
Her friends see the redundancy as a chance for her to start again and live the life she always wanted, but since being widowed Charley has clung to familiarity and avoided change like the plague. Then, out of the blue, her mother-in-law Pam pitches up in need of a place to stay after walking out on her 40-year marriage.
Together, Charley and Pam find themselves at a crossroad. It’s not easy to move on after The One, but they can’t stand still forever.
Everything Happens for a Reason by Katie Allen
Mum-to-be Rachel did everything right, but it all went wrong. Her son, Luke, was stillborn and she finds herself on maternity leave without a baby, trying to make sense of her loss.
When a misguided well-wisher tells her that “everything happens for a reason”, she becomes obsessed with finding that reason, driven by grief and convinced that she is somehow to blame. She remembers that on the day she discovered her pregnancy, she’d stopped a man from jumping in front of a train, and she’s now certain that saving his life cost her the life of her son.
Desperate to find him, she enlists an unlikely ally in Lola, an Underground worker, and Lola’s seven-year-old daughter, Josephine, and eventually tracks him down, with completely unexpected results… Both a heart-wrenchingly poignant portrait of grief and a gloriously uplifting and disarmingly funny story of a young woman’s determination, Everything Happens for a Reason is a bittersweet, life- affirming read and, quite simply, unforgettable.
Chasing the Sun by Judy Leigh
Molly’s seventieth birthday comes as something of a shock. The woman in the mirror certainly looks every day of those seventy years, but inside Molly feels she still has so much more living left to do. Widowed and living alone with her cat Crumper, Molly fears she is slipping into a cliché of old age.
When Molly’s sister Nell appears on her doorstep, distraught that her husband of more than forty years, Phil, has left her for a younger lover, the women decide to seize the day. By the morning, flights are booked, bags are packed, and off they go for an adventure in Spain.
The sun, the sea, the new friends and the freedom are just the tonic for broken hearts and flagging souls. But even Spain isn’t enough to revive Molly’s spirit. A solo journey to Mexico is booked as Molly continues to chase the sun and to chase happiness. Will she find what she’s looking for in Mexico, or will she discover that true contentment can’t be found on a map, but it might just be found in a new flame.
Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Flora Mancini has been happily married for more than twenty years. But everything she thought she knew about herself, her marriage, and her relationship with her best friend, Margot, is upended when she stumbles upon an envelope containing her husband’s wedding ring—the one he claimed he lost one summer when their daughter, Ruby, was five.
Flora and Julian struggled for years, scraping together just enough acting work to raise Ruby in Manhattan and keep Julian’s small theater company—Good Company—afloat. A move to Los Angeles brought their first real career successes, a chance to breathe easier, and a reunion with Margot, now a bona fide television star. But has their new life been built on lies? What happened that summer all those years ago? And what happens now?
The Best of Friends by Alex Day
Susannah is rebuilding her life…
Susannah has had a tough year. After a knotty divorce, moving to a small town in the south of England with her two sons is exactly the fresh start she needs.
Charlotte seems to have it all…
Charlotte is delighted when Susannah arrives in town. Charlotte may appear to have the perfect husband, the perfect family, the perfect house, but she needs someone to confide in.
But one of them is not who they pretend to be…
The two women instantly become best friends. But underneath the surface, secrets, lies and betrayals are all hiding. And when the truth comes out, not everyone will live to tell the tale…
Is This How We Are Human by Louise Beech
When the mother of an autistic young man hires a call girl to make him happy, three lives collide in unexpected and moving ways … changing everything.
Sebastian James Murphy is twenty years, six months and two days old. He loves swimming, fried eggs and Billy Ocean. Sebastian is autistic. And lonely.
Veronica wants her son Sebastian to be happy … she wants the world to accept him for who he is. She is also thinking about paying a professional to give him what he desperately wants.
Violetta is a high-class escort, who steps out into the night thinking only of money. Of her nursing degree. Paying for her dad’s care. Getting through the dark.
When these three lives collide – intertwine in unexpected ways – everything changes. For everyone.
The Elephant of Belfast by S Kirk Walsh
Inspired by true events, this vivid and moving story of a young woman zookeeper and the elephant she’s compelled to protect through the German blitz of Belfast during WWll speaks to not only the tragedy of the times, but also to the ongoing sectarian tensions that still exist in Northern Ireland today—perfect for readers of historical and literary fiction alike.
Belfast, October 1940. Twenty-year-old zookeeper Hettie Quin arrives at the city docks in time to meet her new charge: an orphaned three-year-old Indian elephant named Violet. As Violet adjusts to her new solitary life in captivity and Hettie mourns the recent loss of her sister and the abandonment of her father, new storm clouds gather. A world war rages, threatening a city already reeling from escalating tensions between British Loyalists and those fighting for a free and unified Ireland.
The relative peace is shattered by air-raid sirens on the evening of Easter Tuesday 1941. Over the course of the next five hours, hundreds of bombs rain down upon Belfast, claiming almost a thousand lives and decimating the city. Dodging the debris and carnage of the Luftwaffe attack, Hettie runs to the zoo to make sure that Violet is unharmed. The harrowing ordeal and ensuing aftermath set the pair on a surprising path that highlights the indelible, singular bond that often brings mankind and animals together during horrifying times.
OK folks, that’s it for another week, anything take your fancy?
See you – same time, same place next week.