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Varina

By Charles Frazier
Authors:
Charles Frazier
The new novel from the number one bestselling author of Cold Mountain - a stunning portrait of the devastation left by the American Civil War, as seen through the eyes of a woman who played a part at the heart of it.Sooner or later, history asks: which side were you on?'Riveting...this is a sharp, evocative novel' - Publishers Weekly'Beneath the chilling, photogenic story, the writing remains beautiful' - IndependentWith her marriage prospects ruined in the wake of her father's financial decline, teenage Varina Howell decides her best option is to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects a life of security as a Mississippi landowner. When he instead pursues a career in politics and is appointed President of the Confederacy, it puts Varina at the white-hot centre of one of the darkest moments in American history - culpable regardless of her intentions.As the Confederacy prepares to surrender and she finds herself friendless and alone, Varina and her children escape Richmond. With her marriage in tatters and the country divided, they travel south, now fugitives with 'bounties on their heads, an entire nation in pursuit'.
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The Valentine House

By Emma Henderson
Authors:
Emma Henderson
'Henderson's Grace Williams Says It Loud was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and this more than matches it.'Elizabeth Buchan, Daily MailIn June 1914, Sir Anthony Valentine, a keen mountaineer, arrives with his family to spend the summer in their chalet, high in the French Alps. There, for the first time, fourteen-year-old foundling Mathilde starts work as one of the 'uglies' - village girls employed as servants and picked, it is believed, to ensure they don't catch Sir Anthony's roving eye. For Mathilde it is the start of a life-long entanglement with les anglais - strange, exciting people, far removed from the hard grind of farming. Except she soon finds the Valentines are less carefree than they appear, with a curiously absent daughter no one talks about. It will be decades - disrupted by war, accidents and a cruel betrayal - before Mathilde discovers the key to the mystery. And in 1976, the year Sir Anthony's great-great grandson comes to visit, she must decide whether to use it. Vividly evoking the dramatic landscape that so enthrals the Valentines, this deeply involving, intriguing novel tells the story of an English family through the generations and a memorable French woman, whose lives seem worlds apart yet which become inextricably connected.
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Voices in Summer

By Rosamunde Pilcher, Jilly Bond
Authors:
Rosamunde Pilcher
Read by:
Jilly Bond
One of Rosamunde Pilcher's classic novels.Laura, newly married and ever conscious she may be living in the shadow of her husband Alec's first wife, decides to take a holiday with his family in Cornwall. Through the long hot summer days she is slowly charmed by the beautiful old house and the people she learns to know and love. In time her uneasy spirit is soothed by the sparkling brilliant sea and her restless heart finally calmed. But is this newfound tranquility too good to be true? For with the arrival of an anonymous letter, one accusing her of having an affair, Laura's world is thrown into turmoil. (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
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Vesuvius by Night

By Lindsey Davis, Jonathan Keeble
Authors:
Lindsey Davis
Read by:
Jonathan Keeble
In the late August of AD 79 the inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum are going about their normal business in the late summer heat. Two of them have a room share arrangement: Nonius, scrounger, thief and failed pimp works by night and sleeps by day; Larius, the fresco painter with dreams of artistic greatness, does the opposite. When just after midday the summit of Vesuvius disappears in a vast volcanic ash cloud, their lives will change forever. While one sets about looting rapidly emptying homes the other desperately tries to save his family from destruction.Lindsey Davis brings alive one the greatest catastrophes in human history in this gripping audiobook, poignantly evoking the struggle for life in the cities beneath the volcano.(P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
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The Vatican Princess

By C W Gortner
Authors:
C W Gortner
Infamy is no accident. It is a poison in our blood. It is the price of being a Borgia.Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias became Italy's most ruthless and powerful family, electrifying and terrorizing their 15th-century Renaissance world. To this day, Lucrezia Borgia, the Pope's beautiful daughter, is known as one of history's most notorious villainesses, accused of incest and luring men to doom with her arsenal of poison. Was she the heartless seductress of legend? Or was she an unsuspecting pawn in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and her own survival? From her pampered childhood in the palaces of Rome to her ill-fated, scandalous marriages and complex relationship with her adored father and her brothers, this is the dramatic, untold story of a papal princess whose courage led her to overcome the fate imposed on her by her Borgia blood.
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  • The Vorrh

    By Brian Catling
    Authors:
    Brian Catling
    'A benchmark not just for imaginative writing but for the human imagination in itself...Read this book, and marvel.' Alan Moore'A work of genius.' Iain Sinclair'Brian Catling is simply a genius. His writing is so extraordinary it hurts.' Terry GilliamIn the tradition of China Miéville, Michael Moorcock and Alasdair Gray, B. Catling's The Vorrh is literary dark fantasy which wilfully ignores boundaries, crossing over into surrealism, magic-realism, horror and steampunk.In B. Catling's twisting, poetic narrative, Bakelite robots lie broken - their hard shells cracked by human desire - and an inquisitive Cyclops waits for his keeper and guardian, growing in all directions. Beyond the colonial city of Essenwald lies the Vorrh, the forest which sucks souls and wipes minds. There, a writer heads out on a giddy mission to experience otherness, fallen angels observe humanity from afar, and two hunters - one carrying a bow carved from his lover, the other a charmed Lee-Enfield rifle - fight to the end. Thousands of miles away, famed photographer Eadweard Muybridge attempts to capture the ultimate truth, as rifle heiress Sarah Winchester erects a house to protect her from the spirits of her gun's victims.s.
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    Vagabond

    By Gerald Seymour
    Authors:
    Gerald Seymour
    It was a dirty job in a dirty war.Danny Curnow, known in the army family by his call sign, Vagabond, ran agents, informers. Played God with their lives and their deaths, and was the best at his job - and he quit when the stress overwhelmed him.Now he lives in quiet isolation and works as a guide to tourists visiting the monuments and cemeteries of an earlier, simpler, conflict on Normandy's D-Day beaches.Until the call comes from an old boss, Bentinick.Violence in Northern Ireland is on the rise again. Weapons are needed for a new campaign. Gaby Davies of MI5, sparky and ambitious, runs the double agent Ralph Exton, who will be the supposed middle man in brokering an arms deal with a Russian contact, Timofey.The covert world of deception and betrayal was close to destroying Danny across the Irish Sea. Fifteen years later the stakes are higher, the risks greater, and there is an added agenda on the table. If he wants to survive, Danny will have to prove, to himself, that he has not softened, that he is as hard and ruthless as before.VAGABOND shows Gerald Seymour writing at the top of his powers and returning to the territory of some of his greatest bestsellers, Harry's Game, Field of Blood and The Journeyman Tailor.
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    The Virgins

    By Pamela Erens
    Authors:
    Pamela Erens
    'Erens brilliantly captures the dark side of adolescence . . . On a par with the likes of Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides' Independent'Flawlessly executed and irrefutably true' John Irving'A must for fans of Nabokovian tragedy' Irish TatlerThe events of 1979-80 reverberate around the campus of Auburn Academy and linger many years later in the mind of narrator Bruce Bennett-Jones. Aviva Rossner and Seung Jung are an unlikely couple at the elite East Coast boarding school and are not shy in flaunting their newly discovered sexuality. Their blossoming relationship is watched with envy and fascination by Bruce and other classmates, who believe their liaison to be one of pure, unadulterated passion and pleasure.But nothing is what it seems, and as Aviva and Seung struggle to understand themselves and each other, things begin to fall apart. Their ultimate descent into shame and betrayal has disastrous consequences beyond their own lives.
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    The Visitors

    By Rebecca Mascull
    Authors:
    Rebecca Mascull
    Imagine if you couldn't seecouldn't hearcouldn't speak...Then one day somebody took your hand and opened up the world to you.Adeliza Golding is a deaf-blind girl, born in late Victorian England on her father's hop farm. Unable to interact with her loving family, she exists in a world of darkness and confusion; her only communication is with the ghosts she speaks to in her head, who she has christened the Visitors. One day she runs out into the fields and a young hop-picker, Lottie, grabs her hand and starts drawing shapes in it. Finally Liza can communicate.Her friendship with her teacher and with Lottie's beloved brother Caleb leads her from the hop gardens and oyster beds of Kent to the dusty veldt of South Africa and the Boer War, and ultimately to the truth about the Visitors.
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    Visitation Street

    By Ivy Pochoda
    Authors:
    Ivy Pochoda
    Summer in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a blue collar neighbourhood where hipster gourmet supermarkets push against tired housing projects, and the East River opens into the bay. Bored and listless, fifteen-year-old June and Val are looking for some fun. Forget the boys, the bottles, the coded whistles. Val wants to do something wild and a little crazy: take a raft out onto the bay.But out on the water, as the bright light of day gives way to darkness, the girls disappear. Only Val will survive, washed ashore semi-conscious in the weeds.June's shocking disappearance will reverberate in the lives of a diverse cast of Red Hook residents. Fadi, the Lebanese bodega owner, trolls for information about the crime. Cree, just beginning to pull it together after his father's murder, unwittingly makes himself the chief suspect - although an elusive guardian seems to have other plans for him. As Val emerges from the shadow of her missing friend, her teacher Jonathan, Juilliard drop-out and barfly, will be forced to confront a past riddled with tragic sins of omission.In VISITATION STREET, Ivy Pochoda combines intensely vivid prose with breathtaking psychological insight to explore a cast of solitary souls, pulled by family, love, and betrayal, who yearn for a chance to escape, no matter the cost.
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    The Violent Century

    By Lavie Tidhar
    Authors:
    Lavie Tidhar
    'An alternative history tour-de-force. Epic, intense and authentic . . . electric' - Tom Harper, author of Zodiac StationFor seventy years they guarded the British Empire. Oblivion and Fogg, inseparable friends, bound together by a shared fate. Until one night in Berlin, in the aftermath of the Second World War, and a secret that tore them apart.But there must always be an account . . . and the past has a habit of catching up to the present.Now, recalled to the Retirement Bureau from which no one can retire, Fogg and Oblivion must face up to a past of terrible war and unacknowledged heroism - a life of dusty corridors and secret rooms, of furtive meetings and blood-stained fields - to answer one last, impossible question:What makes a hero?*******************Praise for VIOLENT CENTURY:'Vintage Lavie, and also I think his most fully accomplished novel yet. If Nietzche had written an X-Men storyline whilst high on mescaline, it might have read something like VIOLENT CENTURY' - Adam Roberts, author of Jack Glass'A big, ambitious book that manages to deliver' - Glen Mehn'An elegiac espionage adventure that demands a second reading' - Metro'Provides an insight into what it takes to be human, and what can happen when we lay that humanity aside. It's a powerful novel, which will no doubt reward rereading' - Sci-Fi bulletin
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    Vinland

    By George Mackay Brown
    Authors:
    George Mackay Brown
    In his fourth novel, George Mackay Brown takes us to an Orkney torn between its Viking past and its Christian future. Set in the early 11th Century, it tells the story of Ranald Sigmundson, who turns his back on a successful life of political intrigues and battles to design a ship to take him on a journey even greater than the first great voyage of his life, the one to Vinland.
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    Variations

    By Claire Lorrimer
    Authors:
    Claire Lorrimer
    A compelling collection of 15 short stories from the bestselling Claire Lorrimer, perfect for bedtime reading or a quick read on the go.The stories are:The Snake BeltOne in ThreeThe White DovesThe Angel and the Witch or Miss Tansley's Easter PlayTrust MeOnce a YearGoat's LooseThe Patient in Number Twenty-twoComfort and JoyTwo Sides to a CoinOld Toys WantedA True StoryPoor Little Rich GirlProgressThe Garden
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    A Voice in the Dark

    By Claire Lorrimer
    Authors:
    Claire Lorrimer
    Laura Howard, a young English nurse on holiday in Italy, helps the Contessa dell'Alba return to her home after an illness. Laura is befriended by the family and feels herself drawn to Domenico, the Contessa's blind son. To her horror, she suddenly realises that his life is in danger. Enmeshed in a web of intrigue and confusion and unable to find the source of the threats, Laura despairs of her inability to convince the family that they are in mortal danger. Finally aware of her love for Domenico, she tries desperately to uncover the mystery but she soon finds out that her own life is in danger too.
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    Vanishing Acts

    By Jodi Picoult
    Authors:
    Jodi Picoult
    THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER'She is the master of her craft . . . and humanity is what Picoult does best' Sunday TelegraphAndrew Hopkins lovingly raised his daughter Delia on his own, allowing her to believe that they lost Delia's mother in a car accident twenty-seven years ago. But as Delia is preparing herself for the next chapter in her life, a policeman knocks on the door and reveals a terrible secret: that Andrew kidnapped his four-year-old daughter and led Delia's mother to believe she was dead. As he sits behind bars, there is no doubt in anyone's mind that Andrew is guilty. But does that mean that what he did wasn't right?
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    V.I. for Short

    By Sara Paretsky
    Authors:
    Sara Paretsky
    'Grace Notes' sees V.I. delve into her family history after discovering a newfound Italian cousin, Vico. But what does Vico want after all this time? And what danger will it lead to?In 'The Pietro Andromache', V.I.'s friend Lotty Herschel finds herself in hot water when her rival is robbed and killed. Lotty ticks all the right boxes, but who's the real culprit?And in 'Strung Out', V.I. investigates the daughter of an old friend, suspected of murdering her father with a racket string . . .
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    The Venetian Contract

    By Marina Fiorato
    Authors:
    Marina Fiorato
    Like her bestselling THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO, Marina Fiorato's fifth unforgettable historical love story is set in Venice. For fans of Philippa Gregory, Sarah Dunant and Alison Weir.1576. Five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship steals unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers into Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from Constantinople. Within days the city is infected with bubonic plague - and the Turkish Sultan has his revenge.But the ship also holds a secret stowaway - Feyra, a young and beautiful harem doctor fleeing a future as the Sultan's concubine. Only her wits and medical knowledge keep her alive as the plague ravages Venice. In despair the Doge commissions the architect Andrea Palladio to build the greatest church of his career - an offering to God so magnificent that Venice will be saved. But Palladio's own life is in danger too, and it will require all skills of medico Annibale Cason, the city's finest plague doctor, to keep him alive.But what Annibale had not counted on was meeting Feyra, who is now under Palladio's protection, a woman who can not only match his medical skills but can also teach him how to care.
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    Victory

    By Julian Stockwin
    Authors:
    Julian Stockwin
    'Paints a vivid picture of life aboard the mighty ship-of-the-line' - Daily ExpressCommander Thomas Kydd is eager to play his part in thwarting Bonaparte's plans for the invasion of England. Joining Admiral Nelson's command, Kydd and his ship soon find themselves at the heart of the action that leads up to the greatest sea battle in history: Trafalgar. Kydd's journey takes him from false sightings of the enemy and dramatic chases across the Atlantic, to the bloody annihilation of the enemy during the actual battle, and the heroic aftermath.******************What readers are saying about VICTORY'More of the same, please!' - 5 stars'The best Stockwin yet!' - 5 stars'A great read . . . I salute a terrific story teller of that bygone age!' - 5 stars'A masterly retelling of a real hero's tragic demise and a thoroughly enjoyable novel' - 5 stars'A marvelous book' - 5 stars
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  • The Valley of Horses

    By Jean M. Auel
    Authors:
    Jean M. Auel
    Forced to leave the Clan and her young son, Ayla sets out alone to travel the frigid steppes until she finds the valley of horses. Unable to find people like herself, the Cro-Magnons, she settles there and seeks friendship elsewhere. First she adopts a young filly, then a wounded lion cub.But far to the west, two young Cro-Magnon brothers have begun a journey. One of them is Jondalar, whose destiny is bound inextricably with Ayla's.Jean Auel's imaginative reconstruction of pre-historic life, rich in detail of language, culture, myth and ritual, has become a set text in schools and colleges around the world.
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    Vintage

    By Olivia Darling
    Authors:
    Olivia Darling
    They were three women who dared to make it in a man's world.Madeleine Arsenault has prepared for this moment all her life. Grief for her father is second only to her determination to rescue the beloved family Chateau, and prove to her sworn childhood enemy Axel Delaflote that she's got what it takes to run the most successful champagne house in France.Former supermodel Christina Morgan knows she hasn't got what it takes. But she's sure as hell not going to show it. And with the help of her assistant Sam, she'll turn her ex-husband's hobby Californian vineyard into a major player.Kelly Elson would rather drink vodka and coke than champagne. Then she inherits a vineyard and suddenly she's not a chambermaid any more.Swept into a world of feuds, back-stabbing, sabotage and seduction, have they got what it takes to survive? There's more than their reputations at stake ...
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