The Valentine House
By 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.
By 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.
By 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.
By 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.
By 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.
By 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
A Voice in the Dark
By 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.
By Jodi Picoult
The explosive SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER from the author of MY SISTER'S KEEPER and THE STORYTELLER.Delia Hopkins has led a charmed life. Raised in rural New Hampshire by her widowed father Andrew, she now has a young daughter, a handsome fiancé, and a job she loves, finding missing persons.But as Delia plans her wedding, she is plagued by flashbacks of a life she can't recall. And then a policeman knocks at her door, and her world fractures into something unrecognisable . . .
V.I. for Short
By 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 . . .
The Venetian Contract
By 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.
By Julian Stockwin
Commander 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.
The Valley of Horses
By 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.
By 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 ...
The Violins of Saint-Jacques
By Patrick Leigh Fermor
On an Aegean island one summer, an English traveller meets an enigmatic elderly Frenchwoman. He is captivated by a painting she owns of a busy Caribbean port overlooked by a volcano and, in time, she shares the story of her youth there in the early twentieth century. Set in the tropical luxury of the island of Saint-Jacques, hers is a tale of romantic intrigue and decadence amongst the descendents of slaves and a fading French aristocracy. But on the night of the annual Mardi Gras ball, catastrophe overwhelms the island and the world she knew came to an abrupt and haunting end. The Violins of Saint-Jacques captures the unforeseen drama of forces beyond human control. Originally published in 1953, it was immediately hailed as a rare and exotic sweep of colour across the drab monochrome of the post-war years, and it has lost nothing of its original flavour.
By Simon Clark
Lazarus Deep is a lake that sits like a blot of darkness in the valley. Eighteen-year-old Dylan Adams is on the verge of leaving his hometown for a life in the city, but his plans are dramatically changed when his old school friend Luke Spencer goes missing. A search finds nothing. All anyone knows is that he was last seen at Lazarus Deep. Then, in the dead of night, Dylan's old friend comes calling. But he's not the same boy that everyone once knew.Once more David Leppington, Bernice Mochardi and Electra Charnwood are drawn together to face the vampiric creatures that are Nosferatu: the undead. The desolate North Yorkshire Moors have held their secret for more than a thousand years. Now it is the turn of Lazarus Deep.
By Robert Girardi
Victim of the Aurora
By Thomas Keneally
In the waning years of the Edwardian era, a group of gentlemen wait out a raging blizzard in the perpetual darkness of the Antarctic winter, poised for a strike at the South Pole. As the storm lifts, a new challenge faces Captain Sir Eugene Stewart - to discover which of his twenty-five carefully chosen men has become a murderer. The quest for adventure has become a quest for justice.
By Michael Harrison