Published: July 21st, 2022 Publisher: HQ Genre: Mystery, Dark Comedy, Coming-of-Age Story, Urban Fiction Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this poignant, funny and affecting debut. Thank you to HQ for the invitation to take part and the gifted copy of the book.
Wendy is lonely but coping. All nineteen-year-old Wendy wants is to drive the 255 bus around Uddingston with her regulars on board, remember to buy milk when it runs out and just to be okay. After her mum died, there’s nobody to remind her to eat and what to do each day.
And Wendy is ready to step out of her comfort zone. Each week she shows her social worker the progress she’s made, like the coasters she bought to spruce up the place, even if she forgets to make tea. And she even joins a writers’ group to share the stories she writes, like the one about a bullied boy who goes to Mars.
But everything changes when Wendy meets Ginger. A teenager with flaming orange hair, Ginger’s so brave she’s wearing a coat that isn’t even waterproof. For the first time, Wendy has a real best friend. But as they begin the summer of their lives, Wendy wonders if things were simpler before. And that’s before she realizes just how much trouble Ginger is about to get them in…
An unforgettable debut novel from the winner of the Primadonna Prize 2019 which will stay with you long after the last page.
“Ginger and me were best friends that summer, she was the first best friend I’d ever had. I wish we could have stayed that way forever.”
Ginger and Me opens in Polmont Prison with narrator Wendy sure that she will be set free as soon as the mysterious reason she is there is cleared up. When she’s sent back to prison to await her trial after the initial hearing she is shocked and confused. We then jump back to a year earlier. Wendy is living a solitary life following the death of her mother. She drives her bus and goes home, her only visitor is her support worker, Saanvi, who comes by weekly and encourages Wendy to step out of her comfort zone. Following her advice, Wendy befriends Ginger, a teenager she meets on her bus, and joins a local writing group. It’s the happiest she’s ever been and it is all about to spiral into tragedy…
“Things hadn’t gone exactly as planned but still, the bond between us was getting stronger with every meeting. It had taken me a long time to find my soulmate but now that I had, there was no way I was going to mess it up.”
Heartfelt, moving and achingly real, Ginger and Me is an accomplished debut that explores loneliness, grief, friendship, obsession and self-discovery. It claimed my attention quickly, the author holding me in the palm of her hands as she wove her lingering tale. Steadily paced with a suspenseful atmosphere that looms over every page, it is a cornucopia of heartbreak, tragedy and trauma with heart and humour woven in to help bring light to the darkness. And while we know from how it begins that Wendy will end up in prison, we don’t know what led her there, keeping me guessing and adding to the tension which builds to a shocking climax. And that ending! I still have chills.
“She was charismatic and fun, that’s what people forget when they focus on what happened later. I mean, if you read a book and your favourite character did something terrible on the first page, they’d never get the chance to become your favourite character, would they? No, you have to get to know them a bit first, learn what they are and what it is you like about them. Later when they do things you can’t deal with, well, it’s too late because you’re committed to liking them regardless.”
The story is narrated by Wendy, who talks directly to the reader, creating an intimate connection. She is a likeable, quirky and interesting character who is very literal, doesn’t see the world the way others do, and often misses what people mean or is really happening. It gives her an innocence and vulnerability that made me feel protective of her and there were times her lack of self-awareness broke my heart or made me cringe. I wished I could jump into the book and gently explain what was going on to help her avoid embarrassment and heartache. Ginger and Diane are also compelling characters. We only ever see them through Wendy’s eyes yet the author manages to create unique connections between them and the reader too. I felt a particular affection and maternal instinct towards Ginger, who is a troubled and often melancholy teenager who has a terrible home life and much darker problems that Wendy doesn’t quite grasp. I could see how she was desperate to be rescued but there was no one to save her. Elissa Soave took me on an emotional journey alongside these characters that lingers long after turning that final page.
“I think if you read books, it calms you down. And it makes you realise there’s a place for everybody, no matter how weird. It’s like, there’s a whole world out there and no one can stop you from entering, it’s open to anyone who wants to be part of it, even me. “
As a bibliophile, I love a book about books or characters who love books, so the fact that this book had both of those things made me so happy. felt a deeper connection to Wendy because of her love of books and could understand some of her feelings towards Diane as I know that feeling when an author seems to be writing what you’re thinking. All of the references to literature made this an even greater joy to read and made my bookish heart sing.
Funny, dark and poignant, Ginger and Me is a memorable debut you need on your TBR.
TW: Sexual abuse, death of a parent
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Elissa Soave is a Scottish writer. She won the Primadonna Prize 2019 and her debut novel, Ginger and Me, will be published by HQ Stories (HarperCollins) on 21 July 2022.
Elissa’s fiction is set in the domestic but often dangerous world of ordinary people. Her characters tend to be alienated, damaged, and often angry, but their perspective on the world and the way in which they deal with their problems will reassure readers of the resilience of the human spirit.
Welcome to another month packed with exciting new releases. I’ve been counting down to July all year as there are a few of my most anticipated books of the year being released: The House of Fortune, All About Evie, The Museum of Ordinary People, The Family Remains and That Bonesetter Woman.
So here’s the books I’m most anticipating in July:
SYNOPSIS: A stunning feminist reimagining of the life of Joan of Arc – perfect for fans of Cecily, Ariadne and Matrix. *** Girl. Warrior. Heretic. Saint?
France is mired in a losing war against England. Its people are starving. Its king is in hiding. Yet out of the chaos, an unlikely heroine emerges.
Reckless, steel-willed and brilliant, Joan has survived a childhood steeped in both joy and violence to claim an extraordinary – and fragile – position at the head of the French army. The battlefield and the royal court are full of dangers and Joan finds herself under suspicion from all sides – as well as under threat from her own ambition.
With unforgettably vivid characters and propulsive storytelling, Joan is a thrilling epic, a triumph of historical fiction, and a feminist celebration of one remarkable – and remarkably real – woman who left an indelible mark on history.
Published: July 7th Publisher: Picador Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: The sequel to Jessie Burton’s million-copy bestseller The Miniaturist.
In the golden city of Amsterdam, in 1705, Thea Brandt is turning eighteen, and she is ready to welcome adulthood with open arms. At the city’s theatre, Walter, the love of her life, awaits her, but at home in the house on the Herengracht, all is not well – her father Otto and Aunt Nella argue endlessly, and the Brandt family are selling their furniture in order to eat. On Thea’s birthday, also the day that her mother Marin died, the secrets from the past begin to overwhelm the present.
Nella is desperate to save the family and maintain appearances, to find Thea a husband who will guarantee her future, and when they receive an invitation to Amsterdam’s most exclusive ball, she is overjoyed – perhaps this will set their fortunes straight.
And indeed, the ball does set things spinning: new figures enter their life, promising new futures. But their fates are still unclear, and when Nella feels a strange prickling sensation on the back of her neck, she remembers the miniaturist who entered her life and toyed with her fortunes eighteen years ago. Perhaps, now, she has returned for her . . .
The House of Fortune is a glorious, sweeping story of fate and ambition, secrets and dreams, and one young woman’s determination to rule her own destiny.
SYNOPSIS: The superb new novel from the bestselling author of Half A World Away and All the Lonely People.
Still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, Jess is about to do the hardest thing she’s ever done: empty her childhood home so that it can be sold.
But when in the process Jess stumbles across the mysterious Alex, together they become custodians of a strange archive of letters, photographs, curios and collections known as The Museum of Ordinary People.
As they begin to delve into the history of the objects in their care, Alex and Jess not only unravel heartbreaking stories that span generations and continents, but also unearth long buried secrets that lie much closer to home.
Inspired by a box of mementos found abandoned in a skip following a house clearance, The Museum of Ordinary People is a thought-provoking and poignant story of memory, grief, loss and the things we leave behind.
Published: July 7th Publisher: Aria Genre: Literary Fiction, Domestic Fiction
SYNOPSIS: The gripping and heartbreaking second novel by the author of BA Book of the Month and LoveReading Debut of the Month Patience.
She gave you her baby. Now she wants her back.
Nineteen-year-old Michelle has had a tough life, to say the least. Then she gets pregnant. She is convinced she would be a terrible mother but having grown up in care, she cannot bring herself to subject her child to the same fate.
Amelia and her husband have dreamed of having a family for years, but have lost all hope after the worst kind of tragedy. Then they are offered the chance to adopt baby Grace, and it feels like they finally have everything they’ve ever wanted.
But then Michelle decides she wants her daughter back, and it’s up to the courts to decide. What is best for Grace – a mother’s love, or a stable home? Whatever the ruling, one thing is certain: neither woman’s life will ever be the same again…
Listen To Me by Tess Gerritsen (Rizzoli & Isles 13)
Published: July 7th Publisher: Bantam Press Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Crime Series
SYNOPSIS: Rizzoli & Isles return, in the nail-biting new thriller from Sunday Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.
The murder of Sofia Suarez is both gruesome and seemingly senseless. Why would anyone target a respected nurse who was well-liked by her friends and her neighbours? As Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles investigate the baffling case, they discover that Sofia was guarding a dangerous secret — a secret that may have led the killer straight to her door.
Meanwhile, Jane’s watchful mother Angela Rizzoli is conducting an investigation of her own. She may be a grandmother, not a police detective, but she’s savvy enough to know there’s something very strange, perhaps even dangerous, about the new neighbours across the street. The problem is, no one believes her, not even her own daughter.
Immersed in the hunt for Sofia’s killer, Jane and Maura are too busy to pay attention to Angela’s fears. With no one listening to her, and danger mounting in her neighbourhood, Angela just may be forced to take action on her own…
Published: July 7th Publisher: Quercus Books Genre: Gothic Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Literary Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: Amidst the glamour of the French Riviera lies the crumbling façade of Chateau de Sètes, a small slice of France still held by the British aristocracy. But this long since abandoned chateau is now up for sale, and two people are desperate to get their hands on it despite its terrible history.
Summer, 1985: Ruby has stayed at the chateau with her family every summer of her twelve years. It was her favourite place to be, away from the strictures of her formal childhood, but this year uninvited guests have descended, and everything is about to change…
As the intense August heat cloaks the chateau, the adults within start to lose sight of themselves. Old disputes are thrown back and forth, tempers rise, morals loosen, and darkness begins to creep around them all. Ruby and her two young friends soon discover it is best not to be seen or heard as the summer spirals down to one fateful night and an incident that can never be undone…
Summer, 2010: One of the three young girls, now grown and newly widowed, returns to the chateau, and in her fight to free herself from its grip, she uncovers what truly happened that long, dark summer.
With riveting psychological complexity, The Ruins captures the glittering allure of the Mediterranean, and the dark shadows that wait beneath the surface.
SYNOPSIS: A mind-blowing, unputdownable serial killer thriller of a very different kind – perfect for all fans of Mindhunter and Girl A
Twelve-year-old Sophie and her mother, Amelia-Rose, move to London from Massachusetts where they meet the charismatic Matty Melgren, who quickly becomes an intrinsic part of their lives. But as the relationship between the two adults fractures, a serial killer begins targeting young women with a striking resemblance to Amelia-Rose.
When Matty is eventually sent down for multiple murder, questions remain as to his guilt — questions which ultimately destroy both women. Nearly twenty years later, Sophie receives a letter from Battlemouth Prison informing her Matty is dying and wants to meet. It looks like Sophie might finally get the answers she craves. But will the truth set her free — or bury her deeper?
SYNOPSIS: A breathtaking debut novel from an exciting new voice in fiction – coming July 2022!
Nasrin and Sabrina are two sisters, who on the face of things live successful and enviable lives in London and New York. When their father, Shamsur suddenly dies, they rush to be with their mother at the family home and restaurant in Wales, but reluctantly step back into the stifling world of their childhood.
When Shamsur’s will is read, a devastating secret is revealed that challenges all that people thought and loved about him. It also profoundly changes the lives and identities of the sisters, and creates an irreparable family rift…
Moving between London, Wales, New York and Bangladesh, this is an epic family drama that spans over four decades. A story of mothers and daughters, of fathers and daughters, of sisterhood, it is a tale that explores belonging, family and what makes forgiveness and redemption possible.
Published: July 7th Publisher: Riverrun Genre: Literary Fiction, Humorous Fiction
SYNOPSIS: For Alice and Hanna, saint and sinner, growing up is a trial. There is their mother, who takes a divide-and-conquer approach to child-rearing, and their father, who takes an absent one. There is also their older brother Michael, whose disapproval is a force to be reckoned with. There is the catastrophe that is never spoken of, but which has shaped everything.
As adults, Alice and Hanna must deal with disappointments in work and in love as well as increasingly complicated family tensions, and lives that look dismayingly dissimilar to what they’d intended. They must look for a way to repair their own fractured relationship, and they must finally choose their own approach to their dominant mother: submit or burn the house down. And they must decide at last whether life is really anything more than (as Hanna would have it) a tragedy with a few hilarious moments.
From the author of the Waterstones Book of the Month Our Fathers comes a compelling domestic comedy about complex family dynamics, mental health and the intricacies of sibling relationships.
Published: July 7th Publisher: Sceptre Genre: Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: A dazzling, shocking novel that speaks to our times, drawing on the 16th-century case of the witches of Warboys.
Alice Samuel might be old and sharp-tongued, but she’s no fool. Visiting her new neighbours in her Fenland village, she suspects Squire Throckmorton’s household is not as God-fearing as it seems and finds the children troubled. Yet when one of the daughters accuses her of witchcraft, Alice has no inkling of how quickly matters will escalate and fails to grasp the danger she is in.
As evidence mounts against Alice, soon the entire village is swept up in the frenzied persecution of one of their own community.
Exploring a neglected episode of English history to powerful effect, The Bewitching vividly conveys the brutal tribalism that can erupt in a closed society and how victims can be made to believe in their own wickedness.
SYNOPSIS: An enchanting new novella set in the magical world of Sunday Times bestseller Threadneedle.
Set in the Welsh countryside, Rowan is visiting her aunt – Winne the hedge witch – to get back to nature and hone her skills, as well as taking a break from her annoying sisters and enjoying some peace and quiet. However, Rowan soon comes to realise that hedges are a serious business and this isn’t quite the opportunity to rest and escape she thought it might be.
Not only that, but mysterious events around the town are causing panic in the secret magical community and cowans – non magical folk – are starting to take notice.
Can Rowan hone her hedge craft, try to make some friends and solve the riddle of the mysterious goings on, or is magic about to be revealed to the world … or at least Wales?
SYNOPSIS: When Kwasi and his family move abruptly from one side of London to the other, he sets out to explore his new home. Escaping the watchful eyes of Ma and Da and his irrepressible Aunties, he discovers the local high street and a hidden river. Back at the yellow house, he spends hours drawing, distracting himself from thoughts of the new school that awaits.
As the years pass, the high street remains a source of fascination for Kwasi. But behind the ever-changing shopfronts, it’s a different story. Business is slow and times are getting tougher. Widower Rupert has been trying to hold on to the dreams he and his wife poured into their eclectic charity shop, The Chest of Small Wonders, but now he is close to giving up.
One October night, Kwasi finds himself in trouble and takes refuge in the Chest, and an unexpected friendship begins. As he and Rupert unite to save the shop, they each find a sense of belonging. But old patterns are hard to change, and as tensions around them escalate, difficult choices lie ahead.
Lyrical, witty, moving and timely, To Fill a Yellow House is a story of community, friendship and the power of creativity and connection. It is as vibrant and surprising as the city it is set in and marks the arrival of a bright and bold new talent.
SYNOPSIS: Recently widowed actress Casey Fletcher has escaped to her family’s lake house for peace and quiet. She’s been happily losing herself in her thoughts and several bottles of bourbon, until the glamorous couple across the lake catch her attention. They look so perfect – just like Casey and her husband used to be. But is anyone what they seem?
Casey has a detective sat at her kitchen table.
She has a man bound and gagged upstairs.
Casey will uncover dark truths so life-changing that nothing will ever be the same again.
International bestselling sensation Riley Sager is back with his most ambitious thriller yet. With his trademark blend of sharp characters, psychological suspense and gasp-worthy twists, The House Across the Lake will shock readers from the first page to the last.
Published: July 7th Publisher: Harper Collins UK Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Fiction, Police Procedural
SYNOPSIS: ‘Count to three,’ her mother told her, the last words she would ever speak.
An Impossible Crime Scene A wealthy woman is found brutally murdered in the locked fortress of her London mansion. Surrounding her are four mysterious objects, including a book on forensics by Dr Laughton Rees.
An Inescapable Past As a teenager, Laughton’s life was destroyed after witnessing her mother’s brutal murder. Now a mother herself and forensic analyst, she is an expert on how to read crime scenes – but never works live cases.
An Uncatchable Killer Pressured by the lead detective to help with the investigation, Laughton begins to realise that the objects left by the body are not just about the victim, they’re also about her. Her childhood was destroyed by one killer. Now she must catch another before her daughter’s is destroyed too.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
Published: July 14th Publisher: Chatto & Windus Genre: Adventure Fiction
SYNOPSIS: This is not a romance, but it is about love
Two kids meet in a hospital gaming room in 1987. One is visiting her sister, the other is recovering from a car crash. The days and months are long there. Their love of video games becomes a shared world — of joy, escape and fierce competition. But all too soon that time is over, fades from view.
When the pair spot each other eight years later in a crowded train station, they are catapulted back to that moment. The spark is immediate, and together they get to work on what they love – making games to delight, challenge and immerse players, finding an intimacy in digital worlds that eludes them in their real lives. Their collaborations make them superstars.
This is the story of the perfect worlds Sadie and Sam build, the imperfect world they live in, and of everything that comes after success: Money. Fame. Duplicity. Tragedy.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow takes us on a dazzling imaginative quest as it examines the nature of identity, creativity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play and, above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love.
Published: July 19th Publisher: St Martins Press Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense
SYNOPSIS: Things We Do in the Dark is a brilliant new thriller from Jennifer Hillier, the award-winning author of the breakout novels Little Secrets and Jar of Hearts. Paris Peralta is suspected of killing her celebrity husband, and her long-hidden past now threatens to destroy her future.
When Paris Peralta is arrested in her own bathroom–covered in blood, holding a straight razor, her celebrity husband dead in the bathtub behind her–she knows she’ll be charged with murder. But as bad as this looks, it’s not what worries her the most. With the unwanted media attention now surrounding her, it’s only a matter of time before someone from her long hidden past recognizes her and destroys the new life she’s worked so hard to build, along with any chance of a future.
Twenty-five years earlier, Ruby Reyes, known as the Ice Queen, was convicted of a similar murder in a trial that riveted Canada in the early nineties. Reyes knows who Paris really is, and when she’s unexpectedly released from prison, she threatens to expose all of Paris’s secrets. Left with no other choice, Paris must finally confront the dark past she escaped, once and for all.
Because the only thing worse than a murder charge are two murder charges.
Published: July 21st Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK Genre: Historical Fantasy, Saga, Domestic Fiction, Literary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: EVIE EPWORTH IS TEN YEARS OLDER. BUT IS SHE ANY WISER?!
Ten years on from the events of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth, Evie is settled in London and working as a production assistant for the BBC. She has everything she ever dreamed of (a career, a leatherette briefcase, an Ossie Clark poncho) but, following an unfortunate incident involving a Hornsea Pottery mug and Princess Anne, she finds herself having to rethink her future. What can she do? Is she too old to do it? And will it involve cork-soled sandals?
As if this isn’t complicated enough, her disastrous love life leaves her worrying that she may be destined for eternal spinsterdom, concerned, as she is, that ‘even Paul had married Linda by the time he was 26’. Through it all, Evie is left wondering whether a 60s miseducation really is the best preparation to glide into womanhood and face the new challenges (strikes, power cuts, Edward Heath’s teeth) thrown up by the growing pains of the 70s.
With the help of friends, both old and new, she might just find a way through her messy 20s and finally discover who exactly she is meant to be…
Published: July 21st Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Adventure Fiction
SYNOPSIS: It’s usual, they say, for a young person coming to London for the first time to arrive with a head full of dreams. Well, Endurance Proudfoot did not. When she stepped off the coach from Sussex, on a warm and sticky afternoon in the summer of 1757, it never occurred to her that the city would be the place where she’d make her fortune; she was just very annoyed to be arriving there at all.
Meet Endurance Proudfoot, the bonesetter’s daughter: clumsy as a carthorse, with a tactless tongue and a face she’s sure only a mother could love. Durie only wants one thing in life – to follow her father and grandfather into the family business of bonesetting. It’s a physically demanding job, requiring strength, nerves of steel and discretion – and not the job for a woman.
But Durie isn’t like other women. She’s strong and stubborn and determined to get her own way. And she finds that she has a talent at bonesetting – her big hands and lack of grace have finally found their natural calling.
So, when she is banished to London with her sister, who is pretty, delicate and exactly the opposite to Durie in every way, Durie will not let it stop her realising her dreams. And while her sister will become one of the first ever Georgian celebrities, Durie will become England’s first and most celebrated female bonesetter. But what goes up must come down, and Durie’s elevated status may well become her undoing…
Published: July 21st Publisher: Century Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
SYNOPSIS: **Loved THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS? Find out what happened next …**
LONDON. Early morning, June 2019: on the foreshore of the river Thames, a bag of bones is discovered. Human bones.
DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene and quickly sends the bag for forensic examination. The bones are those of a young woman, killed by a blow to the head many years ago.
Also inside the bag is a trail of clues, in particular the seeds of a rare tree which lead DCI Owusu back to a mansion in Chelsea where, nearly thirty years previously, three people lay dead in a kitchen, and a baby waited upstairs for someone to pick her up.
The clues point forward too to a brother and sister in Chicago searching for the only person who can make sense of their pasts.
Four deaths. An unsolved mystery. A family whose secrets can’t stay buried for ever …
Published: July 21st Publisher: Orenda Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Fiction, Urban Fiction, Political Fiction, Religious Fiction
SYNOPSIS: The lives of five strangers collide on a London train carriage, as they become involved in an incident that will change them all forever. A shocking, intensely emotive and wildly original new thriller from Will Carver…
A disillusioned nurse suddenly learns how to care.
An injured young sportsman wakes up find that he can see only in black and white.
A desperate old widower takes too many pills and believes that two angels have arrived to usher him through purgatory.
Two agoraphobic men called Dave share the symptoms of a brain tumour, and frequently waken their neighbour with their ongoing rows.
Separate lives, running in parallel, destined to collide and then explode.
Like the suicide bomber, riding the Circle Line, day after day, waiting for the right time to detonate, waiting for answers to his questions: Am I God? Am I dead? Will I blow up this train?
Shocking, intensely emotive and wildly original, Will Carver’s The Daves Next Door is an explosive existential thriller and a piercing examination of what it means to be human … or not.
Published: July 21st Publisher: HQ Genre: Mystery, Dark Comedy, Humorous Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Urban Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: The debut novel from the winner of the Primadonna Prize – a part-coming of age and part-mystery novel perfect for bookclubs and fans of Joanna Cannon’s The Trouble With Goats and Sheep and Emma Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing
Wendy is nineteen and living alone. All she wants is to drive the 255 bus around Uddingston with her regulars on board, remember to buy milk when it runs out and to just be ok. After her mum passed away, there’s no one to remind Wendy to eat, what to do each day and most importantly to love herself. Every week Wendy proudly shows her social worker Saanvi the progress she’s made, like the coasters she bought to spruce up the place, even if she does forget to offer her a cup of tea.
But Wendy is ready to put herself out there and really live. She joins a writer’s group to share stories she writes including the one about a bullied schoolboy who goes to Mars. The other writers are total amateurs, unlike Diane Weston – a famous local author who likes and sometimes even comments on Wendy’s tweets.
Everything changes on a rainy day when Wendy meets Ginger. A teenager with flaming orange hair, Ginger’s so brave she’s wearing a coat that isn’t even waterproof. For the first time, Wendy has a real best friend. But as they begin the summer of their lives, Wendy wonders if her life would be simpler if she hadn’t met Ginger. And that’s before she realises just how much of a mess Ginger is about to get them in…
My Name is Leon meets Thelma and Louise in this part-coming of age and part-mystery from the winner of the Primadonna Prize 2020.
Published: July 21st Publisher: Riverrun Genre: Literary Fiction, Humorous Fiction, Short Stories
SYNOPSIS: I was told of an older woman who was asked by her granddaughter, ‘Granny, when was the happiest time of your life?’ ‘I don’t know,’ she replied, ‘I may not have had it yet.’
The stories found in this collection explore the sensual worlds of thirteen older women, reframing their intellectual and emotional lives in intimate vignettes that will shock and comfort in equal measure. Susan finds she is attracted to her beautiful young carer, Miffy, and embarks on an intense emotional relationship with her. Nell discovers a cut on her leg, which leads her on to reflections on her past and a young girl in distress she encountered on her honeymoon. Linda perversely seeks out her former lover, Malik, on the banks of the Victoria Falls, despite having left him years ago to return to her settled marriage to Bill. Daisy, who, by a curious stroke of fate, finds herself at the funeral of her former husband, Tim, relives their early life together, his betrayal of her and the anguish of that time. The narrator of ‘Lockdown Fantasm’ enjoys the cool fingers of her government-authorised Fantasm on week one hundred and ninety-three of the long lockdown. In ‘Schopenhauer and I’, Martha, mourning her little dog whom she believes has been killed by the care home staff, works out how to manage a robot designed to monitor her behaviour, and to get her revenge. The narrator of ‘Cat Brushing’ communes with her elegant, soft Siamese cat, reflecting on the sexual pleasures of her past.
In spiky, elegant prose, Jane Campbell ignites the voices of women who are fighting to live on their own terms, energised by their desires and passions, freedoms, integrity and sense of self. Cat Brushing confronts the tragic misconceptions of aging and presents a vivid and transgressive peek into older women’s lives.
SYNOPSIS: Don’t miss this gripping Slayton thriller from #1 bestselling crime author Caroline Mitchell.
It began with the whispers. In the woods, in the park, and always at night. Then they came into town, down dark alleys, and in the shadows. Before long, the black-eyed children were moving closer, until finally there was a knock on the door.
When the couple were found dead with their faces frozen in horror, the children were nowhere to be seen. Until it happened again.
Join Detective Sarah Noble as she investigates another dark case in the town of Slayton.
Perfect for fans of Alex North, Cara Hunter and Stephen King.
Published: July 28th Publisher: Fig Tree Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Domestic Fiction,
SYNOPSIS: It is 2020 and in a time more turbulent than any of us could have ever imagined, a woman is attempting to write a book about prophecy in the ancient world.
Navigating the tightening grip of lockdown, a marriage in crisis, and a ten-year-old son who seems increasingly unreachable, she becomes fixated on our many forms of divination and prediction: on oracles, tarot cards and tea leaves and the questions we have always asked as we scroll and click and rage against our fates.
But in doing so she fails to notice the future creeping into the heart of her own home. For despite our best intentions – our sacrifices and our bargains with the gods – time, certainty and, sometimes, those we love, can still slip away …
Heartbreakingly relatable and achingly funny Delphi is both a snapshot and a time capsule, deftly capturing our pasts, our presents, and how we keep on going in a world that is ever more uncertain and absurd.