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The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Thisis a wonderful and beautifully descriptive novel set in C17th Amsterdam. 18 year old Nella leaves her family in the Dutch countryside and moves to Amsterdam to be with her new husband, Johannes. She finds herself adrift in an unwelcoming household. Johannes is a wealthy businessman who is always at work and has little interest in her while his sister, Marin is a distant and enigmatic character. Johannes buys Nella a miniature replica of their home and encourages her to buy items from a miniaturist to fill it. However, the mysterious miniaturist doesn’t just fulfill the orders requested but sends other items - the signficance of these gradually becomes apparent as household secrets are revealed. This should appeal to fans of Deborah Moggach’s Tulip Fever. I loved it!


Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood
Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood
The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop
The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood

In 1926, Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Hadley are spending summer in Antibes in the company of their friend and Ernest’s lover, Fife. By the end of the summer, Ernest and Hadley’s marriage is over and Fife soon becomes the second Mrs Hemingway. A further two wives follow - the celebrated journalist and war correspondent, Martha Gellhorn and journalist, Mary Welsh. This novel allows each wife to tell their story of the trials and tribulations of living with Ernest - what a rogue! Each wife is sympathetically portrayed and while initially, you resent each one, you soon grow to like them and gain a greater understanding of them. All see something different in Ernest but all are ultimately deceived and betrayed. A thoroughly engaging novel.

 

The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

I am ashamed to say that I knew very little about the conflict in Cyprus in the 1970s so I found this book fascinating. Famagusta is an up and coming holiday resort and a young, ambitious couple, Savvas and Aphroditi Papacosta have just opened the island’s most luxurious hotel, The Sunrise, where Greek and Turkish Cypriots work alongside each other. However, tensions between the communities on Cyprus are increasing - a coup in Greece leasds to uncertainty and upheaval and as a consequence, Turkey invades Cyprus to protect the Turkish Cypriot community. Famagusta is bombed, there is widespread looting in the streets and most of Famagusta’s inhabitants flee the advancing Turkish army. Yet, two neighbouring families, the Greek Cypriot Georgious and the Turkish Cypriot Ozkans remain. The Sunrise tells of how they survive in these turbulent times as destruction and murder wreak havoc throughout their beloved island.

Theft of Life by Imogen Robertson
Theft of Life by Imogen Robertson
Longbourn by Jo Baker
Longbourn by Jo Baker

Theft of Life by Imogen Robertson

This fascinating crime novel sees the return of anatomist Crowther and his friend and investigative assistant Harriet Westerman. This time they are drawn into the case of a former plantation and slave owner found dead in horrific circumstances in London. As the mystery unfolds the theme of slavery and its intrinsic role in British society is explored. A very harrowing read in places, eye opening at times, interesting portrayal of characters refusing to shy away from unpleasant truths.

 

Longbourn by Jo Baker

I picked this book up, and put it down, picked it up, put it down... That works with this book, though, it’s leisurely paced and can be read in similar fashion. In some ways it might be better read slowly, the writing is lovely and there’s no urgency about the plot. There’s no particular grand drama, but the small personal affairs and feelings that populate a life. Sarah is a servant in the Bennet household (of Pride and Prejudice fame) and along with the unfolding of her life we encounter the characters from that esteemed novel as side figures.

The Secret Place by Tana French
The Secret Place by Tana French
The Royalist by Stephen Deas
The Royalist by Stephen Deas

The Secret Place by Tana French

Another entry in the Dublin Murder squad series of novels sees Stephen Moran contacted by the teenage daughter of a former colleague. Holly attends an exclusive girls’ boarding school which has close links with a boys’ school down the road. The previous year, one of the boys was murdered and the case never solved. Now a note has appeared on a bulletin board in Holly’s school, the Secret Place of the title where the pupils are encouraged to anonymously express problems – and the note says “I know who killed him” and is posted with a photo of the dead boy. Stephen, with the original investigating detective re-opens the investigation, to discover a wealth of murky secrets. As with many of French’s books the dialogue is whip-sharp and the tension is high in this novel, due to the new investigation being condensed into a very short period of time. Interspersed with the investigative narrative we have flashbacks of the lives of the students prior to the murder. A very enjoyable and compelling read.

 

The Royalist by Stephen Deas

This is the first in a new historical crime series featuring William Falkland, former soldier with the Cavalier army. Languishing in Newgate prison he thinks he will leave to go to the hangman’s noose. However, he ends up in front of Oliver Cromwell who dispatches him off to investigate a series of supposed suicides by young men plaguing Cromwell’s New Model army. This was an interesting book with a strong sense of the terror and uncertainty of the time. The lease of life granted to Falkland by Cromwell hangs heavily over him, and the struggle between life and a man who thought he had resigned himself to a lonely death was fascinating.

 







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THE READING LIST



Children and Teen Booklists
Children and Teen Booklists
Books about potty training to bullying...

New Paperback Fiction
New Paperback Fiction
New paperbacks for November...

New Hardback Fiction
New Hardback Fiction
New in November...

Recommended Reads
Recommended Reads
Great books we’ve been reading...

Books we've been reading
Books we've been reading
More staff recommendations....

New e-books for September
New e-books for September
Download them now...

Richard and Judy's Autumn Book Club 2014
Richard and Judy's Autumn Book Club 2014
See the latest titles selected...

Dual Language Books
Dual Language Books
Picture books @ Central...

Fabulous Fiction
Fabulous Fiction
Autumn Junior Fiction...

Picture Perfect
Picture Perfect
Autumn Reads for under 5s...


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