New novels to look out for
Looking for something to read? Here are three new releases the critics are raving about
A THOUSAND PAPER BIRDS By TOR UDALL Bloomsbury The death of a woman brings four strangers together in London’s Kew Gardens.
A grieving Jonah roams the gardens trying to put together the shattered pieces of his life after his wife, Audrey, dies under strange circumstances. Chloe sits by the lake finding solace in the origami she meticulously folds. A carefree child named Milly explores the gardens, left to her own devices, but where’s her mother? Meanwhile Harry is on a mission to save Kew’s plants from extinction.
Their lives are inextricably linked as the details of Audrey’s death come into focus in this enchanting debut which plays out in the garden over the course of one calendar year. What the critics say “A masterful exploration of love, loss and the healing power of the natural world.” – BEN EAST, THE GUARDIAN MISS JANE By BRAD WATSON Picador It’s 1915, rural Mississippi. A baby is born who nobody really wants. “A little girl, I believe,” says the Dr Thompson who delivers the infant. Something is clearly different about Jane. The child “doesn’t have everything she ought to have”, the doctor says. “But I believe she’ll be all right.” Born with a genital birth defect it appears love, marriage, child-bearing and all the things expected of women of her era are out of the question.
Her mother, Ida, is angry and bitter about life in general and believes God has sent the child to punish her. But Jane finds a compassionate ally in Thompson who helps her navigate her way through life. What the critics say “This proud, gentle novel shimmers with a subtle defiance, a near-physical need to celebrate a woman who lived against the odds.” – EILEEN BATTERSBY, THE IRISH TIMES THE REASON YOU’RE ALIVE By MATTHEW QUICK Picador In this new offering from the author of The Silver Linings Playbook a Vietnam War veteran embarks on a crusade to track down his nemesis from the war.
After a car crash 68-year-old David Granger is diagnosed with a brain tumour and wakes up from surgery repeating the name of a Native American soldier whom he was once ordered to discipline.
David decides to return something precious he long ago stole from the man he calls Clayton Fire Bear. But there’s more to the quest than meets the eye – it offers him a chance to conquer his personal demons, come to terms with a tragic loss and get to grips with a world that’s increasingly at odds with the one he risked his life to serve. What the critics say ”A vibrant and compassionate tale of a complex man finding his way in a divided America.” – MALCOLM FORBES, STAR TRIBUNE