The Little Breton Bistro Nina George, Abacus, £12.99 The author of The Little Paris Bookshop returns to a French setting for her latest heart-warming tale of romance and adventure. In a desperate attempt to escape a loveless marriage, Marianne Messman throws herself off the Pont Neuf into the River Seine. A homeless man prevents her from drowning, and, while recovering in hospital, she finds a painting of the tiny port of Kerdruc in Brittany. Marianne goes there, determined to end her own life; instead, she meets some colourful characters based at a seaside bistro who become her new family and among whom she will find love. When her husband tries to entice Marianne back to her old life, she must decide whether to take a leap into the unknown instead.
Studio of the South: Van Gogh in Provence Martin Bailey, Frances Lincoln, £25 From arts journalist and Van Gogh specialist Martin Bailey comes a beautifully illustrated book focusing on the Dutch-born artist’s 15-month stay in Arles, where he produced some of his greatest paintings. The book presents new information and contains around 20 previously unpublished images. Chapters are organised according to themes, such as seascapes, the Rhône and its canals, flowers and portraits of friends. Bailey also examines Van Gogh’s tumultuous collaboration with Paul Gauguin and its tragic conclusion, and reveals little-known details of his iconic painting The Bedroom.
When Will We Ever Learn? Nick Matthews, Austin Macauley, £11.99 In this collection of poetry, Nick Matthews reflects upon the sacrifice made by young men during World War I and the injustice and violence of conflict. The poems blend brutal imagery with more poetic and bucolic sections, and are accompanied by photographs of the Somme taken by Nick, as well as artworks and images by artists Bob Martin and Julia Baxter. The book is dedicated to Nick’s great-uncle, Private Albert T. Bushell, who was killed after just two days on the Western Front, which makes the collection all the more touching.