Suffragettes, SIBLINGS and SELF-ACTUALISATION
Sarra Manning picks September’s best pulse-quickening page-turners
Things A Bright Girl
Can Do by Sally Nicholls (Andersen Press, £12.99; out 7th September)
A captivating YA novel following three girls who take up the Suffragette cause. Evelyn craves excitement, May wants a fairer life for all and workingclass Nell longs for a freedom that is about more than just suffrage. Things A Bright Girl Can Do explores sexual identity, the grim realities of poverty and war and the fraught nature of first love. It’s appeal will reach readers of any age.
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury, £16.99; out 7th September)
Home Fire is about two British Muslim families: orphaned siblings Isma, Aneeka and Parvaiz, and powerful politician Karamat and his son Eamonn. When Parvaiz follows in the footsteps of his late jihadist father, Aneeka will do anything to save him. The ties of familial love are pulled taut in this beautiful book, which takes the story of Antigone and puts it in a modern setting where the political outweighs the personal. See
page 114 for our interview with Shamsie.
This Is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries Of A Junior Doctor by Adam Kay (Picador, £16.99; out 7th September)
All of human life is contained in these diaries from a former junior doctor. Kay describes a gruelling cycle of 97-hour weeks, minimal pay and people sticking random objects up their bottoms. It’s hilarious, horrifying and there’s an incident with a penis and a lamppost, which has guaranteed that I will never eat spaghetti again.
Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech
(Orenda Books, £8.99; out 30th September)
Something so terrible happened to Maria when she was nine that she can’t remember the first nine years of her life. The not-knowing has made her an acerbic, defensive character who spurns love, but when she volunteers at a call centre for flood victims, her softer side and a memory of what happened start to emerge. Maria In The Moon is part psychological thriller, part love story and fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine will love it.
The Break by Marian Keyes (Michael Joseph, £20; out 7th September)
Amy and Hugh have been together for 20 years when Hugh decides to go on a six-month journey of ‘self actualisation’ to south-east Asia. Amy is left to deal with family crises, hold down a demanding job in PR and perform many acts of minor DIY, until she realises that she’s on a break, too. Full of wit and warmth and a huge cast of skilfully drawn characters, The Break is
Marian Keyes at her most classic and brilliant best.