April’s great reads the best books

w&h books edi­tor Fanny Blake reads the best new books out this month and gives you her rec­om­men­da­tions. Plus in­ter­views with authors Tony Par­sons, and Clare Mack­in­tosh on how she writes

Woman & Home - - Contents -

Pick OF THE MONTH The Im­mor­tal­ists by Chloe Ben­jamin (Head­line)

In 1969, four si­b­lings – Varya, daniel, Klara and Si­mon – visit a for­tune teller who pre­dicts the dates of their deaths. Sad­dled with this knowl­edge, they move through life de­spite – and be­cause – of those pre­dic­tions. Skilled sto­ry­telling, a com­plex struc­ture that spans decades and vivid char­ac­ters make this an in­tel­li­gent, en­ter­tain­ing read.

OB­SES­SIVE LOVE Al­most Love by Louise O’Neill (River­run)

Fall­ing hard for Matthew, a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man and father of one of her pupils, Sarah risked her job, friends and re­la­tion­ships to be with him. Now she lives with Oisin, but her thoughts still turn to Matthew. A raw, un­flinch­ing por­trait of an all-con­sum­ing af­fair and its long-reach­ing ef­fects.

PSY­CHO­LOG­I­CAL THRILLER The Fear by CL Tay­lor (Avon)

Four­teen years af­ter be­ing groomed and ab­ducted by her teacher, Lou tracks him down, only to dis­cover he may be about to do the same thing again. She has to take mat­ters into her own hands. dark, twisty and driven by re­venge, with a nice st­ing in its tail.

SIN­IS­TER THRILLER Tangerine by Chris­tine Man­gan (Lit­tle Brown)

The shade of Pa­tri­cia High­smith hangs over this sin­is­ter and ser­pen­tine thriller that re­ally got me by the throat. When Lucy, an old col­lege friend, turns up on Alice’s doorstep in Tang­iers, she brings with her the past that Alice has been try­ing to for­get. Is Lucy the one to spring Alice from her ap­par­ently un­happy mar­riage? Nar­rated by each woman in turn, the sus­pense builds in this riv­et­ing tale of ob­ses­sive love.

CHILD’S-EYE VIEW Only Child by Rhi­an­non Navin (Man­tle)

When a gun­man opens fire in a school, the kids have been trained what to do. Sev­enyear-old Zach hides in a cup­board with his class­mates and teacher. When they emerge the shoot­ing is over, leav­ing a num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties, one of whom is his older brother. Told from Zach’s point of view, the novel ex­plores the ef­fect of this dev­as­tat­ing event on his fam­ily and their close-knit com­mu­nity. As his life changes, so does his mother, and Zach has to rely on him­self to get through. Grab hold of the tis­sues for a heart­break­ing read that’s full of com­pas­sion and in­sight.

CON­TEM­PO­RARY AF­FAIR Love Af­ter Love by Alex Hourston (Faber)

Wife and mother Nancy Jansen em­barks on an af­fair with a fel­low ther­a­pist who she first met in col­lege. As long as she keeps her life com­part­men­talised, no one gets hurt. But when her as­pir­ing ac­tress daugh­ter finds a men­tor in his wife, the sep­a­rate parts be­gin to con­nect and the ram­i­fi­ca­tions are felt. Hourston cuts to the quick of fam­ily life with pre­ci­sion to cre­ate a slow-burn­ing read laced with wit and com­pas­sion.

CURL UP WITH Last Let­ter Home by Rachel Hore (S&S)

Hol­i­day­ing in Italy, Bri­ony Wood is drawn back in time when she’s given film footage of her grand­fa­ther there dur­ing the war, and let­ters be­tween an un­known cou­ple, Sarah and Paul, found in a ru­ined villa. Who are these peo­ple? How are they con­nected with her grand­fa­ther? Her search takes her to Nor­folk, where a wartime love story un­rav­els. The novel moves be­tween the two sto­ries sep­a­rated by decades, cre­at­ing a long and in­volv­ing read with plenty of de­li­cious pe­riod de­tail and a sat­is­fy­ing mys­tery at its heart.

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