THE BEST nEw fic­Tion

The Mail on Sunday - Event - - BOOKS -

Ge­orgina Hard­ing Blooms­bury £16.99

At the end of World War II, Char­lie Ashe re­turns from fight­ing in the jun­gles of In­dia and Burma a changed man. Haunted by mem­o­ries of vi­o­lence and the mo­ral lines he has crossed, he takes his young wife to Nor­folk, to the stark land­scape where he grew up, and where he now in­tends to farm.

In somber, el­e­gant prose, Hard­ing won­der­fully de­scribes Char­lie’s sense of dis­lo­ca­tion, his emo­tional un­ease and the im­pos­si­bil­ity of com­mu­ni­cat­ing his com­plex feel­ings and fears to those clos­est to him.

Eithne Farry

Ak­waeke Emezi Faber £10

A girl named Ada is born in Nige­ria with a cho­rus of spir­its in tow. The in­ter­ven­tions of th­ese un­ruly be­ings make for a choppy in­fancy, but their po­tency gains new heights when Ada is raped as a teenager af­ter mov­ing to Amer­ica. In her scorch­ing de­but, Emezi turns to Igbo spir­i­tu­al­ity to make sense of mul­ti­ple iden­ti­ties – Ada lies some­where in be­tween the male/fe­male bi­nary, and she is both a chaste Chris­tian and a vo­ra­cious lover. While it plunges into themes of sui­cide, self-harm and as­sault, Fresh­wa­ter is ul­ti­mately an ex­hil­a­rat­ing fable about the heal­ing power of self-knowl­edge. Gwen Smith

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.