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Thrown by Sara Cox
Thrown is the debut novel from much-loved broadcaster Sara Cox – and this audiobook is read by Sara herself. The inhabitants of the Inventor's Housing Estate keep themselves to themselves. There are the friendly hellos when commutes coincide and the odd cheeky eye roll when the wine bottles clank in number 7's wheelie bin, but it's not exactly Ramsay Street. The dilapidated community centre is no longer the beating heart of the estate that Becky remembers from her childhood. So, the new pottery class she's helped set up feels like a fresh start – and not just for her. The assorted neighbours come together to try out a new skill, under the watchful eye of their charismatic teacher Sasha. And as the soft unremarkable lumps of clay are slowly moulded into delicate vases and majestic pots, so too are the lives of four women. Concealed passions and heartaches are uncovered, relationships shattered and formed, and the possibility for transformation is revealed.
Death & Fromage by Ian Moore
If you love Richard Osman’s bestselling The Thursday Murder Club books, you’ll love the second book in Ian Moore’s Follet Valley series. Richard is a middle-aged Englishman who runs a B&B in the Val de Follet. Nothing ever happens to Richard – and that's the way he likes it – until scandal erupts in the nearby town of Saint-Sauver when its famous restaurant is downgraded from three Michelin stars to two. The restaurant is shamed, the town is in shock and the leading goat's cheese supplier drowns himself in one of his own pasteurisation tanks. Or does he? Valérie d'Orçay, who’s staying at the B&B while house-hunting in the area, isn't convinced that it's a suicide. Despite his misgivings, Richard is drawn into Valérie's investigation and finds himself becoming a major player.
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
Paula Hawkins’ Girl On a Train sold 20m copies worldwide. Now, she’s back with another psychological thriller, as three women are brought into conflict through a brutal murder. Narrated by Emmy award-winning actress Rosamund Pike, A Slow Fire Burning tells the story of Laura, a young woman who has spent most of her life being judged. She’s seen as hot-tempered, troubled, a loner. Some even call her dangerous. Miriam knows that just because Laura is witnessed leaving the scene of a horrific murder with blood on her clothes, that doesn’t mean she’s a killer. Bitter experience has taught her how easy it is to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Carla is reeling from the brutal murder of her nephew. She trusts no one – good people are capable of terrible deeds. But how far will she go to find peace? Innocent or guilty, everyone is damaged. Some are even damaged enough to kill.
Godmersham Park by Gill Hornby
Bridgerton’s Evie Wilcox (Prudence Featherington) narrates regency novelist Gill Hornby’s new book. On 21st January 1804, Anne Sharpe arrives at Godmersham Park in Kent to take up the position of governess. Aged 31, she has no previous experience of teaching or fine country houses. Her mother has died and she has nowhere else to go. For her new charge – 12-year-old Fanny Austen – Anne's arrival is all novelty and excitement. When Mr Edward Austen's family comes to stay, Anne forms an immediate attachment to Jane. They write plays together and enjoy long discussions. However, in the process, Anne reveals herself as not merely pretty, charming and competent; she is clever too. Meanwhile, Jane's brother Henry begins to take an unusually strong interest in the lovely young governess – meaning her days at Godmersham Park could be numbered…
The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World by Jonathan Freedland
This book hit the shelves last month and has already been praised for its contribution to Holocaust literature. In April 1944, 19-year-old Rudolf Vrba and fellow inmate Fred Wetzler became the first Jews to break out of Auschwitz. Under electric fences and past armed watchtowers, evading thousands of SS men and dogs, they trekked across marshlands, mountains and rivers to freedom. Vrba's mission: to reveal to the world the truth of the Holocaust. In the death factory of Auschwitz, Vrba had become an eyewitness to almost every chilling stage of the Nazis' process of industrialised murder. A brilliant student of science and mathematics, he committed each detail to memory, risking everything to collect the first data of the Final Solution. After his escape, that information would form a priceless 32-page report that would reach Roosevelt, Churchill and the Pope, and eventually save over 200,000 lives. But the escape from Auschwitz was not his last. After the war, he kept running – from his past, from his home country, from his adopted country, even from his own name. Few knew of the truly extraordinary deed he had done. Now, at last, Rudolf Vrba's heroism can be known.
Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
This is a great book to get stuck into ahead of its TV adaptation later this year. Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth would be the first to point out there is no such thing. But it's the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans, the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with – of all things – her mind. A few years later, Elizabeth finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America's most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six. Elizabeth's unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon of acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. As her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because, as it turns out, Elizabeth isn't just teaching women to cook; she's daring them to change the status quo.
One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle
This is the heart-breaking novel from the author of the international bestseller In Five Years. When Katy's mother dies, she’s left reeling. Carol wasn't just Katy's mum, but her best friend and first phone call. She had all the answers and, now, when Katy needs her the most, she is gone. To make matters worse, the mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: two weeks in Positano, the town where Carol spent the summer before she met Katy's father. Katy has been waiting years for Carol to take her, and now she is faced with embarking on the adventure alone. And then Carol appears, healthy and sun-tanned... and 30 years old. Katy doesn't understand what is happening, or how – all she can focus on is that somehow, impossibly, she has her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman who came before. But can we ever truly know our parents? Soon Katy must reconcile the mother who knew everything with the young woman who does not yet have a clue.
Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh
Ottessa Moshfegh returns to historical fiction in her latest novel. Little Marek is a young shepherd boy who lives in in a medieval fiefdom plagued by natural disasters. He never knew his mother; his father told him she died in childbirth. One of life's few consolations for Marek is his enduring bond with the blind village midwife, Ina, who suckled him when he was a baby, as she did for many of the village's children. Ina's gifts extend beyond childcare: she possesses a unique ability to communicate with the natural world. Her gift often brings her the transmission of sacred knowledge on levels far beyond those available to other villagers, however religious they might be. For some people, Ina's home in the woods outside the village is a place to fear and to avoid, a godless place. During drought and famine in the village, Marek and Ina are sent on a dangerous journey that straddles this world and the next.
The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton
The House of Fortune is the sequel to Jessie Burton's bestselling The Miniaturist. Set in Amsterdam in 1705, it’s a story of fate and ambition, secrets and dreams, and one young woman's determination to rule her own destiny. Thea Brandt is turning 18 and is ready to welcome adulthood with open arms. At the theatre, Walter, the love of her life, awaits her, but at home in the house on the Herengracht, winter has set in – her father Otto and Aunt Nella argue endlessly, and the Brandt family are selling their furniture in order to eat. On Thea's birthday, also the day that her mother Marin died, secrets from the past begin to overwhelm the present. Nella is desperate to save the family and maintain appearances, to find Thea a husband who will guarantee her future and, when they receive an invitation to Amsterdam's most exclusive ball, she is overjoyed – perhaps this will set their fortunes straight. And yes, the ball does set things spinning: new figures enter their life, promising new futures. But their fates are still unclear and, when Nella feels a strange prickling sensation on the back of her neck, she wonders if the miniaturist has returned for her.
Matrix by Lauren Groff
Seventeen-year-old Marie de France is from a long line of female warriors and crusaders, but she’s cast away from the royal court for being too coarse, too wild and too rough-hewn. Instead, she’s sent to the muddy fields of Angleterre to take up her new duty as the prioress of an impoverished abbey. The abbey is a dreadful place: its inhabitants are on the brink of starvation, beset by disease, stoic and stern, yet plagued with an unholy tendency to gossip. Marie cannot help but pine for the decadence and comfort of France – her secret lover Cecily, her queen Eleanor and the very court that had spited her. Yet Marie soon realises that, though she may be tied to a life of duty, she wields more power than she could have imagined. With the fearlessness that has always set her apart, she inspires her new sisterhood to awaken their spirits and finally claim what is theirs…
The Fair Botanists by Sara Sheridan
It's the summer of 1822 and Edinburgh is abuzz with rumours of King George IV's impending visit. In botanical circles, however, a different kind of excitement has gripped the city. In the newly-installed Botanic Garden, the Agave Americana plant looks set to flower – an event that only occurs once every few decades. When newly widowed Elizabeth arrives in Edinburgh to live with her late husband's aunt Clementina, she's determined to put her unhappy past in London behind her. As she settles into her new home, she becomes fascinated by the beautiful Botanic Garden which borders the grand house and offers her services as an artist to record the rare plant's impending bloom. In this pursuit, she meets Belle Brodie, a vivacious young woman with a passion for botany and the lucrative, dark art of perfume creation. Belle is determined to keep both her real identity and the reason for her interest in the Garden secret from her new friend. But as Elizabeth and Belle are about to discover, secrets don't last long in this Enlightenment city...