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People Person by Candice Carty-Williams
People Person is the follow-up to Candice Carty-Williams’ phenomenally successful debut, Queenie. Dimple Pennington is 30, and her life isn't really going anywhere. An aspiring lifestyle influencer with a terrible and wayward boyfriend, Dimple's life has shrunk to the size of a phone screen. Despite a small but loyal following, she's never felt more alone – until a dramatic event brings her half siblings Nikisha, Danny, Lizzie and Prynce crashing back into her life. When they're forced to reconnect with the absent father they never really knew, things get even more complicated.
Booth by Karen Joy Fowler
From the author of the Booker-shortlisted, million-selling We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves comes an epic novel about the infamous, ill-fated Booth family. Junius Brutus Booth is the patriarch, a celebrated Shakespearean actor who fled bigamy charges in England – both a talent and a man of terrifying instability. As his ten children grow up on a remote farmstead in 1830s rural Baltimore, America draws ever closer to the boiling point of secession and civil war. The six Booth siblings who survive to adulthood each have their own dreams they must fight to realise, but it is Johnny who makes the terrible decision that will change the course of history: the assassination of US president Abraham Lincoln. Blending history with family saga, Booth is a riveting epic that focuses on the things that bind – and break – a family and the impact of slavery on both the Booths and their slaves, the Halls.
The Flames by Sophie Haydock
A flame has the power to mesmerise, but it can also destroy everything in its path. Sophie Haydock’s new book focuses on four of controversial artist Egon Schiele’s female muses. These women’s bodies were shown in intimate detail in his artwork, but who were they? Haydock delves into the lives of Adele, his passionate and fierce admirer; Gertrude, his spirited and possessive sister; Vally, his independent and proud model; and Edith, Adele's quiet and conventional sister… Or was she? The Flames reimagines the intertwining lives of these four women who long to be known in elegant, bohemian 1900s Vienna, where everything seems possible.
The Odyssey by Lara Williams
Meet Ingrid. She works on a huge luxury cruise liner, where she spends her days reorganising the merchandise and waiting for long-term guests to die in the changing rooms. On her days off, she disembarks from the ship and gets black-out drunk on whatever the local alcohol is. It's not a bad life – and it distracts her from thinking about the other life she left behind five years ago. Then one day she is selected for the employee mentorship scheme, an initiative run by the ship's mysterious captain and self-anointed lifestyle guru, Keith, who pushes Ingrid further than she thought possible. But sooner or later, she will have to ask herself: how far is too far? Mischievous and thought-provoking, The Odyssey takes Ingrid on a voyage that will eventually lead her home – the last place she wants to be.
The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson
The Hanrahan family are gathering for a momentous weekend. Famous artist and notorious egoist Ray Hanrahan is preparing for a new exhibition – the first in many decades – and he’s sure it will burnish his reputation for good. His three children will be there: beautiful Leah, always her father’s biggest champion; sensitive Patrick, who has finally decided to strike out on his own; and insecure Jess, the youngest, who has her own momentous decision to make. But what of Lucia, Ray’s steadfast and selfless wife? She is an artist too, but has always put her roles as wife and mother first. What will happen if she decides to change? For Lucia is hiding secrets of her own, and as the weekend unfolds and the exhibition approaches, she must finally make a choice. This Women’s Prize for Fiction nominee is a thrilling exploration of art, sacrifice, toxic family politics and personal freedom.
The Candy House by Jennifer Egan
It's 2010. Brilliant, successful tech entrepreneur Bix Bouton is desperate for a new idea. He's 40, with four kids, and restless, when he stumbles into a conversation with mostly Columbia professors, one of whom is experimenting with downloading or ‘externalising’ memory. Within a decade, Bix's new technology allows you access to every memory you've ever had, and to share every memory in exchange for access to the memories of others – and it has seduced millions. But not everyone. In linked narratives, Egan spins out the consequences of his Own Your Unconscious tech through the lives of multiple characters whose paths intersect over several decades. Intellectually dazzling and extraordinarily moving, The Candy House is a bold, brilliant imagining of a world that might only be moments away.
The Fake Up by Justin Myers
We loved columnist Justin Myers’s funny yet hard-hitting The Last Romeo and The Magnificent Sons, so we’re excited about his latest book, which focuses on two exes and one big secret. Dylan and Flo are in love. The only trouble is, they broke up months ago and everyone was delighted for them. At first, it's exciting sneaking around, hiding from disapproving friends, climbing through bedroom windows to avoid family, and concocting hilarious disguises. It's like Romeo and Juliet – but with more sex and less poison. Soon, though it becomes harder to separate truth from lies, Dylan and Flo are in way over their heads, and the games have only just begun.
One Day I Shall Astonish The World by Nina Stibbe
Susan and Norma have been best friends for years, thrown together at first by force of circumstance (a job at The Pin Cushion, a haberdashery shop in 1990s Leicestershire) and then by force of character (neither being particularly inclined to make friends with anyone else). Now, 30 years later, faced with a husband seeking immortality and Norma out of reach on a wave of professional glory, Susan begins to wonder whether she has made the right choices about life, love, work and, most importantly, friendship. Nina Stibbe's new novel is the story of the wonderful and sometimes surprising path of friendship: from its conspiratorial beginnings, along its irritating wrong turns, to its final gratifying destination.
Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies by Maddie Mortimer
When a sudden diagnosis upends Lia’s world, the boundaries between her past and present begin to collapse. As the voice prowling in Lia takes hold of her story, and the landscape around becomes indistinguishable from the one within, Lia and her family are faced with some of the hardest questions of all: how can we move on from the events that have shaped us, when our bodies harbour everything? And what does it mean to die with grace, when you’re simply not ready to let go? Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies is a story of coming-of-age at the end of a life. Heart-breaking yet darkly funny, Maddie Mortimer’s debut is a journey through one woman’s body: a wild celebration of desire, forgiveness and the darkness within us all.
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