April reads

All Rivers Run Free
By Natasha Carthew

Brittle but not yet broken, Ia Pendilly ekes out a fierce life in a caravan on the coast of Cornwall. In years of living with Bran - her embattled, battering cousin and common law husband - she's never yet had her own baby. So when she discovers the waif washed up on the shore, Ia takes the risk and rescues her. And the girl, in turn, will rescue something in Ia - bringing back a memory she's lost, giving her the strength to escape, and leading her on a journey downriver.

Gun Love
By Jennifer Clement

Fourteen-year-old Pearl France lives in the front seat of a broken down car and her mother Margot lives in the back. Together they survive on a diet of powdered milk and bug spray, love songs and stolen cigarettes. 

Life on the edge of a Florida trailer park is strange enough, but when Pastor Rex’s ‘Guns for God’ programme brings Eli Redmond to town Pearl’s world is upended.

The One Who Wrote Destiny
By Nikesh Shukla

Mukesh has just moved from Kenya to the drizzly northern town of Keighley. He was expecting fame, fortune, the Rolling Stones and a nice girl, not poverty, loneliness and racism. Still, he might not have found Keith Richards, but he did find the girl.

Neha is dying. Lung cancer, a genetic gift from her mother and an invocation to forge a better relationship with her brother and her widowed father before it's too late.

The Great Fire has ravaged London, wreaking destruction and devastation wherever its flames spread. Now, guided by the incorruptible Fire Court, the city is slowly rebuilding, but times are volatile and danger is only ever a heartbeat away.

James Marwood, son of a traitor, is thrust into this treacherous environment when his ailing father claims to have stumbled upon a murdered woman in the very place where the Fire Court sits. Then his father is run down and killed. Accident? Or another murder…?

Dear Mrs Bird
By AJ Pearce

London, 1941. Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance – but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine.

Constantinople, 1921

Each day Nur gazes across the waters of the Bosphorus to her childhood home, a grand white house, nestled on the opposite bank. Memories float on the breeze – the fragrance of the fig trees, the saffron sunsets of languid summer evenings. But now those days are dead.

The house has been transformed into an army hospital, it is a prize of war in the hands of the British.

 

Fleeing heartbreak, an unnamed author goes to an unnamed city to give a series of lectures at an unnamed university about forgotten books ... only to find himself involved in a mystery when it turns out the professor who invited him is no where to be found, and no one seems quite sure why he's there.

I Still Dream
By James Smythe

17-year-old Laura Bow has invented a rudimentary artificial intelligence, and named it Organon. At first it’s intended to be a sounding-board for her teenage frustrations, a surrogate best friend; but as she grows older, Organon grows with her.

As the world becomes a very different place, technology changes the way we live, love and die; massive corporations develop rival intelligences to Laura’s, ones without safety barriers or morals; and Laura is forced to decide whether to share her creation with the world. 

Blackfish City
By Sam J. Miller

After the climate wars, a floating city was constructed in the Arctic Circle. Once a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering it is now rife with corruption and the population simmers with unrest.

Into this turmoil comes a strange new visitor - a woman accompanied by an orca and a chained polar bear. She disappears into the crowds looking for someone she lost thirty years ago, followed by whispers of a vanished people who could bond with animals. Her arrival draws together four people and sparks a chain of events that will change Blackfish City forever.

Letters to Iris
By Elizabeth Noble

Tess has a secret - one which is going to turn her life upside down in just nine months' time.

The only person she can confide in is her beloved grandmother. But Iris is slipping further away each day.

Then chance brings a stranger into Tess's life.

Gigi's heart goes out to Tess, knowing what it's like to feel alone. She's determined to show her that there's a silver lining to every cloud.

As their unlikely friendship blossoms, Tess feels inspired to open up.

The Lido
By Libby Page

Meet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers...

Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George.

Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She's on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined to make something of it.

Frazzled mum Alice Ray likes to think she’s on top everything – she has FOUR bags-for-life in the boot of her car for heaven's sake. But after spectacularly embarrassing herself at work, she finally gives in to her sister’s pleas to take a much needed break.

But this is not the luxury spa holiday Alice hoped for – instead, she finds herself in Denmark, in the middle of nowhere, on a ‘How to be a Viking’ getaway.

Can the two sisters finally learn to get along or will learning to embrace their inner warrior just make them better at fighting?

A smart and funny story from the author of The Rosie Project - two misfits walk 2,000 km along the Camino to find themselves and, perhaps, each other. A novel of second chances and reinvention from Graeme Simsion, and his wife Anne Buist. Optioned for film.

Zoe, a sometime artist, is from California. Martin, an engineer, is from Yorkshire. Both have ended up in picturesque Cluny, in central France. Both are struggling to come to terms with their recent past - for Zoe, the death of her husband; for Martin, a messy divorce.

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