March reads

March is upon us and I was hoping for daffodils and early Spring sunshine. The snow has put paid to that, but it is very beautiful and is a perfect excuse to stay off work, pull the duvet up and read a great book. You're spoiled for choice in March, with new  books from Irvine Welsh, Louise O'Neill, Kit de Waal, Clare Mackintosh and Liz Fenwick. I've picked something to fit everyone's taste. Happy reading.

The Western Wind
By Samantha Harvey

15th century Oakham, in Somerset; a tiny village cut off by a big river with no bridge. When a man is swept away by the river in the early hours of Shrove Saturday, an explanation has to be found: accident, suicide or murder? The village priest, John Reve, is privy to many secrets in his role as confessor. But will he be able to unravel what happened to the victim, Thomas Newman, the wealthiest, most capable and industrious man in the village? And what will happen if he can’t?

Out 1st March

Dead Men's Trousers
By Irvine Welsh

Mark Renton is finally a success. An international jet-setter, he now makes significant money managing DJs, but the constant travel, airport lounges, soulless hotel rooms and broken relationships have left him dissatisfied with his life. He’s then rocked by a chance encounter with Frank Begbie, from whom he’d been hiding for years after a terrible betrayal and the resulting debt. But the psychotic Begbie appears to have reinvented himself as a celebrated artist and – much to Mark’s astonishment – doesn’t seem interested in revenge.

Out 29th March

Almost Love
By Louise O'Neill

When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard. So it doesn't matter that he's twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. That, slowly but surely, she's sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him. Sarah's friends are worried. Her father can't understand how she could allow herself to be used like this. And she's on the verge of losing her job. But Sarah can't help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew.

And love is supposed to hurt.

Isn't it?

Out 1st March

The Friendly Ones
By Philip Hensher

The things history will do at the bidding of love

On a warm Sunday afternoon, Nazia and Sharif are preparing for a family barbecue. They are in the house in Sheffield that will do for the rest of their lives. In the garden next door is a retired doctor, whose four children have long since left home. When the shadow of death passes over Nazia and Sharif’s party, Doctor Spinster’s actions are going to bring the two families together, for decades to come.

Out 8th March

Sometimes your first love won’t let you go… When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces. Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

Out 22nd March

All the Beautiful Girls
By Elizabeth J Church

In the summer of 1968, Ruby Wilde is the toast of Las Vegas. Showgirl of the Year, in her feathers and rhinestones, five-inch heels and sky-high headdresses, she mesmerises audiences from the Tropicana to the Stardust. Ratpackers and movie stars, gamblers and astronauts vie for her attention and shower her with gifts.

But not so long ago Ruby Wilde was Lily Decker from Kansas: an orphaned girl determined to dance her way out of her troubled past.

Out 6th March

Red Clocks
By Leni Zumas

Ro, a single high-school teacher, is trying to have a baby on her own, while also writing a biography of Eivør, a little-known 19th-century female polar explorer. Susan is a frustrated mother of two, trapped in a crumbling marriage. Mattie is the adopted daughter of doting parents and one of Ro's best students, who finds herself pregnant with nowhere to turn. And Gin is the gifted, forest-dwelling homeopath, or "mender," who brings all their fates together when she's arrested and put on trial in a frenzied modern-day witch hunt.

Out 8th March

Bitter
By Francesca Jakobi

It's 1969, and while the summer of love lingers in London, Gilda is consumed by the mistakes of her past. She walked out on her beloved son Reuben when he was just a boy and fears he'll never forgive her. Yet she hopes desperately they can mend their shattered relationship.

When Reuben marries a petite blonde gentile, Gilda takes it as the ultimate rejection.

Out 8th March

Sal
By Mick Kitson

Sal planned it for almost a year before they ran. She nicked an Ordnance Survey map from the school library. She bought a compass, a Bear Grylls knife, waterproofs and a first aid kit from Amazon using stolen credit cards. She read the SAS Survival Handbook and watched loads of YouTube videos.

And now Sal knows a lot of stuff. Like how to build a shelter and start a fire. How to estimate distances, snare rabbits and shoot an airgun. And how to protect her sister, Peppa. Because Peppa is ten, which is how old Sal was when Robert started on her.

Out 1st March

Let Me Lie
By Clare Mackintosh

The police say it was suicide.

Anna says it was murder.

They're both wrong.

One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.

Out 8th March

The Trick to Time
By Kit de Waal

Mona is a young Irish girl in the big city, with the thrill of a new job and a room of her own in a busy boarding house. On her first night out in 1970s Birmingham, she meets William, a charming Irish boy with an easy smile and an open face. They embark upon a passionate affair, a whirlwind marriage - before a sudden tragedy tears them apart.

Decades later, Mona pieces together the memories of the years that separate them. But can she ever learn to love again?

Out 29th March

One Cornish Summer
By Liz Fenwick

When Hebe receives a life-changing diagnosis at only 53, she struggles to make sense of what it will mean for her, her job and the man she loves. With memories slipping away by the day, she flees to the one place she has always felt safe and peaceful - Cornwall, and the house her family spent so many summers in.

Out 8th March

Upstate
By James Wood

Alan Querry, a successful property developer from the north of England, has two daughters: Vanessa, a philosopher who lives and teaches in Saratoga Springs, NY, and Helen, a record company executive based in London. The sisters never quite recovered from their parents’ bitter divorce and the early death of their mother, with Vanessa particularly affected, and plagued by bouts of depression since her teenage years. When she suffers a new crisis, Alan and Helen travel to Saratoga Springs.

Out 8th March

Tangerine
By Christine Mangan

The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the horrific accident at Bennington, the two friends - once inseparable roommates - haven't spoken in over a year. But Lucy is standing there, trying to make things right.

Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat.

Out 22nd March

Francis Newton Xavier has lived a wild existence of excess in pursuit of his uncompromising aesthetic vision. His paintings and poems - which embody the flamboyant and decadent jeu d'esprit of his heroes like Baudelaire - have forged his reputation, which is to be celebrated at a new show in Delhi.

Approaching middle age in a body ravaged by hard-living, Xavier leaves Manhattan following the 9/11 attacks with his young girlfriend - and his journey home to India becomes a delirious voyage into the past.

Out 1st March

It begins, they say, with a woman screaming…

On a remote Scottish island, the McBride house stands guard over its secrets. A century ago, a young widow and her son died mysteriously there; just last year a local boy, visiting for a dare, disappeared without a trace.

For Zoe Adams, newly arrived from America, the house offers a refuge from her failing marriage.

Out 8th March

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