Audie Award Winner, Audiobook of the Year, 2013. Audie Award Nominee, Best Solo Narration, 2013. Graham Greene's evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King's Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.
'She throws her head back and pushes her chest forward and lets go a huge blast right into the centre of his body. The rivulets and streams of red scarring run across his chest and up around his throat. She'd put her hand on his heart and stopped him dead.' Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death.
"Reeling from the power of this book."
Absorbing and escapist, The Villa on the Riviera is perfect summer listening for fans of Rachel Hore and Santa Montefiore. Polly Smith is struggling to make a living as an artist when her friend and patron, Oliver, invites her to the south of France. But her world is unexpectedly turned upside down when she digs out her birth certificate to apply for a passport. Her parents are not who she believed them to be - even her name is different.
Theresa is desperate for a change. Forced into early retirement, fed up with babysitting her bossy daughter's obnoxious children, she sells her Highgate house and moves to the picture-perfect town of Bellevue-sur-Mer, just outside Nice. With its beautiful villas, bustling cafes and shimmering cerulean sea, the village sparkles like a diamond on the French Mediterranean coast.
"fun and unexpected turns"
Winner of the Whitbread Prize for best first fiction. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming-out novel from Winterson, the acclaimed author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. The narrator, Jeanette, cuts her teeth on the knowledge that she is one of God's elect, but as this budding evangelical comes of age and comes to terms with her preference for her own sex, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household crumbles.
"I love everything Jeanette writes."
Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air, and the sidewalks radiate heat. Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls. And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.
"The human side..."
From the master of dystopia, comes his heartrending story of a British boy's four-year ordeal in a Japanese prison camp during the Second World War. Based on J. G. Ballard's own childhood, this is the extraordinary account of a boy's life in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai - a mesmerising, hypnotically compelling novel of war, of starvation and survival, of internment camps and death marches. It blends searing honesty with an almost hallucinatory vision of a world thrown utterly out of joint.
Annie McDee, alone after the disintegration of her long-term relationship and trapped in a dead-end job, is searching for a present for her unsuitable lover in a neglected secondhand shop. Within the jumble of junk and tack, a grimy painting catches her eye. Leaving the store with the picture after spending her meagre savings, she prepares an elaborate dinner for two - only to be stood up, the gift gathering dust on her mantelpiece.
"I Loved Every Minute of It. Great Characters."
Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides each in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter, she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan. Twelve years after her disappearance, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window.
"Beautifully beguiling - don't miss it!"
Not long after her parents' separation, heralded by an awkward scene involving a wet Daily Telegraph and a pan of cold eggs, nine-year-old Lizzie Vogel, her sister and little brother and their now-divorcée mother are packed off to a small, slightly hostile village in the English countryside. Their mother is all alone, only 31 years of age, with three young children and a Labrador. It is no wonder, when you put it like that, that she becomes a menace and a drunk. And a playwright.
"Just as good as expected"
As a child, Julia Forrester spent many idyllic hours in the hothouse of Wharton Park estate, where her grandfather tended the exotic flowers. So when a family tragedy strikes, Julia returns to the tranquility of Wharton Park and its hothouse. Recently inherited by charismatic Kit Crawford, the estate is undergoing renovation. This leads to the discovery of an old diary, prompting the pair to seek out Julia's grandmother to learn the truth behind a love affair that almost destroyed Wharton Park.
"Such variety - real escapism"
Award-winning poet and rapper Kate Tempest's electrifying debut novel takes us into the beating heart of the capital in this multigenerational tale of drugs, desire and belonging. It gets into your bones. You don't even realise it until you're driving through it, watching all the things you've always known and leaving them behind. Young Londoners Becky, Harry and Leon are leaving town in a fourth-hand Ford Cortina with a suitcase full of money.
It's 1959, and Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom, one-time high school sports superstar, is going nowhere. At twenty-six he is trapped in a second-rate existence - stuck with a fragile, alcoholic wife, a house full of overflowing ashtrays and discarded glasses, a young son and a futile job. With no way to fix things, he resolves to flee from his family and his home in Pennsylvania, beginning a thousand-mile journey that he hopes will free him from his mediocre life.
Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland where the horrors of the Second World War seem distant. He adores his mother, but she treats him with bitter severity, disapproving especially of his intense friendship with Anton, the Jewish boy at school. A gifted pianist, Anton is tortured by stage fright; only in secret games with Gustav does his imagination thrive. But Gustav is taught that he must develop a hard shell, 'like a coconut', to protect the softness inside - just like the hard shell perfected by his country to protect its neutrality.
Lara's life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can't tell anyone else or everything Massimo has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage. Maggie is married to Massimo's brother Nico. She knows all of Nico's darkest secrets - or so she thinks. The one day she discovers a letter in the attic....
There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed...On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift.
"I'm still waiting for something to happen....."
It's 1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something.
"Random gears makes it unpredictable, free."
1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children, and listening to her mother's grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change. Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end, which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared.
In this tale revolving around not just parents and children, but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.
"A touch disappointed"
"But the thing is," said Horley, "they didn't know each other at all. Never heard of each other. It wasn't about the makers. Only about the works." On a dark winter's night in 1970, Horley and Grinstead huddle for warmth in the Senior Common Room of a college in Oxford. Conversation turns to the two impressive works of art that Horley has recently added to his collection....
Everyone knew Alicia Harrison's marriage to Ilya Stern wouldn't last. They'd grown up on a remote stretch of Quarry Street, where there were two houses, two sets of siblings, and eventually, a tangled mess of betrayal, longing, and loss. Tragedy catapulted Allie and Ilya together, but divorce - even as neighbors - has been relatively uncomplicated. Then Ilya's brother, Nikolai, comes home for their grandmother's last days. He's the guy who teased and fought with Allie, infuriated her, then fled town without a good-bye.
Best friends Annie and Sarah need cash - fast. Sarah, a beautiful, successful lawyer, wants nothing more than to have a baby. But balancing IVF treatments with a grueling eighty-hour workweek is no walk in the park. Meanwhile, Annie, a Harvard-grad chemist recently transplanted to Southern California, is cutting coupons to afford her young autistic son's expensive therapy.
A brief encounter that could have become so much more...if only everything were different. Step-sisters, bitter rivals in every area except one - by unbreakable pact neither will ever steal a man from the other. A love triangle that starts out as a mess of secrets and mix-ups, and only gets worse from there. Plus - friendship, family ties, crossed wires and self-discovery, second chances and first impressions. Welcome to Jill Mansell's blustery seaside world. Once you step inside, you'll never want to leave!
On a beautiful Pennsylvania fall morning, a gunman holds college freshman Yoona Lee and three of her classmates hostage in the claustrophobic confines of their dorm room. The desperate man with his finger on the trigger - Yoona's onetime friend, Lloyd Kang - is unraveling after a mysterious accident in Korea killed his closest friend, Jaesung, who was also the love of Yoona's life.
Brynn honors her passion for horses by studying at the toughest veterinary program in the country. Months from graduating, tragedy strikes - tragedy for which she can't help but feel responsible. Brynn feels suffocated by the weight of her father's legacy and his dusty hopes for horse show jumping success. When Brynn's frenetic efforts to dig the family business out of debt fail, she's down to one desperate hope.
A story of love, loss, and forgiveness. Nia's entire world has fallen apart. She is stuck in a cycle of depression she cannot pull herself from. Her sister, Noie, and her college friends are determined to help pull her from the darkness. Will she find a way to truly live again and the strength to imagine a new future for herself?
When Rose escapes from London and her handsome and charming ex-lover, she has no idea her occupation as an aromatherapist will cause such a scandal in her new country village. All she wants is a bit of peace and quiet, but her new neighbours soon ensure that her life is more chaotic than ever before. But that may be because Rose is falling in love....
Paula has had Robert's back since they got together as drama students. She gave up her dreams so he could make it. Now he's one of the nation's most popular actors. And Paula's just discovered he's having an affair. She's going to remind Robert just what he's sacrificing, and then she's going to break his heart like he broke hers. It will be her greatest acting role ever. Revenge is sweet. Isn't it?
It is 1908, and Max Brod is the rising star of Prague's literary world. But when a rival appears on the scene, Max discovers how quickly he can lose everything he has worked so hard to attain. The Lost Pages is a richly reimagined story of Max Brod's life filtered through his relationship with Franz Kafka. In this inspired novel of friendship, fraud, madness and betrayal, Marija Pericic writes vividly and compellingly of an extraordinary literary rivalry.
Leanne grew up under the steady trickle of the harsh and belittling words of her critical mother, in the shadow of her sisters' perfection, and under the weight of a dark secret. With her self-confidence all but eroded, and her head hanging down, she is surprised when Mike McKinley notices her. With every kind word, Mike erases a little pain from her past, and for the first time, she feels as if she is standing on firm ground. But seven years into their marriage, she realizes that her foundation is lying on shallow ground.
Zoey is about Claire Harper, a troubled, confused and angry woman. Her loving and patient husband tries to make her realize that she is the source of her own unhappiness, but Claire refuses to accept that responsibility. Zoey, the couple's four-year-old daughter, was born with Down syndrome and ever since then Claire has not truly been able to relate to Zoey and her disability. Instead, she chooses to block the truth from her life, won't seek help, and is unable to give Zoey the love she deserves.
What would you do if all you held to be familiar was lost? Conjuring a dark future for Australia, Closing Down gives us a glimpse into a world fractured by a financial crisis and the effects of global climate change. The inaugural winner of The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers.
A flash fiction novel, The Sea-Wave details the aftermath of the kidnapping by an elderly and emotionally damaged man of a severely disabled, wheelchair-bound, unusually bright, depressive 12-year-old girl incapable of speech. The novel consists of the girl's entries in her diary-like memorandum book, entries that relate her own surprising thoughts on her kidnapping, family, and disabilities.
Ireland's gone bust and with it Aisling Finn's life. She flees austerity for adventure in the desert. But the Arabia she finds is not that of her dreams. Everyone is chasing a fast buck, a fast woman and another G&T. Expats and locals alike prickle with paranoia. Debonair fixer Brian Rothmann charms Aisling with champagne brunches and nights at Bedouin camps. But is Brian a hero or a desperate expat prepared to go to any lengths to get what he wants? Is this Aisling? Or is he using her as bait?
Running away from the mainland was supposed to make their lives better. But for Isla and her brother, their mother's sadness and the cold, damp greyness of Hobart's stone streets seeps into everything. Then, one morning, Isla sees a red ship. That colour lights her day. And when a sailor from the ship befriends her mother, he shares his stories with them all - of Antarctica, his home in Denmark and life onboard.
In a windswept British seaside town, single mum Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside. Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, 21-year-old Lily Monrose has been married for only three weeks. When her husband fails to come home from work one night, she is left alone in a place where she knows no one and with the police telling her that her husband never existed.
Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds...After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm's length. Adopted at 16, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.
Daniel Eastbriar has finally made good use of that camcorder his parents gave him for his birthday. How? He has secretly recorded his overbearing mother Annie, or Hitler with breasts, having her "afternoon delight" with their neighbor. Not a normal activity for an 18 year old boy and his sister but it's a last ditch effort to expose her double life to their spineless father.
"I drink, I hurt myself and the people around me, and then I write." Brett is in Central America, away from her husband, when she begins a love affair with his friend, Eduard. Tragedy and comedy are properly joined at the hip in this loosely autobiographical book about infidelity, drinking, and the postponing of repercussions under the sun. Though coming undone is something we all try to avoid, Martin reminds us that going off the rails is sometimes a part of the ride.
Marin Bishop has always played by the rules, and it's paid off: On the cusp of 30, she has a handsome fiancé, a prestigious Manhattan legal career, and her father's hard-won admiration. But with one careless mistake at work, Marin suddenly finds herself unemployed and alone. Before she can summon the courage to tell her parents, a young woman appears, claiming to be Marin's half sister. Seeking answers, Marin agrees to join her on a soul-searching journey to Cape Cod, to meet the family she didn't even know she had.
The most hotly anticipated novel of the year, from the author of the best-selling novel The Girl on the Train....
To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine, was just their hometown: familiar, well ordered for the most part. A good place to live. It was the children who saw - and felt - what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one's deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing....
"Masterful - a horror classic"
Pirriwee Public is a beautiful little beachside primary school where children are taught that 'sharing is caring.' So how has the annual School Trivia Night ended in full-blown riot? Sirens are wailing. People are screaming. The principal is mortified. And one parent is dead. Was it a murder, a tragic accident or just good parents gone bad? As the parents at Pirriwee Public are about to discover, sometimes it's the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal.
Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life lovingly collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant, Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners.
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed.
"Lie, apologise, repeat"
Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a supercool Instagram feed. Okay, so the truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, she has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn't really hers. But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren't they? Until her not-so-perfect life comes crashing down when her megasuccessful boss, Demeter, gives her the sack. All Katie's hopes are shattered.
The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed . If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs....
"A great book to listen to :)"
A brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of 17-year-old Roderick Macrae. There is no question that Macrae committed this terrible act. What would lead such a shy and intelligent boy down this bloody path? Presented as a collection of documents, His Bloody Project opens with a series of police statements taken from the villagers, which offer conflicting impressions, throwing Macrae's motive and his sanity into question.
"Much, Much Better than the Sample Suggests"
A plane crashes on a desert island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast. As the boys' delicate sense of order fades, so their childish dreams are transformed into something more primitive, and their behaviour starts to take on a murderous, savage significance.
"Not a single word wasted."
Lou Clark knows a lot of things. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop, and she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live, and now everything feels small and joyless. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
"An unusal love story"
What if they hadn't gone? That's the question Clementine can't stop asking herself. It was just a backyard barbeque. They didn't know their hosts that well. They were friends of friends. They could so easily have said no. But she and her husband, Sam, said yes, and now they can never change what they did and didn't do that beautiful winter's day. Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One yapping dog. It's a normal weekend in the suburbs. What could possibly go wrong?
"Loved this book the authors best work"
When Alice Love surfaces from a beautiful dream to find she's been injured in a gym, she knows that something is very wrong - she hates exercise. Alice's first concern is her baby - she's pregnant with her first child, and she's desperate to see her husband, Nick, who she knows will be worried about her.But Alice isn't pregnant. And Nick isn't worried.
England,1976. Mrs Creasy is missing, and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, 10-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands. And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined.
"1976 - long, hot and a wonderful experience"
Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an Alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest.
"Mr Irons makes this reading beautiful"
The Pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, 118 cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next 72 hours, one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.
"Erudite, Intriguing and absolutely Superb..."
Winner of the British Book Awards, Book of the Year, 2005.
A murder in the silent, late night halls of the Louvre reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ. The victim is a high-ranking agent of this ancient society who, in the moments before his death, manages to leave gruesome clues at the scene that only his cryptographer daughter and her symbologist friend can untangle.
"The stressful car-ride to work?"
Born in rural Palestine, just before the dawn of the 20th century, Miriam adores her father and is certain his love will protect her, but she soon finds that tradition overrides love. Uprooted by war, Miriam enters a world where the old constraints slip away with thrilling and disastrous results. Miriam's rebellious daughter, Nadia, is thrilled with the opportunity for a modern life that her elite education provides. But when she falls in love with an outsider, the clan reins her back with a shocking finality.
Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Aibileen is a black maid raising her 17th white child. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is the sassiest woman in Mississippi: a wonderful cook with a gossip's tongue. Graduate Skeeter returns from college with ambitions, but her mother will not be happy until she's married. Although world's apart, Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny's lives converge over a clandestine project that will change the town of Jackson forever.
France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre is ordered to serve the German officers who socialise in her hotel. When the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie's portrait - painted by her husband Edouard - a dangerous obsession is born. Almost a century later, Sophie's portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston. A chance encounter reveals the painting's true worth - and its troubled history that is about to resurface and turn Liv's life upside down...
"Spellbinding - I loved it"