It's 1939, and Will and Alice are evacuated to a granite farm in North Cornwall, perched on a windswept cliff. There they meet the farmer's daughter, Maggie, and, against fields of shimmering barley and a sky that stretches forever, enjoy a childhood largely protected from the ravages of war. But in the sweltering summer of 1943, something happens that will have tragic consequences. A small lie escalates. Over 70 years on, Alice is determined to atone for her behaviour - but has she left it too late?
Single mother Callie has come to rely heavily on her best friend Suzy. But Callie suspects Suzy's life isn't as simple as it seems. It's time she pulled away - going back to work is just the first step towards rediscovering her old confidence. So why does she keep putting off telling Suzy about her new job? And who will care for her rather frail daughter, Rae, while she is gone?
"An unexpected joy"
Hannah Riley and her musician husband, Will, hope that a move to the Suffolk countryside will promise a fresh start. Hannah, a human rights worker, is desperate for a child and she hopes that this new life will realise her dream. Yet when the snow comes, Will is working in London and Hannah is cut off in their remote village. Life in Tornley turns out to be far from idyllic: Who are the threatening figures who lurk near their property at night? And why is her neighbour so keen to see them leave?
"Ridiculous but compelling"
The Spanish House is a mixture of designs, Georgian, Gothic and Moorish, as if whoever started it had simply got bored. It has long been known as an architectural folly to locals, and is now nearly derelict to boot. When its reclusive owner dies intestate, the Spanish House is left to his city-dwelling niece. For Isabel, recently widowed, the house is a potential lifeline - the only hope she has of providing for her two children without having to sell her most treasured possession.
Julia and Livy have always told each other everything, turning to each other when life gets difficult. So when Julia is found dead in her home, Livy cannot accept the verdict of suicide. Livy sets out to prove that Julia was murdered, but digging into Julia's private life will cause her to question everything. The truths that Livy discovers will tear the very fabric of her own life apart.
How many times, when things go wrong, have you said to yourself 'Why me?' Some people seem to have more than their fair share of bad luck, and Kate Parker is one of them. So when Kate and her ten-year-old son Jack move to Oxford to start a new life, Kate is determined that events of the past will not come back to haunt them. Despite the suffocating support she receives from her overbearing in-laws, she starts to feel threatened. Somehow her comfortable family home doesn't feel quite safe - it's almost as though someone is watching them.
"Chick-lit meets Stephen King"
A Christmas fling, or has Janie found the real thing? Thirty-something hairdresser Janie Johnson's single status is a constant source of gossip for her friends and clients. So after too many nights in with her cat, a blind date disaster and news that her ex is getting married, Janie realises it's time to do something dramatic with her life. It's time for an adventure! Leaving winter behind, Janie takes the plunge and books an exotic trip to Africa.
"Festive tale, with a twist!"
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"
Prepare to be chilled, electrified and entertained - a gem of a novel from 'one of the most brilliantly inventive writers of this, or any country' (Independent). Walk down narrow, clammy Slade Alley. Open the black iron door in the right-hand wall. Enter the sunlit garden of an old house that doesn't exactly make sense. A stranger greets you by name and invites you inside. At first, you won't want to leave. Too late, you find you can't....
For fans of Apple Tree Yard and The Silent Wife, The Loving Husband draws readers into a marriage where nothing is as it seems.... Fran Hall and her husband Nathan have moved with their two children to a farmhouse on the edge of the Fens - a chance to get away from London and have a fresh start.
"Brilliant story and narration"
Sussex, 1912. In a churchyard, villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will die in the coming year are thought to be seen. Here, where the estuary leads out to the sea, superstitions still hold sway. Standing alone is the taxidermist's daughter. At 17, Constantia Gifford lives with her father in a decaying house: it is all that is left of Gifford's once world-famous museum of taxidermy. The stuffed animals that used to grace every parlour are out of fashion, leaving Gifford a disgraced and bitter man.
"Great story and excellent narration"
Somewhere on the French Riviera, tucked between glitzy Monte Carlo and Cannes' red carpets, lies the sleepy town of Bellevue-Sur-Mer. Sheltered from the glittering melee, it is home to many an expat - although it hasn't proved as peaceful as expected. Now an enterprising band of retirees has resolved to show it's never too late to start afresh and open a restaurant.
"Another great book!"
RSVP is a sumptuous and salacious family saga, packed with sex, love and betrayal. Now who could refuse an invitation like that? When Ashling Morrison becomes engaged to the love of her life, Rossa Granville, she sets in motion a chain of events that will see two wealthy and powerful Irish families clash as never before. Despite her privileged upbringing, Ashling has spent her life wishing she could escape from the shadow of her beautiful, charismatic stepmother, Coppelia.
The hilarious, heartbreaking novel by the author of the international best seller A Man Called Ove. Granny has been telling fairy tales for as long as Elsa can remember. In the beginning they were only to make Elsa go to sleep, to get her to practise Granny's secret language, and a little because Granny is just about as nutty as a granny should be. But lately the stories have another dimension as well. Something Elsa can't quite put her finger on....
"wonderfully engaging, great story well read."
Anna is a married teacher in her 40s. Her one regret in life is that she doesn't have any children. When 15-year-old Kali arrives in her form, Anna feels a connection with her at once. But it soon becomes clear that Kali doesn't feel the same way.
Maeve Binchy's best-selling novels not only tell wonderful stories, they also give an insight into how Ireland has changed over the decades but how people remain the same: they still fall in love, sometimes unsuitably; they still have hopes and dreams; they have deep, long-standing friendships, and some that fall apart. From her earliest writing to her most recent, Maeve's work has included wonderfully nostalgic pieces and also sharp, often witty writing which is insightful and topical.
Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four. She not only has her own memory of holding the gun, but her father's account of the event. Now 14, she yearns for her mother, and for forgiveness. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, she has only one friend: Rosaleen, a black servant whose sharp exterior hides a tender heart. South Carolina in the '60s is a place where segregation is still considered a cause worth fighting for.
"Love it - start to finish!"
An irresistible, heart-warming novel from the much-loved author of numerous Sunday Times best sellers, including A Walk in the Park and To the Moon and Back. Dexter Yates loves his fun, care-free London life; he has money, looks and girlfriends galore. But everything changes overnight when his sister dies, leaving him in charge of her eight-month-old daughter Delphi. How is he ever going to cope? Comic-strip artist Molly Hayes lives in the beautiful Cotswold village of Briarwood.
"A pleasant hotchpotch of a story"
Carol married young - to philandering Phil - and became a mother young to highly-strung Jaz. Carol put up with Phil's infidelities: suffer in silence and keep the family together was her mantra.Not so Jaz. The moment she discovers her own husband's errant ways - with a woman he barely knew - she throws him out of the house, changes the locks and bans him from seeing their toddler son Matty...
"Good stories but it is stop start and not edited very well if at all! "
Martha is lost. She's been lost since she was a baby, abandoned in a suitcase on the train from Paris. Ever since, she's waited in the station's lost property for someone to claim her. It's been 16 years, but she's still hopeful. In the meantime, there are mysteries to solve: secret tunnels under the station, a suitcase that may have belonged to the Beatles, the Roman soldier who appears at the same time every day with his packed lunch. Not to mention the stuffed monkey that someone keeps misplacing.
The crying persisted. The door of the lighthouse clanged in the distance, and Tom's tall frame appeared on the gallery as he scanned the island with the binoculars. 'Izzy!' he yelled, 'a boat!' He vanished and re-emerged at ground level. 'It's a boat all right,' Tom declared. 'And - oh cripes! There's a bloke, but -' The figure was motionless, yet the cries still rang out. He hoisted out a woollen bundle: a woman's soft lavender cardigan wrapped around a tiny, screaming infant.
"Great story, very descriptive & extremely moving!"
When war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to give it a miss - until his flatmate, Alistair, unexpectedly enlists, and the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright and brave, Mary is certain she'd be a marvelous spy. When she is - bewilderingly - made a teacher, she instead finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget.
"An astonishing blend of laughter and pain."
Winner of the 2014 Richard & Judy Search for a Bestseller competition. Abandoned on a bank of snow as a baby, Amy is taken in at nearby Hatville Court. But the masters and servants of the grand estate prove cold and unwelcoming. Amy's only friend and ally is the sparkling young heiress Aurelia Vennaway. So when Aurelia tragically dies young, Amy is devastated. But Aurelia leaves Amy one last gift. A bundle of letters with a coded key. A treasure hunt that only Amy can follow. A life-changing discovery awaits ... if only she can unlock the secret.
"Loved this book"
When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to a twisted unsolved murder from 22 years before. Meanwhile, Karen Pirie finds herself irresistibly drawn into another mystery that she has no business investigating; a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems....
"Slow to start but ultimately satisfying"
©2006 Kate Long
"An enjoyable listen."
Not quite as good as The Bad Mothers Handbook, but still well worth listening to.
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