Best Read: The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn
1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an isolated mental asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther’s prison but soon becomes her refuge. 2018. Free-spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker embarks on a research posting in the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast. When a violent storm forces her to take shelter on a far-flung island, she discovers a collection of hidden love letters. Captivated by their passion and tenderness, Rachel determines to track down the intended recipient. Meanwhile, in London, Eve is helping her grandmother, a renowned mountaineer, write her memoirs. When she is contacted by Rachel, it sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to reveal secrets kept buried for more than sixty years.
Crime: The Rumour by Lesley Kara
Careless talk wrecks lives… When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back… Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea. Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman. So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?
Australian Author: The Homestead on the River by Rosie Mackenzie
In stark contrast to her own childhood during the last days of the Raj in India, the spectacular beauty surrounding their home, Rathgarven in Ireland has proven to be a happy place for Kathleen O’Sullivan and her husband, James, to raise their four children. But Kathleen is no stranger to heartbreak, and when the family is faced with losing everything, she knows they will need to adapt to survive. Even if that means leaving their beloved home and moving to Australia to start afresh. Lillie O’Sullivan knows that her mother and father haven’t been entirely truthful about the reasons for their move to Australia. But as they settle into their new home in rural New South Wales she is willing to give it a chance. That is, until the secrets her parents have kept for so long finally catch up with them. Secrets that have the power to destroy their family and ruin their future. From the vibrant colours of India to the meadows of Ireland to the harsh but beautiful Australian land, a family fight for their future.
General: At the Wolf’s Table by Rosella Postorino
Forced to risk her life every day as a taster at Hitler’s secret headquarters, Rosa and a growing sisterhood of involuntary women conscripts navigate Nazi fanatics, an SS guard’s unwanted attentions, and the escalating war.
Thriller: Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
The Last Time I Lied follows a young woman as she returns to her childhood summer camp to uncover the truth about a tragedy that happened there fifteen years ago. Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips. Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends. Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.
Thriller: Judgement by Joseph Finder
It was nothing more than a one-night stand. Juliana Brody, a judge in the Superior Court of Massachusetts, is rumored to be in consideration for the federal circuit, maybe someday the highest court in the land. At a conference in a Chicago hotel, she meets a gentle, vulnerable man and in a moment of weakness has an unforgettable night with him. They part with an explicit understanding that this must never happen again. But back home in Boston, it becomes clear that this was no random encounter. The man from Chicago proves to have an integral role in a case she’s presiding over–a sex-discrimination case that’s received national attention. Juliana discovers that she’s been entrapped, her night of infidelity captured on video. Strings are being pulled in high places, a terrifying unfolding conspiracy that will turn her life upside down. But soon it becomes clear that personal humiliation, even the possible destruction of her career, are the least of her concerns, as her own life and the lives of her family are put in mortal jeopardy. In the end, turning the tables on her adversaries will require her to be as ruthless as they are”–
Saga/Romance: The Daughter’s Tale by Armando Lucas Correa
Based on the true story of the Nazi massacre of a French village in 1944, a tale of love and redemption from the bestselling author of The German Girl. New York City, 2015: Elise Duval, eighty years old, receives a phone call from a woman recently arrived from Cuba bearing messages from a time and country that she’s long forgotten. A French Catholic who arrived in new York after World War II, Elise and her world are forever changed when the woman arrives with letters written to Elise from her mother in German during the war, unravelling more than seven decades of secrets. Berlin, 1939: Bookstore owner and recent widow Amanda Sternberg is fleeing Nazi Germany with her two young daughters, heading towards unoccupied France. She arrives in Haute-Vienne with only one of her girls. Their freedom is short-lived and soon they are taken to a labour camp. Inspired by one of the most shocking atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II, the 1944 massacre of all the inhabitants of the village of Oradour-Sur-Glane in the south of France, The Daughter’s Tale is a family saga of love, survival and hope against all odds.
BorrowBox: The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
In the midst of war, he found love
In the midst of darkness, he found courage
In the midst of tragedy, he found hope
Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape.
Afra has lost her sight, and so they embark on a periluosjourney towards an uncertain future in Britain. As they travel, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is his beekeeper cousin Mustafa, who is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.
Nuri and Afra set off through a broken world, on a dangerous journey in which they will confront the pain of their unfathomable loss, and in doing so find a way back to each other again.
‘This is a novel of international significance. Courageous, provocative, haunting, it will open our eyes.’ Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz
RBDigital: The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell
Two summers, decades apart. Two women whose lives are forever entwined. And a house that holds the secrets that could free them both. Lillian’s marriage to Charles Oberon has not turned out the way she thought it would. To her it seems she is just another beautiful object captured within the walls of Cloudesley, her husband’s Chilterns manor house. But, with a young step-son and a sister to care for, Lillian accepts there is no way out. Then Charles makes an arrangement with an enigmatic artist visiting their home and her world is turned on its head. Maggie Oberon ran from the hurt and resentment she caused. Half a world away, in Australia, it was easier to forget. But when her grandmother, Lillian, falls ill she must head back to Cloudesley. Forced to face her past, she learns that all she thought was real, all that she held so close, was never as it seemed. An utterly compelling story of secrets, betrayals and the consequences of a long-ago summer.
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