Under a Pole Star
By Stef Penney
RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB 2017 - 'ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS I HAVE READ FOR A VERY LONG TIME' RICHARD MADELEY'A dazzling tale of romance and survival' (Guardian)Follow the path to the freezing north. Follow your ambition. Follow your heartFlora Mackie was twelve when she first crossed the Arctic Circle on her father's whaling ship. Now she is returning to the frozen seas as head of her own expedition of exploration.Jakob de Beyn was raised in Manhattan but his yearning for new horizons leads him to the Arctic as part of a rival expedition. When he and Flora meet there is an instant connection that slowly builds to become an all-consuming love. The affair survives the growing tensions between the two groups. Then, after one last glorious summer on the Greenland coast, Jakob joins his leader on an extended trip into the interior, with devastating results. The stark beauty of the Arctic, where pack ice can crush a ship like an eggshell, and the empty sweep of the tundra, alternately a snow-muffled wasteland and an unexpectedly gentle meadow, are vividly evoked. Against this backdrop Stef Penney weaves an irresistible love story, a compelling look at the dark side of the golden age of exploration, and a mystery that Flora, returning one last time to the North Pole as an old woman, will finally lay to rest.
By Roy Jacobsen
Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017Nobody can leave an island. An island is a cosmos in a nutshell, where the stars slumber in the grass beneath the snow. But occasionally someone tries . . . Ingrid Barrøy is born on an island that bears her name - a holdfast for a single family, their livestock, their crops, their hopes and dreams.Her father dreams of building a quay that will connect them to the mainland, but closer ties to the wider world come at a price. Her mother has her own dreams - more children, a smaller island, a different life - and there is one question Ingrid must never ask her.Island life is hard, a living scratched from the dirt or trawled from the sea, so when Ingrid comes of age, she is sent to the mainland to work for one of the wealthy families on the coast.But Norway too is waking up to a wider world, a modern world that is capricious and can be cruel. Tragedy strikes, and Ingrid must fight to protect the home she thought she had left behind.Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw
By Elizabeth Heathcote
My husband's lover. They said her death was a tragic accident. And I believed them . . . until now.Carmen is happily married to Tom, a successful London lawyer and divorcé with three children. She is content to absorb the stresses of being a stepmother to teenagers and the stain of 'second wife'. She knows she'll always live in the shadow of another woman - not Tom's first wife Laura, who is resolutely polite and determinedly respectable, but the lover that ended his first marriage: Zena. Zena who was shockingly beautiful. Zena who drowned swimming late one night. But Carmen can overlook her husband's dead mistress . . . until she starts to suspect that he might have been the person who killed her.'Absolutely gripping, I raced through Undertow at the speed of knots' Rosamund Lupton.
By Julia Bradbury
From Dorset's iconic Jurassic Coast to the picturesque Cotswolds and the rugged Peaks, join Julia Bradbury as she travels across Britain in search of the perfect walk, the perfect view - and the perfect pub. Britain is a nation of walkers. Walking is ingrained in our identity - and our passion for the countryside is stronger than ever. Unforgettable Walks takes us on eight of our beloved paths, showcasing Britain's diverse and beautiful landscape at its very best. Follow in Julia's footsteps as she explores the flora and fauna and shares the stories past and present of the people she meets along the way, and her own experiences. With beautiful hand-drawn maps, illustrations - and tips for local pubs and sights - this book will fit as well on a bookshelf as in a rucksack.The WalksDorset: The Golden Cap WalkCotswolds: The Cleeve Hill WalkAnglesey: The Snowdon View WalkYorkshire Dales: The Malham Cove WalkLake District: The Borrowdale Valley WalkCumbria: The High Cup Nick WalkSouth Downs: The Birling Gap WalkPeak District: The Kinder Scout Walk
By Joan Sales
SPAIN, 1937. Posted to the Aragonese front, Lieutenant Lluís Ruscalleda eschews the drunken antics of his comrades and goes in search of intrigue. But the lady of Castel de Olivo - a beautiful widow with a shadowy past - puts a high price on her affections. In Barcelona, Trini Milmany struggles to raise Lluís' son on her own, letters from the front her only solace. With bombs falling as fast as the city's morale, she leaves to winter with Lluís' brigade on a quiet section of the line. But even on 'dead' fronts the guns do not stay silent for long. Trini's decision will put her family's fate in the hands of Juli Soleràs, old friend and traitor of easy conscience, a philosopher-cynic locked in an eternal struggle with himself. Joan Sales, a combatant in the civil war, distilled his experiences into a timeless story of thwarted love, lost youth and crushed illusions. A thrilling epic that has drawn comparison with the work of Dostoevsky and Stendhal, Uncertain Glory is a homegrown counterpart to classics such as Homage to Catalonia and For Whom the Bell Tolls.
By David Hair
The Moontide has arrived, the Leviathan Bridge has arisen from the wave and the armies of East and West are clashing as the Third Crusade seeks to conquer the continent of Antopia once and for all. But things are not going well in this epic fantasy 'similar in scope to George R.R. Martin's Ice and Fire and Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time novels (Library Journal)Emperor Constant's Crusade is teetering on the edge of disaster: Shaliyah, birthplace of the Prophet, now has a new name: Mother of Victories. Suddenly the East is rising, and the unprecedented success of the Shihad is bearing fruit in the unlikeliest of quarters.'Honestly, [this series] just keeps getting better and better. It is filled with action, adventure, magic, love, danger and hope. This is a series I cannot recommend enough' C.E. TracyTo Elena Anborn and Kazim Makani it is a call to arms, to finally take up arms against the renegade spymaster Gurvon Gyle. 'Here is a book (not the only book but a great example) that proves that fantasy can have a basis in mediaeval ideas and still remember to give a role to women and non-white cultures. And yes it still has cultural oppression, racial biases, and hellish situations for the downtrodden. But it also has signs of growth, diversity, and people of all walks carrying their own agency' (Fantasy Review Barn)For Queen Cera Nesti of Javon, it is a beacon as she seeks new ways to overthrow her husband and usurper king and reclaim Javon for her brother. And Ramon Sensini, trapped behind enemy lines with the shattered remnants of the Southern Army, sees it as one more obstacle in his desperate attempt to get him men safely home.'Sweeping conflicts, clashes of cultures, political and personal entanglements, rich and in-depth magic, and mighty warriors dot the landscape' (A Dribble of Ink)But concealed amidst the storm and fire of the war, emperors, Inquisitors, Souldrinkers and assassins alike are engaged in a desperate, deadly and secret struggle to find the Scytale of Corineus, the key to ultimate power. Its unlikely guardians are the failed mage Alaron Mercer and market-girl Ramita Ankesharan, pregnant widow of t)he world's greatest mage - and what they choose to do with the Scytale could change the world for ever.'Recommended for fans of George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss' (Monster Librarian)
By Jane Urquhart
The Underpainter is a novel of interwoven lives in which the world of art collides with the realm of human emotion. It is the story of Austin Fraser, an American painter now in his later years, who is haunted by memories of those whose lives most deeply touched his own, including a young Canadian soldier and china painter and the beautiful model who becomes Austin's mistress. Spanning decades, the setting moves from upstate New York to the northern shores of two Great Lakes; from France in World War One to New York City in the '20s and '30s. Brilliantly depicting landscape and the geography of the imagination, The Underpainter is Jane Urquhart's most accomplished novel to date.
The Unnatural Inquirer
By Simon R. Green
In his most lucrative case yet, private eye John Taylor must find a missing man . . . and potential proof of the Afterlife. John Taylor's latest case is going to make him a lot of money - he'll earn more than a million pounds if he manages to find Pen Donavon, a man who claims to have a DVD with evidence of the afterlife. The editor of The Unnatural Inquirer, the most notorious gossip rag in the Nightside, has made a deal with Donavon for exclusive rights, but now both man and DVD have vanished. Taylor is used to dealing with the unsavoury denziens of the Nightside, but it's becoming clear that someone altogether more powerful - and deadly - is also on the trail. Taylor must act fast if he's to find the missing DVD before his mysterious adversary, or he may well be the next one to disappear.The Unnatural Inquirer is the eighth title in the New York Times bestselling Nightside series by Simon R. Green.
Under the Wire
By Paul Conroy
The Unquiet House
By Alison Littlewood
A thrilling, unsettling, chillingly atmospheric tale of suspense, perfect for fans of Stephen King. What is lurking in the corners of Mire House?Mire House is dreary, dark, cold and infested with midges. But when Emma Dean inherits it from a distant relation, she immediately feels a sense of belonging. It isn't long before Charlie Mitchell, grandson of the original owner, appears claiming that he wants to seek out his family. But Emma suspects he's more interested in the house than his long-lost relations. And when she starts seeing ghostly figures, Emma begins to wonder: is Charlie trying to scare her away, or are there darker secrets lurking in the corners of Mire House?This British Fantasy Award nominated work 'reads like a timeless classic of the genre' - the Guardian.
Until Thy Wrath Be Past
By Åsa Larsson
By Tamara McKinley
If you love Lesley Pearse, you're sure to fall for Tamara McKinley! 1894. The SS Arcadia sets sail from Liverpool, carrying Eva and Frederick Hamilton - a young married couple determined to make a new start in an exciting new frontier: Australia. But as the ship nears its destination, it goes down in an unexpected storm. Years later, Olivia Hamilton makes the same journey, hoping to learn more about her mysterious origins. As Olivia draws closer to discovering the truth about her past, she realises that, like Eva Hamilton all those years ago, this could be a journey with unexpected consequences.
Under the Wire
By Paul Conroy