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 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 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.
Under a Cloud-Soft Sky
By Elizabeth Gill
An emotional saga about the meaning of home from a bestselling author. Perfect for fans of Dilly Court, Maggie Hope and Nadine Dorries.1890, County Durham. Dennes Eliot has worked hard to create a better life for himself. Now a respectable worker at the local Foundry and boarding with his friend Nat, he tries his best to forget his shameful beginnings. But can he really fulfil his dreams in a place where everyone knows his past? Grace Hemingway knows all about the Foundry her father runs, and loves the community built around it. But her parents are grooming her for a stunning London marriage to a man she's not yet met. Can she bear to leave the place she calls home?
The Upright Piano Player
By David Abbott