Cry, Mother Spain
By Lydie Salvayre
Aged fifteen, as Franco's forces begin their murderous purges and cities across Spain rise up against the old order, Montse has never heard the word fascista before. In any case, the villagers say facha (the ch is a real Spanish ch, by the way, with a real spit).Montse lives in a small village, high in the hills, where few people can read or write and fewer still ever leave. If everything goes according to her mother's plan, Montse will never leave either. She will become a good, humble maid for the local landowners, muchísimas gracias, with every Sunday off to dance the jota in the church square.But Montse's world is changing. Her brother José has just returned from Lérida with a red and black scarf and a new, dangerous vocabulary and his words are beginning to open up new realms to his little sister. She might not understand half of what he says, but how can anyone become a maid in the Burgos family when their head is ringing with shouts of Revolución, Comunidad and Libertad?The war, it seems, has arrived in the nick of time.
By Tracy Rees
Florrie Buckley is an orphan, living with her grandmother on the wind-blasted moors of Cornwall. Part of a close-knit community, they scrape a meagre living from the difficult land. It's a hard existence but Florrie is content; she runs wild in the mysterious landscape - she has a strong connection to the natural world. She thinks her future and destiny are set in stone. But when Florrie is fourteen, her grandmother dies, revealing a never-imagined secret. Florrie is related to a wealthy and notorious London family, the Graces. Thus Florrie Buckley must become Florence Grace. Overnight, her life changes and she moves from country to city, from poverty to wealth. Cut off from everyone she has ever known, she struggles to adapt while learning the rules of a strange and confusing world. And the Graces are no ordinary Victorian family: they are the conflicted and dysfunctional fragments of a once-great dynasty. Florrie's sensitive spirit battles for survival as she tries to stay true to herself.Last but not least Florrie must try to fathom and conquer her destructive pull towards the enigmatic and troubled Turlington Grace, a man with many dark secrets of his own.
By Iain Gale
'Wonderfully imaginative' Bernard Cornwell, author of The Last Kingdom. British Intelligence maverick James Keane goes undercover in Napoleon's Paris for his most daring espionage mission yet. Perfect for fans of Simon Scarrow and Bernard Cornwell.It's 1812, and one man is on the top of the world. Napoleon Bonaparte has enjoyed victories all over Europe and is rebuilding the glorious city of Paris. Meanwhile, his enemies struggle to keep alive the embers of rebellion that still burn at the city's heart. To aid this noble cause, a few British intelligence officers have been smuggled in, and James Keane is one of them.Keane finds himself at once adrift in a world of gambling houses and derelict cemeteries - of ex-Jacobites, disaffected French royalists, Irishmen and Americans, all of them voicing dissension. If Keane is to succeed, a means must be discovered by which to persuade these miscreants to rise against Napoleon's rule, without alerting the endless spies and informers that surround them. Forging alliances between unlikely collaborators proves especially difficult for Keane, whose honourable nature objects so strongly to this double-dealing. But he must persevere, or else lose the golden opportunity to aid in the defeat of the tyrannical French Emperor once and for all.
The Canary Girls
By Rosie Archer
In love and war, who can you trust? 1944, Hampshire. Her face still bearing the scars from the explosion at the factory, Rita Brown is nonetheless back on her feet. She's caught the eye of local wide boy Blackie Bristow, who's sweeping her around the country in a life of shady glamour. But there's a war on, and life is not all fun and games. Some of the local men are taking advantage of the topsy-turvy world to break more than just hearts, and standing up to them comes with its own costs. Rita keeps calm and carries on with a little help from her friends at the factory. But then she discovers someone there has been leaking secrets to the Germans. With D-Day on the horizon, Rita must work out who she can rely on - and fast.
By Virginia Ironside
The debut novel of acclaimed writer Virginia Ironside, author of No, I Don't Want to join a Bookclub, originally published in 1964, when she was aged just twenty. London, 1960s. A cultural revolution is taking place. Young people are finally being seen as a force to be reckoned with. But for eighteen-year-old art student Harriet and her Chelsea friends, this amounts to one thing: being'In'. The King's Road swarms with people wanting to see and be seen; upper-class boys with faux cockney accents party with models, beatniks and photographers; teddy boys are good people to nod to in the street; transport caffs are the must-go places for food, and black men have suddenly become the people to know. Through Harriet's eyes, Virginia Ironside paints a witty, tongue-in-cheek portrait of life in 1960's London that will strike a nostalgic chord with all those who were there, and make all those who weren't wish they had been.
By Michelle Moran