elcome to the Spring issue of The Review which hopes to ease you readers back into post-holiday mood! To help you do that we have put together a selection of great reads which will offer a touch of escapism from the real world. Happy reading.
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The Review GENERAL FICTION Fall of giants KEN FOLLETT The first novel in the Century Trilogy, Fall of Giants traces the fortunes of five interrelated families –one American, one English, one Welsh, one Russian, and one German- as they are affected by the extraordinary events of World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the women’s suffrage movement. Paperback 9780451232588
Gillespie and I JANE HARRIS As she sits in her Bloomsbury home, with her two birds for company, elderly Harriet Baxter sets out to relate the story of her acquaintance, nearly four decades previously, with Ned Gillespie, a talented artist who never achieved the fame that she maintains he deserved. “It would appear that I am to be the first to write a book on Gillespie. Back in 1888, the young, artloving Harriet arrives in Glasgow at the time of the International Exhibition. After a chance encounter, she befriends the Gillespie family and soon becomes a fixture in all of their lives. But when tragedy strikes –leading to a notorious criminal trial- the promise and certainties of this world all too rapidly disintegrate into mystery and deception. Featuring a memorable cast of characters, infused with atmosphere and period detail, and shot through with wicked humour, Gillespie and I is a powerful and haunting second novel from one of today’s most striking new voices. Paperback 9780571238279
The Review The Finkler question The tiger’s wife TEA OBREHT ‘In April of 1941, without declaration or warning, the German bombs started falling over the city and did not stop for three days. The tiger did not know that they were bombs…’ A tiger escapes from the local zoo, padding through the ruined streets and onwards, to a ridge above the Balkan village of Galina. His nocturnal visits hold the villagers in a terrified thrall. But for one boy, the tiger is a thing of magic –Shere Khan awoken from the pages of The Jungle Book. Natalia is the granddaughter of that boy. Now a doctor, she is visiting orphanages after another war has devastated the Balkans. On this journey, she receives word of her beloved grandfather’s death, far from their home, in circumstances shrouded in mystery. From fragments of stories her grandfather told her as a child, Natalia realises he may have died searching for ‘the deathless man’, a vagabond who was said to be immortal. Struggling to understand why a man of science would undertake such a quest, she stumbles upon a clue that will lead her to a tattered copy of The Jungle Book, and then to the extraordinary story of the tiger’s wife. Paperback 9781780220796 The Tunnel ERNESTO SABATO Infamous for the murder of Maria Iribarne, the artist Juan Pablo Castel is now writing a detailed account of his relationship with the victim from his prison cell: obsessed from the first moment he saw her examining one of his paintings, Castel had become fixated on her over the next months and fantasized over how they might meet again. When he happened upon her one day, a relationship was formed which swiftly convinced him of their mutual love. But Castel’s growing paranoia would lead him to destroy the one thing he truly cared about... Paperback 978014119454
Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular former BBC radio producer, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite very different lives, they’ve never quite lost touch with each other –or with their former teacher, Libor Sevcik. Both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and together with Treslove they share a sweetly painful evening revisiting a time before they had loved and lost. It is that very evening, when Treslove hesitates a moment as he walks home, that he is attacked –and his whole sense of who and what he is slowly and ineluctably changes. Winner of the Booker Prize 2011. Paperback 9781408818466
The best of everything RONA JAFFE “This was New York...the marvelous secret things people did inside those tall buildings at the cocktail hour were the things he did every evening, and tonight it was all going to happen to her.” New York, 1952. Four young women have come to the city: to find love, to build their careers and to savour the indefinable optimism of the times. Caroline is the college graduate, determined to escape the typing pool and become an editor. April is the beautiful country girl with a penchant for disastrous romances. Aspiring actress Gregg is
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The Review tangled in a dangerous love affair with a playwright; and divorcée Barbara writes about lipsticks by day and cares alone for her daughter by night. Best of everything, Rona Jaffe’s frank, scandalous and thrilling 1958 novel, follows them as they negotiate office romances, workplace politics, broken engagements, tiny apartments, lecherous bosses, heartbreak and lasting friendship. Paperback 9780141196312
Smut ALAN BENNETT In the Greening of Mrs. Donaldon, a recently bereaved widow finds interesting ways to supplement her income by performing as a patient for medical students, and renting out her spare room. In The Shielding of Mrs. Forbes, a disappointed middle-aged mother dotes on her only son, Graham, who believes he must shield her from the truth. As Graham’s double life becomes increasingly complicated, we realize how little he understands, not only of his own desires but also those of his mother. Hardback 9781846685255 Port Mortuary PATRICIA CORNWELL Kay Scarpetta has been training at the Dover Port Mortuary, mastering the art of ‘virtual autopsy’ –a groundbreaking procedure that could soon revolutionise forensic science. And it is not too long before these The Memory of Love
AMINATTA FORNA On a hot January evening that he will remember for decades, Elias Cole first catches sight of Saffia Kamara, the wife of a charismatic colleague. He is transfixed. Thirty years later, lying in the capital’s hospital, he recalls the desire that drove him to acts of betrayal he has tried to justify ever since. Elsewhere in the hospital, Kai, a gifted young surgeon, is desperately trying to forget the pain of a lost love that torments him as much as the mental scars he still bears from the civil war that has left an entire people with terrible secrets to keep. It falls to a British psychologist, Adrian Lockheart, to help the two survivors, but when he too falls in love, past and present collide with devastating consequences. The Memory of Love is a heartbreaking story of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Paperback 9781408809655 Mr Chartwell REBECCA HUNT ‘Audacious, exuberantly imagined, terrific. Bold, original and frequently very funny.’ ‘Extraordinary, very good, engrossing.’ July, 1964. At home in Kent Winston Churchill wakes to a visitor: someone he hasn’t seen for a while, a dark, mute bulk, watching him. It’s Mr Chartwell. In Battersea, Esther Hammerhans, young, vulnerable and alone, answers the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette. It’s Mr Chartwell. Mr Chartwell is a large, black dog. He is charismatic and dangerously seductive, but as their lives are slowly drawn together, can Esther and Winston withstand his strange, powerful charms and strong hold? For Mr Chartwell’s motives are far darker and deeper than they seem. Paperback 9780141049878
The Review Girl in translation JEAN KWOK When Kimberley Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she begins a secret double life : exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life, Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but also herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles. Paperback 9781594485152 The King’s Speech MARC LOGUE One man saved the British Royal Family in the first decades of the 20th century –amazingly he was an almost unknown, and certainly unqualified, speech therapist called Lionel Logue, whom one newspaper in the 1930s famously dubbed ‘The Quack who saved a King’. The subject of a major motion picture starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham-Carter, this book is based on exclusive and previously unseen primary material –diaries appointments books, notebooks and photographs. Paperback 9780857381118 Death at the Chateau Bremont M L LONGWORTH This is the first book in a new mystery series set in Aix-en-Provence France. When a local nobleman falls to his death from his family’s chateau, chief magistrate Antoine Verlaque is on the case. Paperback 9780143119524
new skills urgently need to be put into practice. A young man drops dead, apparently from a heart condition, eerily close to Scarpetta’s home. But when his body is examined the next morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alive when he was zipped inside a pouch and locked inside the cooler. Paperback 9780751545593 The Betrayal HELEN DUNMORE ‘Beautifully crafted, gripping, moving, enlightening. Sure to be one of the best historical novels of the year.’ Andrei, a young hospital doctor, and Anna, a nursery school teacher, are forging a life together in the postwar wreckage. But their happiness is precarious, like that of millions of Russians who must avoid the claws of Stalin’s merciless Ministry of State Security. So when Andrei is asked to treat the seriously ill child of a senior secret police officer, he and Anna are fearful. Trapped in an impossible, maybe unwinnable game, can they avoid the whispers and watchful eyes of those who will say or do anything to save themselves? The Betrayal is a powerful and touching novel of ordinary people in the grip of a terrible and sinister regime, and a moving portrait of a love that will not be extinguished.
Paperback 9780141046839 Safe Haven NICHOLAS SPARKS Love hurts. There is nothing as painful as heartbreak. But in order to learn to love again you must learn to trust again. When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet unassuming, Katie is determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her
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The Review guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community. But even as Katie starts to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts her... Paperback 9780751543001 Cleopatra : a life STACY SCHIFF The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world : Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. Weaving together sex and celebrity, empire and politics, Schiff captures fully the operatic life of an exceptionally seductive and powerful woman, whose death ushered in a new world order. Paperback 9780316186384 The Wilt inheritance TOM SHARPE Stuck in a job he doesn’t want –but can’t afford to lose- as nominal Head of the Communications Department at Fenland University. The demands of his snobbish wife Eva, and the stupendous school fees of his despicable quadruplet daughters, cause him the biggest headaches…apart from the hangovers, that is. When Eva signs him up for a summer job, teaching the idiot son of a lusty local aristocrat, Wilt is not amused. Paperback 9780099493129 The Lake Shore Limited SUE MILLER Since her boyfriend Gus was killed in 9/11, Billy has been pretending. It is easier for her to stay silent and go through the motions of grief than to tell the truth : that she was
planning to leave Gus, and that his death left her feeling a mixture of ambivalence and anguish that she is still struggling to resolve. Drawing from her experience, Billy writes The Lake Shore Limited. The opening night of the play brings together three people whose lives intersect and interweave with Billy’s: Leslie, Gus’s older sister, haunted by his death and constantly aware of what could have been; Rafe, the actor who brings the joy and sadness of his own marriage into his role; and Sam, a recently divorced man who is irresistibly drawn to Billy’s distinctive, enigmatic beauty. Together these four voices create a mesmerizing novel of entanglements, connections and inconsolable losses. Paperback 9781408809884 The invisible bridge JULIE ORRINGER Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, an architecture student, has arrived from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to Clara Morgenstern a young widow living in the city. When Andras meets Clara he is drawn deeply into her extraordinary and secret life, just as Europe’s unfolding tragedy sends them both into a state of terrifying uncertainty. From a remote Hungarian village to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labour camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a marriage tested by disaster and of a family, threatened with annihilation, bound by love and history. Paperback 9780141015095
The Review The imperfectionists TOM RACHMAN The newspaper was founded in Rome in the 1950s, a product of passion and a multimillionaire’s fancy. Over fifty years, its eccentricities earned a place in readers’ hearts around the globe. But now, circulation is down, the paper lacks a website, and the future looks bleak. Still, those involved in the publication seem to barely notice. The obituary writer is too busy avoiding work. The obsessive reader is intent on finishing every old edition, leaving her trapped in the past. And the publisher seems less interested in his struggling newspaper than in his magnificent basset hound, Schopenhauer. The Imperfectionists interweaves the stories of eleven unusual and endearing characters who depend on the paper. Funny and moving, the novel is about endings –the end of life, the end of sexual desire, the end of the era of newspapers- and about what might rise afterward. Paperback 9781849160315 Too big to fail (film) ANDREW ROSS SORKIN A brilliantly reported true-life thriller that goes behind the scenes of the financial crisis on Wall Street and in Washington. Paperback 9780143120278
NON FICTION A journey TONY BLAIR In 1997, Tony Blair won the biggest Labour victory in history to sweep the party to power and end eighteen years of Conservative government. He has been one of the most dynamic leaders of modern times; few British prime ministers have shaped the nation’s course as profoundly as Blair during his ten years in power, and his achievements and his legacy will be debated for years to come. Now his memoirs reveal in intimate detail this unique political and personal journey, providing an insight into the man. Paperback 9780141196848
The Hare with amber eyes EDMUND DE WAAL Wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox: potter Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in the Tokyo apartment of his great uncle Iggie. Paperback 9780099539551
Through the language glass GUY DEUTSCHER The author argues in a playful and provocative way, that our mother tongue does indeed affect how we think and, just as important, how we perceive the world. “Is our mother-tongue a lens through which we perceive the world?” “Can different languages lead their speakers to different
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The Review thoughts?” The author will convince you that, contrary to the fashionable academic consensus of today, the answer to all these questions is –yes.
values reflect an era which sometimes startlingly close.
Globish ROBERT MCCRUM ‘McCrum argues, brilliantly and provocatively, that England’s greatest contribution to the world is English. The empire may be gone but Globish explains why the language still rules. Go anywhere in the world today and you’ll see or hear English in some form. It may not necessarily be the Queen’s English that you’re hearing, but it is, neverthelesss, a form of universally recognised English –it is Globish. The English language has quietly taken over the world. Paperback 9780141027104
Reality Hunger DAVIE SHIELDS Reality Hunger questions every assumption we ever made about art, the novel, journalism, poetry, film, TV, rap, graffiti, plagiarism, writing and reading. In seeking to tear up the old culture in search of something new and more authentic, it is the most vital book of the new century. ‘Refuses to sit still, leaping among ideas, arguments, programmatic declarations, aphorisms, personal asides, history, and etymology. For anyone frustrated, disappointed, or confused about the purpose of literature in the 21st century... Paperback 9780141049076
Beauty and the inferno ROBERTO SAVIANO Beauty and the inferno tackles universal themes with great insight and humanity, with urgency, and often with anger. This important collection includes essays on the legacy of the earthquake at L’Aquila, a town at risk of becoming overrun by mafia. The birth of classical Europe SIMON PIERCE & PETER THONEMANN We still live in the shadow of the classical world. At every level from languages to calendars to political systems, we are the descendants of a ‘classical Europe’, using frames of reference created by ancient Mediterranean cultures. This compelling and comprehensive work shows how the inhabitants of the classical world were also themselves living in the shadow of an ancient past. The Birth of Classical Europe is both an authoritative history, and also shows how our own