Life After Lunch by Sarah Harrison
In the summer her marriage turns 25, Laura embarks on an affair. Life gets chaotic as Laura’s passions get tangled up with the complicated lives of her (almost) grown up children. Witty and most enjoyable. Like a cross between Mary Wesley and Joanna Trollope. This book is out of print, but try Ebay.
Trespasses by Louise Kennedy
A quietly heart-breaking novel set in Northern Ireland during the troubles. It’s got everything you could possibly want from a good book: believable characters, an immersive setting and a compelling (if upsetting) plot. I really felt that I was there. A remarkable love story that I won’t forget.
The Vet’s Daughter by Barbara Comyns
A remarkable book. It’s set in Edwardian London; a rather grubby, unloved part of it. Alice is 17 and lives a lonely life with her cruel father (The Vet) and her dying mother. The gloomy and claustrophobic house full of sick animals is the perfect setting for a gothic horror story. What follows is a is a tightly paced thriller that flows at a sickening pace. I read it in one sitting. The brutality and supernatural twists are so unexpected amongst the everyday drudgery of Edwardian life. The ending left me open mouthed in horror!
This book sits beautifully alongside two other remarkable novels: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson and Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner.
The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
Dr Ruth Galloway and DCI Harry Nelson are my favourite crime solving duo. This is book two in the series and once again forensic archaeologist Ruth finds herself drawn into a dangerous murder mystery. Although I enjoy the tightly woven plot, what I’m really here for is the fascinating relationship between Ruth and Harry. I can’t wait to see what happens in book three!
Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld
It took me a few chapters to get into this novel, but once I did, I was hooked. It’s a whip-smart, dialogue heavy, romantic comedy reminiscent of Nora Ephron. If you like ‘When Harry Met Sally’ you’ll love this. I finished the last chapter with a big goofy grin on my face.