Debut novels top the list of new books…
1. Maame by Jessica George is published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton
Maame is an exciting and emotionally charged debut from London-based author Jessica George. Set in the capital, it follows the story of 25-year-old Maddie Wright, who carries the heavy load of being her father’s carer and being the glue that holds her family unit together. It is easy to see why there was a bidding war to publish Maame, as every word is a gem and every page is a pleasure to read. You will devour it in one sitting and fall in love with Maddie’s character, as she sets out to find her way in the world via nightmare bosses, passive-aggressive flatmates, questionable men and online dating. A really heart-warming tale of redemption and self-discovery, that will appeal to anyone who loved Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams.
2. Nothing Can Hurt You Now by Simone Campos, translated by Rahul Bery, is published in hardback by Pushkin Vertigo
This is a debut book, but has the potential to be a series. It is a crime thriller based in Brazil, which is enthralling from the get-go. The story is based around two sisters, Lucinda and Viviana, and their intricate relationship – both with each other and many of the characters involved. Lucinda has long lived in the shadow of her model younger sister – but when Viviana goes missing and the police are indifferent, Lucinda picks up the baton to find her. Playing amateur sleuth, Lucinda learns a lot about her sister and her life – discovering she was actually a sex worker. This leads her to a lot of introspection, particularly when Lucinda reads Viviana’s files, containing all her thoughts and feelings. The story is thought-provoking, and keeps you gripped throughout.
3. The Dead Of Winter by Stuart MacBride is published in hardback by Bantam Press
Collecting a dying gangster from jail and taking him to a deserted Scottish village for the final few months of his life sounds like a run-of-the-mill job for two police officers. But the village of Glenfarach is home to criminals who are not safe to be freed even after serving their sentence, so it’s no surprise the mission turns out to be anything but ordinary for Detective Constable Edward Reekie and his boss DI Victoria Montgomery-Porter. Add in snowstorms, incompetent local policemen and a series of grisly murders in the village, and you end up with a classic crime thriller from Stuart MacBride. The shocking twists and turns of the story will keep you guessing throughout.
4. Red Memory: Living, Remembering And Forgetting China’s Cultural Revolution by Tania Branigan
Red Memory takes the personal tales of those on the front line of the violence of the Cultural Revolution, victims and perpetrators, and attempts to explain what that trauma means for modern China. The impact of the Cultural Revolution clearly lives on, but unlike in many other countries there has been no reckoning and the government chooses to forget, rather than remember. The stories The Guardian’s Tania Branigan tells bring home the horror of Mao’s final decade, while her meditations on memory and trauma are thought-provoking. It is hard to grasp modern China without understanding the Cultural Revolution, and this book will play an important role in illuminating the chaos.
Children’s book of the week
5. A Dragon Realm Adventure: World Book Day 2023 by Katie Tsang and Kevin Tsang is published in paperback by Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Part of the Dragon Realm series by husband-and-wife authors Katie and Kevin Tsang, A Dragon Realm Adventure has twelve-year-old Billy Chan exploring a multi-realm setting alongside Spark – a dragon with whom he shares a close bond. With his friends, Billy must help retrieve a missing egg for a clan of dragons who have fallen into the Human Realm. Imagination knows no limits in this fantasy adventure. The story is an endless place for exploration and discovery, great for young readers to encourage their creative thinking. From the moment our young protagonists and their dragons face off with a temperamental scorpion, you are transported into an exciting world full of possibility, which like the Harry Potter series, demands you going back and finding out more about the story behind the story.
New books to read this week
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