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The Dream House, by Rachel Hore
Kate Hutchinson and her husband Simon are Londoners, performing the act of raising two children in a cramped terraced house whilst holding down stressful full-time jobs. Sacrificing her career and her independence, Kate battles to make a new life for the family under her mother-in-law's roof - while they search for the perfect home.
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China Room, by Sunjeev Sahota
Mehar, a young bride in rural 1929 Punjab, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. She and her sisters-in-law, married to three brothers in a single ceremony, spend their days hard at work in the family's 'china room', sequestered from contact with the men. When Mehar develops a theory as to which of them is hers, a passion is ignited that will put more than one life at risk. Spiralling around Mehar's story is that of a young man who in 1999 travels from England to the now-deserted farm, its 'china room' locked and barred. In enforced flight from the traumas of his adolescence - his experiences of addiction, racism, and estrangement from the culture of his birth - he spends a summer in painful contemplation and recovery, before finally finding the strength to return 'home'.
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The French House, by Jacquie Bloese
Left profoundly deaf after an accident, Émile is no stranger to isolation - or heartbreak. Now, as Nazi planes loom over Guernsey, he senses life is about to change forever. Trapped in a tense, fearful marriage, Isabelle doesn't know what has become of Émile and the future she hoped for. But when she glimpses him from the window of the French House, their lives collide once more. Leutnant Schreiber is more comfortable wielding a paintbrush than a pistol. But he has little choice in the role he is forced to play in the occupying forces - or in his own forbidden desires. As their paths entwine, loyalties are blurred and dangerous secrets forged. But on an island under occupation, courage can have deadly consequences.
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The Match, by Harlan Coben
As a young child, Wilde was found living a feral existence in the Ramapo mountains of New Jersey. He has grown up knowing nothing of his family, and even less about his own identity. He is known simply as Wilde, the boy from the woods. But when a match at an online ancestry database puts him on the trail of a close relative - the first family member he has ever known - he thinks he might be about to solve the mystery of who he really is. Only this relation disappears as quickly as he's resurfaced, having experienced an epic fall from grace that can only be described as a waking nightmare. Undaunted, Wilde continues his research on DNA websites where he becomes caught up in a community of doxxers, a secret group committed to exposing anonymous online trolls. Then one by one these doxxers start to die, and it soon becomes clear that a serial killer is targeting this secret community.
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Mother's Boy, by Patrick Gale
Laura, an impoverished Cornish girl, meets her husband when they are both in service in Teignmouth in 1916. They have a baby, Charles, but Laura's husband returns home from the trenches a damaged man, already ill with the tuberculosis that will soon leave her a widow. In a small, class-obsessed town she raises her boy alone, working as a laundress, and gradually becomes aware that he is some kind of genius. As an intensely private young man, Charles signs up for the navy with the new rank of coder. His escape from the tight, gossipy confines of Launceston to the colour and violence of war sees him blossom as he experiences not only the possibility of death, but the constant danger of a love that is as clandestine as his work.
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The Little Wartime Library, by Kate Thompson
London, 1944. Clara Button is no ordinary librarian. While the world remains at war, in East London Clara has created the country's only underground library, built over the tracks in the disused Bethnal Green tube station. Down here a secret community thrives: with thousands of bunk beds, a nursery, a café and a theatre offering shelter, solace and escape from the bombs that fall above. Along with her glamorous best friend and library assistant Ruby Munroe, Clara ensures the library is the beating heart of life underground. But as the war drags on, the women's determination to remain strong in the face of adversity is tested to the limits when it seems it may come at the price of keeping those closest to them alive.
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Death at the Auction, by E.C. Bateman
When an accident forces Felicia Grant back to her family's auction house in Stamford, she vows it'll only be a flying visit. But as the gavel falls on the final lot, a hidden secret is revealed - the body of her father's business rival, murdered during the packed sale! Soon, Felicia is swept into a mystery that has everyone in the community as a potential suspect - including her. As the body count rises and with the people she loves under threat, Felicia takes matters into her own hands. But even the most picturesque place has its secrets.
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The Art of Dying, by Ambrose Parry
Edinburgh, 1850. Despite being at the forefront of modern medicine, hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. But it is not just the deaths that dismay the esteemed Dr James Simpson - a whispering campaign seeks to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances. Simpson's protégé Will Raven and former housemaid Sarah Fisher are determined to clear their patron's name. But with Raven battling against the dark side of his own nature, and Sarah endeavouring to expand her own medical knowledge beyond what society deems acceptable for a woman, the pair struggle to understand the cause of the deaths.
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The School for Good Mothers, by Jessamine Chan
Frida Liu is an anxiety-prone, 39-year-old, Chinese-American single mom living in a Philadelphia much like ours when she is reported, after a spate of sleepless nights with her 18-month-old, for leaving her daughter alone for a stretch of time she later calls her Very Bad Day. Yet there is no room in Frida's world for bad days, let alone bad mothers, according to the state's increasingly empowered Child Protective Services which seamlessly takes Harriet and sets about surveilling Frida's home. After a series of almost comically bad supervised visits, a judge deems Frida temporarily unfit. Her only hope for continuing to share custody of Harriet with her ex (and his doting girlfriend) is to pass exams meted out by a prized new government program. This 12-month, live-in program, a 'school' situated on an abandoned college campus, will retrain Frida in how best to parent.
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Undoctored: The Story of a Medic Who Ran Out of Patients, by Adam Kay
Adam Kay returns and will once again have you in stitches in 'Undoctored'. In his most honest and incisive book yet, he reflects on what's happened since hanging up his scrubs and examines a life inextricably bound up with medicine. Battered and bruised from his time on the NHS frontline, Kay looks back, moves forwards and opens up some old wounds. Hilarious and heartbreaking, horrifying and humbling, 'Undoctored' is the astonishing portrait of a life by one of Britain's best-loved storytellers.
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Box 88, by Charles Cumming
1989: The fall of the Berlin Wall is imminent and the Cold War will soon be over. But for Box 88, a top secret spying agency known only to an inner circle of MI6 and CIA operatives, the espionage game is heating up. Lachlan Kite, recruited straight from an elite boarding school, is sent to France - the frontline of a new secret war. Kite is tasked with gathering intelligence on a mysterious Iranian businessman implicated in the tragic Lockerbie bombing. But what he uncovers is even more deadly. 2020: MI5 hear rumours of Box 88's existence and go after Kite - only for Iranian intelligence to get to him first. Taken captive and subjected to torture, Kite is presented with a simple choice: reveal the truth about what happened in France thirty years earlier - or watch his family die.
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The Favour, by Nora Murphy
Leah Dawson and McKenna Hawkins had a lot in common, but they had never met. They are smart, professional women living in the same prosperous neighbourhood in lovely houses with picket fences and beautiful gardens. And they were both married to successful, good-looking men who both seem bent on having 'the perfect wife'. They don't - ever - find themselves in the same train carriage or meet accidentally at the gym or in the coffee shop. And they don't - ever - discuss their problems and find common ground. But they do cross paths. And they see something each recognises in the other. That they are living in hell. Neither narrator is unreliable. They always tell us the truth. And their truth hurts. A lot. Because these two attractive, intelligent professional women are living in a hell of their husband's making. And there is no way to get out of hell. Is there?
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Landlines, by Raynor Winn
Raynor Winn knows that her husband Moth's health is declining, getting worse by the day. She knows of only one cure. It worked once before. But will he - can he? - set out with her on another healing walk? The Cape Wrath Trail is over two hundred miles of gruelling terrain through Scotland's remotest mountains and lochs. But the lure of the wilderness and the beguiling beauty of the awaiting glens draw them northwards. Being one with nature saved them in their darkest hour and their hope is that it can work its magic again. As they set out on their incredible thousand-mile journey back to the familiar shores of the South-west Coast Path, Raynor and Moth map the landscape of an island nation facing an uncertain path ahead. In this book, she records in luminous prose the strangers and friends, wilderness and wildlife they encounter on the way - it's a journey that begins in fear but can only end in hope.
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Old Rage, by Sheila Hancock
In 'Old Rage', one of Britain's best loved actors opens up about her ninth decade. Funny, feisty, honest, she makes for brilliant company as she talks about her life as a daughter, a sister, a mother, a widow, an actor, a friend and looks at a world so different from the wartime world of her childhood. And yet - despite age, despite rage - she finds there are always reasons for joy.
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