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New fiction for March 2014

Written by · Published Feb 28, 2014

Cat out of Hell by Lynne Truss

The blazing world by Siri Hustvedt

Artist Harriet Burden, consumed by fury at the lack of recognition she has received from the New York art establishment, embarks on an experiment: she hides her identity behind three male fronts who exhibit her work as their own.

And yet, even after she has unmasked herself, there are those who refuse to believe she is the woman behind the men. Author of The summer without men.

Cat out of Hell by Lynne Truss

The mesmerising tale of a cat with nine lives, and a relationship as ancient as time itself and just as powerful.

The scene: a cottage on the coast on a windy evening. Inside, a room with curtains drawn. Tea has just been made. A kettle still steams. Under a pool of yellow light, two figures face each other across a kitchen table. A man and a cat.

The story about to be related is so unusual yet so terrifyingly plausible that it demands to be told in a single sitting. The man clears his throat, and leans forward, expectant. “Shall we begin?” says the cat. Our reports are that this is very funny.

We are all completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Stunning coming of age story. Rosemary’s young, just at college, and she’s decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we’re not going to tell you too much either: you’ll have to find out for yourselves.

Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone – vanished from her life. There’s something unique about Rosemary’s sister, Fern.

So now she’s telling her story: full of hilarious asides and brilliantly spiky lines, it’s a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice … Brilliant and heartbreaking from the author of The Jane Austen Book Club.

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid/Jane Austen

17 year old Catherine ‘Cat’ Morland has led a sheltered existence in rural Dorset, a life entirely bereft of the romance and excitement for which she yearns. So when Cat’s wealthy neighbours, the Allens, invite her to the Edinburgh Festival, she is sure adventure beckons.

Edinburgh initially offers no such thrills: Susie Allen is obsessed by shopping, Andrew Allen by the Fringe. A Highland Dance class, though, brings Cat a new acquaintance: Henry Tilney, a pale, dark-eyed gentleman whose family home, Northanger Abbey, sounds perfectly thrilling. And an introduction to Bella Thorpe, who shares her passion for supernatural novels, provides Cat with a like-minded friend.

Crime writer Val McDermid is the latest literary star to re-write Jane Austen. Hopefully she will resist the urge to kill some of the characters off (or not) depending on your view of the original.

Shotgun lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

Henry, Lee, Kip and Ronny grew up together in rural Wisconsin. Friends since childhood, their lives all began the same way, but have since taken different paths. Henry stayed on the family farm and married his first love, whilst the others left in search of something more.

Ronnie became a rodeo star, Kip made his fortune in the city, and musician Lee found fame but heartbreak, too. Now all four are back in town for a wedding, each of them hoping to recapture their old closeness but unable to escape how much has changed.

Amid the happiness of reunion and celebration, old rivalries resurface and a wife’s secret threatens to tear both a marriage and a friendship apart. The author went to the same school as Bon Iver frontman, Justin Vernon. Watch out for some intriguing plot similarities.

Brandon King

I work in the Suffolk Libraries Stock Team