Each of the judges of the Elysian Prize for literature has a reason for accepting the job. For the chairman, MP Malcolm Craig, it is backbench boredom, media personality Jo Cross is on the hunt for a relevant novel and Oxbridge academic Vanessa Shaw is determined to discover good writing.
But for Penny Feather of the Foreign Office, it’s all just getting in the way of writing her own thriller. Over the next few weeks they must read hundreds of submissions to find the best book of the year – so the judges spar, cajole and bargain in order that their chosen title gets the recognition it deserves. New fiction from the author of the Patrick Melrose novels.
It’s the 1960s and Nora Webster is living with her two young sons in a small town on the east coast of Ireland. The love of her life, Maurice, has just died so she must work out how to forge a new life for herself.
As Nora returns to memories of the happiness of her early marriage, something more painful begins to intrude: memories of her own mother and what brought about the terrifying distance between them.
Luke Kanowski is a young playwright: intense, magnetic and fleeing a disastrous upbringing in the North East. Arriving in London, he meets Paul Driscoll, an aspiring producer, and beautiful, fiery Leigh Radley.
Luke, Paul and Leigh set up a radical theatre company, living and working together, a connection forged in the smoky late-nights of Chelsea’s run-down flats and damp rehearsal rooms above pubs, candlelit during power cuts, where a new generation of writers and directors is fighting for its place.
Nina Jacobs is a fragile actress, bullied by her mother and in thrall to a controlling producer. When Luke meets Nina he recognises a soul in danger and loyalty, friendship, everything he has fought for, is drawn into the heat of their collision.
The author of My dear, I wanted to tell you (which we reviewed with Radio Suffolk’s Lesley Dolphin earlier this month) returns with a new novel.
It’s 1919, and Britain is realising that it is no longer at war. Now, Nadine and Riley, Rose, and Peter and Julia, must try to regain a sense of normality. But long shadows cast by the war dim the potential joys of peacetime, and matters of the heart prove arduous and bewildering.
Normality doesn’t seem to exist the way it did, and there is no ‘going back’ to anything. What must give, for happiness to stand a chance? For those who fought, those who healed and those left behind, 1919 is a year freighted with perilous beginnings, unavoidable realities and gleams of indestructible hope.
A Manhattan ER doctor is in the local playground with his young son when someone ruthlessly guns him down. Now his young widow, a television producer, is raising their son alone and is under pressure to come up with a successful TV series.
Her new show will focus on cold case files. Revisiting unsolved crimes one at a time, she and her TV crew plan to gather friends and family of the victim who have lived under suspicion of guilt for many years. By paying them to reenact the crime on television, they will be given a chance to clear their name – unless, of course, they are guilty.
Lady Jane Grey has just been executed by her cousin, Mary Tudor, and her two younger sisters, Mary and Catherine, live in the shadow of their sister’s tragic demise.
Court painter Levina Teerlinc helps the girls survive Mary Tudor’s reign, but when the queen’s sister, the hot–headed Elizabeth, inherits the crown, life becomes increasingly treacherous…