Sometimes being crazily busy has its benefits – namely that when I’ve got time, I can sit down and finally read all the emails relating to new releases. Here’s a sample of my wish list for June – please note that all release dates are Australian, which may be earlier or later than your country. I’ve also chosen these books on my own fancy, though I do admit that shiny catalogues and pretty emails entice me to look further…
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
From the publisher (Penguin Australia):
What if you could remember just one thing?
Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Back home she finds the place horribly unrecognizable – just like she sometimes thinks her daughter Helen is a total stranger.
But there’s one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.
Because somewhere in Maud’s damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about.
Everyone, except Maud . . .
I think: this will be not only interesting, but a heartbreaking insight into dementia. Part mystery and part unveiling of the ageing mind – this book is going to be fascinating.
A Perfect Heritage by Penny Vincenzi
From the publisher (Hachette Australia):
A family. A firm. A lifetime of secrets. A PERFECT HERITAGE is the irresistible new novel from the No. 1 bestselling author Penny Vincenzi, the original and the best.
The House of Farrell – home of The Cream, an iconic face product that has seen women flocking to its bijoux flagship store in the Berkeley Arcade since 1953.
At Farrell, you can rely on the personal touch. The legendary Athina Farrell remains the company’s figurehead; and in her kingdom within the Berkeley Arcade, Florence Hamilton plies their cosmetics with the utmost discretion. She is sales advisor – and holder of secrets – extraordinaire.
But the world of cosmetics is changing, and the once-perfect heritage of the House of Farrell is now under threat, its customers tempted away by more fashionable brands.
Enter Bianca Bailey, formidable businesswoman, mother of three, and someone who always gets her way. Athina and Bianca lock horns over the future of the House of Farrell; but it is the past that tells its devastating tale of ambition and ego, passion and wonder… and survival.
I think: it’s no secret I am desperate for this book as I adore all of Penny Vincenzi’s books. She writes books combining work, love, family and history in a seamless, unputdownable fashion. At 528 pages, I’ll be AWOL all weekend and then some!
Written in my own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
From the publisher (Hachette Australia):
The latest epic volume in the multi-million-copy bestselling Outlander series.
It is June 1778, and the world seems to be turning upside-down. The British Army is withdrawing from Philadelphia, with George Washington in pursuit, and for the first time, it looks as if the rebels might actually win. But for Claire Fraser and her family, there are even more tumultuous revolutions that have to be accommodated.
Her former husband, Jamie, has returned from the dead, demanding to know why in his absence she married his best friend, Lord John Grey. Lord John’s son, the ninth Earl of Ellesmere, is no less shocked to discover that his real father is actually the newly-resurrected Jamie Fraser, and Jamie’s nephew Ian Murray discovers that his new-found cousin has an eye for the woman who has just agreed to marry him.
And while Claire is terrified that one of her husbands may be about to murder the other, in the 20th century her descendants face even more desperate turns of events. Her daughter Brianna is trying to protect her son from a vicious criminal with murder on his mind, while her husband Roger has disappeared into the past…
I think: I’m really looking forward to reading more in the Outlander series, as I devoured the first four books about Claire and Jamie during uni holidays one year. It looks like things are getting complicated though in this time travel series – but I know I’ll enjoy the 800 page tome!
Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth
From the publisher (Allen & Unwin):
You know how it is. Saturday afternoon. You wake up and you can’t move. I blinked and the floaters on my eyeballs shifted to reveal Tyler in her ratty old kimono over in the doorway. ‘Way I see it,’ she said, glass in one hand, lit cigarette in the other, ‘girls are tied to beds for two reasons: sex and exorcisms. So, which was it with you?’
Laura and Tyler are best friends who live together, angrily philosophising and leading each other astray in the pubs and flats of Manchester. But things are set to change. Laura is engaged to teetotal Jim, the wedding is just months away, and Tyler becomes hell-bent on sabotaging her friend’s plans for a different life.
Animals is a hilarious, moving and refreshingly honest tale of how a friendship can become the ultimate love story.
I think: I have read so many good things about Emma Jane Unsworth from UK bloggers that I’m really looking forward to this one. It seems like an honest story about friendship, no holds barred.
Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch
From the publisher (Text Publishing):
When a medical procedure goes horribly wrong and famous actor Ralph Meier winds up dead, Dr Marc Schlosser needs to come up with some answers. After all, reputation is everything in this business. Personally, he’s not exactly upset that Ralph is gone, but as a high profile doctor to the stars, Marc can’t hide from the truth forever.
It all started the previous summer. Marc, his wife, and their two beautiful teenage daughters agreed to spend a week at the Meier’s extravagant summer home on the Mediterranean. Joined by Ralph and his striking wife Judith, her mother, film director Stanley Forbes and his much younger girlfriend, the large group settles in for days of sunshine, wine tasting, and trips to the beach. But when a violent incident disrupts the idyll, darker motivations are revealed, and suddenly no one can be trusted. As the ultimate holiday soon turns into a nightmare, the circumstances surrounding Ralph’s (later) death begin to reveal the disturbing reality behind that summer’s tragedy.
Featuring the razor-sharp humour and acute psychological insight that made The Dinner an international phenomenon, Summer House with Swimming Pool is a controversial, thought-provoking novel that showcases Herman Koch at his finest.
I think: that this book by the author of The Dinner could raise just as many animated discussions for book clubs as his previous work. I’m interested to find out the mystery behind it all…
Have you read any of these books? Which ones interest you?