In The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett, we see human nature observed through the eyes of a confident storyteller. Weaving from past to present the story unfolds slowly telling how Danny and his sister, Maeve, came to the house and how their father’s second wife evicted them after their father’s death. It’s a tale of obsession, siblings, love and betrayal. An examination of the injustices that life often throws at us and how resilience and justice find a way through.
V2 by Robert Harris is a fascinating account of the V2 missile, its inception and use in Hitler’s last attempt to win the war. It blends fact with fiction in a skilful manner and the characters of Rudi Graf and Kay Caton-Walsh are well-rounded and credible characters in a story based in fact but embellished by fiction.
‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama is her absorbing, eloquent and highly acclaimed memoir. It has received great praise as a thoughtful and candid account of an extraordinary life, before and during eight years in the White House as First Lady of the United States.
An overview of some of the ways research can be used to help with stories and the advantages and disadvantages of extensive research. How much research is enough?
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell is a mystery story about obsession, cruelty, love, abuse, identity and finding redemption that examines the darkness of human nature and the dangers of cults.
The Midnight Library is an engaging and unusual story in its narrative structure and in the way it combines philosophical discussion with humour and contemporary dialogue. An extraordinary book for extraordinary times it examines choices and how the main character, Nora Seed, could have had different lives if she had made different choices. It has been serialised for Radio Four and highly acclaimed as a Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction 2020.
As we look back on 2020 and the year that life changed for the world , we look forward to what this new year brings.
Crime after Crime, with a foreword by Stephen Leather, is a collection of short stories from several different writers with crime at the centre of the tales. Each story is different in content and tone. Dark crimes with twists in the ending these tales are sure to keep the reader thinking.
Richard Osman’s debut crime novel is a whodunnit with many plot twists and a charm reminiscent of classic crime fiction. A retirement home is the unusual setting for this story. The residents work in parallel with the police to solve two murders.
A true love story set in the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is a moving story of bravery and endurance against the odds. Compelling, unforgettable and uplifting, the life of Lale Sololov is the story of a survivor.