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The plot that unfolds is fiendishly tricky. This is terrific stuff: intelligent, engrossing and, in its evocation of a long-vanished London, wonderfully plausible. Freya Wyley, a young woman in the vanguard of second-wave feminism, carves out a career on chauvinistic Fleet Street as Britain enters the Swinging Sixties.

T he novel opens with a set piece: crowds throng the streets of London to celebrate V-E Day. Freya encounters a friend of a friend, Nancy Holdaway, a callow girl of whom she is at first dismissive but they bond during the nocturnal revelries.

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At Oxford, they later cement their friendship and confide their ambitions: Nancy wants to be a novelist, Freya a journalist. Or will she? The plot, while it does contain blackmail and a suspicious death, is essentially a character study. At one point, the theatre critic Jimmy Erskine tells Freya and Nancy his secret.

Marches are stolen, boats are rocked, hats are thrown into the ring, features are chiselled, breasts are perky, sneers are cold and laughs are rueful.

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The narrator, fussily, explains the motive behind every action taken and every sentence spoken. The old principle of showing not telling is abandoned in favour of both showing and telling. And yet the writers within the novel talk such a good game.

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Wilson has form with Girl in Berlin, which took us back to and the defection of Burgess and Maclean. Now she gives us England, , in the wake of the Hungarian uprising. Wilson is an academic, and her exposition is full of educational purpose — conversations become seminars on politics, ethics and history. But she wears her research well, and her characters are vulnerable and compromised enough to keep us interested.

The narrative reveals tantalisingly little as it climbs towards its denouement, skirting wider political contexts of gender, sex and class. It soon becomes clear to McGovern and Blackstone that they are up against gangland villainy and corruption in high places. Hailed as a masterpiece, this is a novel by a most original new voice in fiction. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

It is the story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century. Even at her birth, the slave women around her recognize a dark power that they- and she-will come to both revere and fear. The Night Women, as they call themselves, have long been plotting a slave revolt, and as Lilith comes of age they see her as the key to their plans.

Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

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With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers.


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In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.

In eight unforgettable sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the extraordinary lives of these women, from their arduous journeys by boat, to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; from their experiences raising children who would later reject their culture and language, to the deracinating arrival of war. Once again, Julie Otsuka has written a spellbinding novel about identity and loyalty, and what it means to be an American in uncertain times.

John Henry Holliday arrives on the Texas frontier hoping that the dry air and sunshine of the West will restore him to health. In search of high-stakes poker, the couple hits the saloons of Dodge City. And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and a fearless lawman named Wyatt Earp begins— before the gunfight at the O. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology—when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived.

Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love. That is until she meets pugilist patron George Dryer and discovers her true calling—fighting bare knuckles in the prize rings of Bristol.

Manor-born Charlotte has a different cross to bear. Scarred by smallpox, stifled by her social and romantic options, and trapped in twisted power games with her wastrel brother, she is desperate for an escape.

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After a disastrous, life-changing fight sidelines Ruth, the two women meet, and it alters the perspectives of both of them. When Charlotte presents Ruth with an extraordinary proposition, Ruth pushes dainty Charlotte to enter the ring herself and learn the power of her own strength. Description: Sue Trinder is an orphan, left as an infant in the care of Mrs.

Once the inheritance is secured, Maud will be disposed of—passed off as mad, and made to live out the rest of her days in a lunatic asylum. With dreams of paying back the kindness of her adopted family, Sue agrees to the plan. Once in, however, Sue begins to pity her helpless mark and care for Maud Lilly in unexpected ways…But no one and nothing is as it seems in this Dickensian novel of thrills and reversals.

She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. It is and Scotland has been humiliated by an English invasion and is threatened by machinations elsewhere beyond its borders, but it is still free. Paradoxically, her freedom may depend on a man who stands accused of treason.

In The Game of Kings, this extraordinary antihero returns to the country that has outlawed him to redeem his reputations even at the risk of his life. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevocably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie.

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Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated. Unable to return home, alone, and on the brink of destitution, she finds herself seduced by the tango, the dance that underscores every aspect of life in her new city. Knowing that she can never play in public as a woman, Leda disguises herself as a young man to join a troupe of musicians.

In the illicit, scandalous world of brothels and cabarets, the line between Leda and her disguise begins to blur, and forbidden longings that she has long kept suppressed are realized for the first time.

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Powerfully sensual, The Gods of Tango is an erotically charged story of music, passion, and the quest for an authentic life against the odds. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free. Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle.

The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery. Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud man whose voracious pursuit of political power is tempered only by his love for his delicate wife Clara, a woman with a mystical connection to the spirit world.


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When their daughter Blanca embarks on a forbidden love affair in defiance of her implacable father, the result is an unexpected gift to Esteban: his adored granddaughter Alba, a beautiful and strong-willed child who will lead her family and her country into a revolutionary future. One of the most important novels of the twentieth century, The House of the Spirits is an enthralling epic that spans decades and lives, weaving the personal and the political into a universal story of love, magic, and fate.

The story of this tragic episode unfolds in a sequence of interconnected chapters as the victims and the bereaved encounter suppression, denial, and the echoing agony of the massacre. An award-winning, controversial bestseller, Human Acts is a timeless, pointillist portrait of an historic event with reverberations still being felt today, by turns tracing the harsh reality of oppression and the resounding, extraordinary poetry of humanity. When the communist-backed army from the north invades her home, sixteen-year-old Haemi Lee, along with her widowed mother and ailing brother, is forced to flee to a refugee camp along the coast.

But as Haemi becomes a wife, then a mother, her decision to forsake the boy she always loved for the security of her family sets off a dramatic saga that will have profound effects for generations to come. As he moves on to Eleusis, Athens, and Crete, his playfulness and fondness for pranks matures into the courage to attempt singular heroic feats, the gallantry and leadership he was known for on the battlefield, and the bold-hearted ingenuity he shows in navigating the labyrinth and slaying the Minotaur.

In what is perhaps the most inventive of all her novels of Ancient Greece, Renault casts Theseus in a surprisingly original pose; she teases the flawed human out of the bronze hero, and draws the plausible out of the fantastic. Lavinia herself never speaks a word. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes us to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills.

Lavinia grows up knowing nothing but peace and freedom, until suitors come. Her mother wants her to marry handsome, ambitious Turnus. But omens and prophecies spoken by the sacred springs say she must marry a foreigner—that she will be the cause of a bitter war—and that her husband will not live long. When a fleet of Trojan ships sails up the Tiber, Lavinia decides to take her destiny into her own hands. There has been a royal fortress on the rock since the This site is only available in English.

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