Is it a miracle?
Is it magic?
And who does the little girl belong to?
An exquisitely crafted multi-layered mystery brimming with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield’s bestseller The Thirteenth Tale.
Their Finest by: Lissa Evans £7.99
It’s 1940. France has fallen, and only a narrow strip of sea lies between Great Britain and invasion. The country is in peril. What’s needed (obviously) is a morale-boosting, heart-warming war film, preferably one that will appeal to the American market.
As bombs start to fall on London, work begins on ‘Just an Ordinary Wednesday’, an almost-true tale of bravery and rescue at Dunkirk. And since call-up has stripped the film industry of the brightest and best, it’s the callow, the jaded and the utterly unsuitable who are making up the numbers.
There’s Catrin Cole, junior copy-writer turned romantic dialogue specialist; Ambrose Hilliard, third most popular British film star of 1924, currently available for all leading roles; Edith Beadmore, ex-seamstress at Madame Tussaud’s and ex-Londoner, having been bombed twice in two months; and Arthur Frith, whose peacetime job as a catering manager hasn’t prepared him for his sudden, unexpected elevation to Special Military Advisor.
And in a serious world, in a nation under siege, in a city visited nightly by destruction, they must work together to produce a slice of the purest entertainment.
The Growing Pains of Jennifer Ebert, Aged 19 Going on 91 by: David M Barnett £8.99
Nineteen-year-old Jennifer is regretting her hasty move into Sunset Promenade, an unusual retirement home taking in students to save money. Despite their differences in age, Jennifer and the older residents thrive and embark on a series of new adventures. But when Sunset Promenade is threatened with closure, cracks begin to show, and this quirky group of friends must work together to save their home.
The Growing Pains of Jennifer Ebert, aged 19 going on 91 is a funny, warm and uplifting novel about the importance of friendship, the value of community, and how it’s never too late to have the time of your life…
Force of Nature by: Jane Harper £7.99
Five went out.
Four came back…
Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice’s welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them.
Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.
The hike through the rugged landscape is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.
Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.
Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by: Gail Honeyman £8.99
When people ask me what I do – taxi drivers, dental hygienists – I tell them I work in an office. In almost nine years, no one’s ever asked what kind of office, or what sort of job I do there. I can’t decide whether that’s because I fit perfectly with their idea of what an office worker looks like, or whether people hear the phrase work in an office and automatically fill in the blanks themselves – lady doing photocopying, man tapping at keyboard.
Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live
She leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.
One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself.
Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – whilst searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?
Widely hailed as the fiction debut of 2017, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a triumph of deft observation of everyday life. By turns laugh-aloud funny and deeply poignant, it is a book that champions everyday courage and the importance of friendship in a world where people are increasingly isolated. Challenging the stigmas that exist around loneliness in contemporary society, it is a gentle reminder of those we too easily overlook and how a life can be changed by small acts of kindness.
Uncommon Type by: Tom Hanks £8.99
A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor.
A hectic, funny sexual affair between two best friends. A World War II veteran dealing with his emotional and physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket.
A small-town newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world. A woman adjusting to life in a new neighborhood after her divorce. Four friends going to the moon and back in a rocket ship constructed in the backyard.
A teenage surfer stumbling into his father’s secret life.
These are just some of the people and situations that Tom Hanks explores in his first work of fiction, a collection of stories that dissects, with great affection, humour, and insight, the human condition and all its foibles. The stories are linked by one thing: in each of them, a typewriter plays a part, sometimes minor, sometimes central.
To many, typewriters represent a level of craftsmanship, beauty and individuality that is harder and harder to find in the modern world. In his stories, Mr Hanks gracefully reaches that typewriter-worthy level.
Known for his honesty and sensitivity as an actor, Mr Hanks brings both those characteristics to his writing.
Alternatingly whimsical, moving and occasionally melancholy, Uncommon Type is a book that will delight as well as surprise his millions of fans. It also establishes him as a welcome and wonderful new voice in contemporary fiction, a voice that perceptively delves beneath the surface of friendships, families, love and normal, everyday behaviour.
A Hollywood name, Tom Hanks has been an actor, screenwriter, director and producer. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Uncommon Type is his first collection of fiction.