CONTEMPORARY

CONTEMPORARY

WAHALA by Nikki May (Doubleday £14.99, 384 pp)

WAHALA by Nikki May (Doubleday £14.99, 384 pp)

WAHALA

by Nikki May (Doubleday £14.99, 384 pp)

I loved this beautifully written and fabulously fresh debut about female friendship, race and family ties.

Ronke, Simi and Boo are British Nigerian women whose once close clique is thrown into chaos by the arrival of glamorous, mega-wealthy Isobel. Wahala is the Nigerian word for trouble and it’s clear that Isobel’s divide-and-rule tactics will create a heap of it for our original three.

As the interloper’s gossip and manipulations increase, their previously rock-solid relationships with each other and with their families begin to fracture. Each is going through a difficult time and where once they would have helped each other, there are now too many secrets and lies, too much guilt and shame . . .

It’s sad, divertente, clever and contains important messages about dual nationality, everyday racism, gender and social expectations. Utterly addictive and my hands-down favourite this week.

THE TRUTH ABOUT HER by Jacqueline Maley (The Borough Press £14.99, 368 pp)

THE TRUTH ABOUT HER by Jacqueline Maley (The Borough Press £14.99, 368 pp)

THE TRUTH ABOUT HER

by Jacqueline Maley (The Borough Press £14.99, 368 pp)

When journalist and single mother Suzy writes a story for her newspaper about the wellness expert, organic food promoter and social media influencer Tracey Doran faking bone cancer so she could claim to have cured herself, she doesn’t expect Tracey to kill herself.

Unable to stop thinking about whether she played a role in Tracey’s death, Suzy distracts herself with looking after her daughter during the long, hot Sydney summer and with the secretive affairs she chooses over having a real intimate relationship.

Suzy’s life quickly spirals out of control as she is hounded by strangers on Twitter and also by Tracey’s mother, who demands Suzy now write a different kind of story about her daughter. I raced through this compelling tale about shame, single motherhood and the lies we tell ourselves and other people.

THIRTY THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MYSELF by Radhika Sanghani (Headline £14.99, 400 pp)

THIRTY THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MYSELF by Radhika Sanghani (Headline £14.99, 400 pp)

THIRTY THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MYSELF

by Radhika Sanghani (Headline £14.99, 400 pp)

Freelance journalist Nina Mistry wasn’t happy with her life before she spent the evening of her 30th birthday locked up in a prison cell.

She hadn’t actually done anything wrong except inadvertently get mixed up in a protest about refugee women’s rights during a midnight dash for a falafel wrap, which makes it feel even more unfair.

She sobs and wonders if it would have been better to stay with the fiancé she loved but was not in love with. She’s not fulfilled by her career either, despite the relentless brave face she displays.

A guard gives her the only book available, How To Fix Your Shi**y Life By Loving Yourself, and Nina decides to adopt it and find 30 things she loves about herself in a year.

Relatable Nina’s rollercoaster ride is entertaining.

To buy any book reviewed here, visit mailshop.co.uk/books oppure chiama 020 3176 2937

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