THE RAPTURES by Jan Carson (Doubleday £14.99, 336 pp)
by Jan Carson (Doubleday £14.99, 336 pp)
Ten children die, one after the other, of a mysterious illness in a rural Irish town.
What is killing them? Who will it come for next? And why is Hannah the only survivor?
It’s like a darker Pied Piper as we follow the different families through the cycle of fear, loss and grief.
But I felt sorriest for Hannah’s poor ex-classmates, who return to say death is like a badly run youth club.
Beautifully written and brilliantly original, this novel’s combination of ordinary lives and extraordinary events reminded me of Jon McGregor’s great Reservoir 13.
OTHER PARENTS by Sarah Stovell (HQ £14.99, 400 pp)
by Sarah Stovell (HQ £14.99, 400 pp)
Rachel Saunders has it all: big job, pots of money, fab house and clever kids. But there’s trouble behind the glossy facade.
Rachel divorced her husband to live with a woman, and her teenage daughter is confused and angry.
She’s sleeping with lots of boys, one of whom isn’t very nice. The consequences are scandalous and sensational.
Caught up in the disaster are headmistress Jo and struggling mother Laura, a woman with a difficult secret.
Deft, wry and perceptive, this drama targets class and modern parenting.
LITTLE WING by Freya North (Welbeck £12.99, 400 pp)
by Freya North (Welbeck £12.99, 400 pp)
Essex cafe manager Nell finds that her mother is not who Nell thinks she is.
It turns out that her real mum, as a pregnant 1960s schoolgirl, was banished to the remote Isle of Harris to give birth to her daughter.
Meanwhile, in London, photographer Dougie has lost his way. His concerned father brings him home to Harris just as Nell arrives in search of her roots.
The island descriptions are stunning and the whole novel is filled with joy and love.
This heart-filled weepie will warm your cockles, restore your mojo and make you want to go to the Hebrides right now.
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