The first month of the year has almost come to a close, which can only mean one thing – it’s about time for your first book club of the year! Unsure of what book to choose? No need to fret – we’ve got you covered with a list of current, topical, and best-selling books that are bound to enliven any book club and start your year off in style:
The Binding by Bridget Collins:
Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.
Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.
In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.
Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.
The Binding is an unforgettable, magical novel: a boundary-defying love story and a unique literary event.
Half Moon Lake by Kirsten Alexander:
Inspired by a real case, Half Moon Lake is a captivating historical novel set in America’s Deep South about a lost boy – and the two mothers who both seek to claim him.
‘They said he was their boy. And so he was . . .’
In 1913, on a summer’s day at Half Moon Lake, Louisiana, four-year-old Sonny Davenport walks into the woods and never returns.
The boy’s mysterious disappearance from the family’s lake house makes front-page news in their home town of Opelousas. John Henry and Mary Davenport are wealthy and influential, and will do anything to find their son. For two years, the Davenports search across the South, offer increasingly large rewards and struggle not to give in to despair.
Then, at the moment when all hope seems lost, the boy is found in the company of a tramp.
But is he truly Sonny Davenport? The circumstances of his discovery raise more questions than answers. And when Grace Mill, an unwed farm worker, travels from Alabama to lay claim to the child, newspapers, townsfolk, even the Davenports’ own friends, take sides.
As the tramp’s kidnapping trial begins, and two desperate mothers fight for ownership of the boy, the people of Opelousas discover that truth is more complicated than they’d ever dreamed . . .
Half Moon Lake is Kirsten Alexander’s compelling debut novel, about the parent-child bond, identity, and what it means to be part of a family.
Call Me Evie by J. P. Pomare:
In this compulsive, twist-filled and haunting psychological suspense debut perfect for fans of Sharp Objects and Room, a seventeen-year-old girl struggles to remember the role she played on the night her life changed forever…
Don’t trust him. It wasn’t me. It couldn’t have been me.
Meet Evie, a young woman who has fled with her uncle to the isolated New Zealand beach town of Maketu. Jim says he’s hiding her to protect her, that she did something terrible back home in Melbourne. Something Evie can’t remember.
But Evie isn’t her real name. And Jim isn’t really her uncle.
In a house that creaks against the wind, Evie pieces together the events that led her here. And as her memories return, she starts to wonder if Jim is really her saviour . . . or her captor.
A riveting debut novel that fearlessly plumbs the darkest recesses of the mind, Call Me Evie explores the fragility of memory and the potential in all of us to hide the truth even from ourselves.
The Rumour by Lesley Kara:
Careless talk wrecks lives…
When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back . . .
Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.
Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.
So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?
How to be Second Best by Jessica Dettmann:
A hilarious and heart-warming debut that captures the dramas, delights and delirium of modern parenting. This is Marian Keyes meets Allison Pearson, with a dash of Caitlin Moran.
Going from one child to two is never all that easy for a family, but when Emma’s husband simultaneously fathers a third child three doors up the street, things get very tricky, very fast.
No longer is it enough for Emma to be the best wife and mother – now she’s trying to be the best ex-wife, and the best part-time parent to her ex’s love child, and that’s before she even thinks about adding a new bloke to the mix.
Set in an upwardly mobile, ultra-competitive suburb, this is a funny, biting, heart-warming modern comedy that looks at the roles we play, how we compete, and what happens when we dare to strive for second-best.