It is summer holiday season and whether you’re planning a staycation, a holiday somewhere in the UK or jetting off abroad, you might be thinking what books you can read as you relax. Well today is the day when lots of fab books are released. I can’t claim to have read them all (for example, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Frances Quinn’s new novel That Bonesetter Woman – I am definitely buying that very soon!) but I have read few.
So here are my top three books that have all been released today (21 July 2022). They are all very different, yet they are all captivating page turners…
The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell
Warning! This is the twisted sequel to the equally brilliant psychological thriller The Family Upstairs. In my view you need to read the prequel first to really appreciate The Family Remains, especially as the new novel further explores the character of Henry Lamb, one of the most intriguing characters I have ever met. This novel is so edgy, unique and unpredictable, I was a bag of nerves reading it, and I loved it!
At the heart of this story is an unsolved murder, as a bag of human bones is discovered on the foreshore of the River Thames. This leads the police to a mansion in Chelsea where thirty years previously, three people were mysteriously found dead. But The Family Remains is so much more than a murder story, it is a brilliant and intriguing exploration of relationships, power, obsession and identity.
Made up of compelling sub plots, I couldn’t quite envisage how the different story threads would come together. Nor could I work out how the novel would end as the tension mounts towards its climax. But Lisa Jewell skilfully brings it all together in a way I didn’t expect but I loved.
Waiting for Sunshine by Jane Sanderson
I absolutely adored Jane Sanderson’s last novel Mix Tape, so when I was approached to read Waiting for Sunshine, I jumped at the chance.
Waiting for Sunshine is an emotionally charged story about adoption. Chrissie and Stuart have been desperate to adopt for some time. At one point they were very close to adopting a baby boy, but for some reason that was never explained to them, the baby was placed with another family. Finally they are told they can adopt three-year-old Sunshine who was abandoned at a housing office twelve months previously.
Yet as soon as Sunshine comes to live with Chrissie and Stuart, the little girl’s unknown past begins to haunt the new family. Driven by her love for her beautiful daughter and her mothering instinct, fear begins to gnaw away at Chrissie. This all consuming fear even drives a wedge between her and Stuart. But is Chrissie right to be so fearful?
Waiting for Sunshine is a poignant novel exploring motherhood and identity. It is so tender and thought provoking with the character of Sunshine leaving a beautiful mark on my heart.
All About Evie by Matson Taylor
Matson Taylor’s first novel The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is one of my favourite books. I read it in the midst of lockdown and it was such an uplifting tonic. I was genuinely worried that I wouldn’t really like the sequel All About Evie, but I had nothing to worry about! I absolutely loved it!
Set in 1972, All About Evie is nostalgic, hilarious, exciting and beautifully moving as we meet Evie ten years on from the first book. She is now 26 years-old and working for the BBC. Well that is until Princess Anne and a Hornsea Pottery mug plays a pivotal role in Evie’s fate.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Matson a few weeks ago when we chatted ‘all about Evie’ and her latest adventures which had me howling with laughter one minute and then crying the next. Just click here to read the interview in full.
Happy reading everyone! 🙂