2016 – 2017 Book Club books






October 2016: Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith

Melinda Van Allen is beautiful, headstrong and sexy. Unfortunately for Vic Van Allen, she is his wife. Their love has soured, and Melinda takes pleasure in flaunting her many affairs to her husband. When one of her lovers is murdered, Vic hints to her latest conquest that he was responsible. As rumours spread about Vic’s vicious streak, fiction         and reality start to converge. It’s only a matter of time before Vic really does have blood on his hands.

Virago Modern Classics: 2014, first published 1957 : Kindle £5.99; paperback £8.26

vanishing-esme-lennoxNovember 2016: The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell

Edinburgh in the 1930s. The Lennox family is having trouble with its youngest daughter. Esme is outspoken, unconventional, and repeatedly embarrasses them in polite society. Something will have to be done. Years later, a young woman named Iris Lockhart receives a letter informing her that she has a great-aunt in a psychiatric unit who is about to be released.

Tinder Press, 2009; Kindle: £4.99, paperback £8.99

 circling-sunsJanuary 2017: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

She was a daughter of Edwardian England, transplanted to Kenya as a young girl by parents who dreamed of life on an African farm. But by the time Beryl Markham was sixteen, that dream had fallen apart. Catapulted into a disastrous marriage, she emerged from its wreckage with one idea: to take charge of her own destiny. Circling the Sun takes us from the brittle glamour of the 1920s Happy Valley set, fuelled by gin and adultery, to the loneliness of life as a scandalous divorcee; from the spectacular beauty of the Kenyan landscape to the manicured lawns of Nairobi’s Muthaiga Club. Dazzlingly beautiful, brave, passionate and reckless, Beryl is an unforgettable heroine, whose tragic loss in love compels her to pursue her own dream – of flight, and freedom.

Virago, 2015; Kindle £3.99, paperback £3.83


sightlinesFebruary 2017: Sightlines by Kathleen Jamie

Five years after Findings broke the mould of nature writing, Kathleen Jamie subtly shifts our focus on landscape and the living world, daring us to look again at the ‘natural’, the remote and the human-made. She offers us the closest of perspectives and the most distant, too: from vistas of cells beneath a hospital microscope, or the pores of a whale’s jawbone under restoration, to satellites rising over a Scottish island, or the aurora borealis lighting up an iceberg-strewn sea. We encounter killer whales circling below cliffs, noisy colonies of breeding gannets, and paintings deep in caves. Written with precision, delicacy and personal recollection, Sightlines invites us to pause and look afresh at our surroundings.

Sort of, 2012: Kindle £6.47, paperback £8.83


cleaning-womanMarch 2017: A Manual for a Cleaning Woman by Luca Berlin

The stories in A Manual for Cleaning Women make for one of the most remarkable unsung collections in twentieth-century American fiction. With extraordinary honesty and magnetism, Lucia Berlin invites us into her rich, itinerant life: the drink and the mess and the pain and the beauty and the moments of surprise and of grace. Her voice is uniquely witty, anarchic and compassionate. Celebrated for many years by those in the know, she is about to become – a decade after her death – the writer everyone is talking about. ‘With Lucia Berlin we are very far away from the parlours of Boston and New York and quite far away, too, from the fiction of manners, unless we are speaking of very bad manners .

Picador, 2015; Kindle £5.69, paperback £6.29

drowned-detectiveApril 2017: The Drowned Detective by Neil Jordan

Jonathan is a private investigator in a decaying eastern European city, consumed by his work and his failing marriage. Approached one day by an elderly couple, he is presented with a faded photograph of their daughter, missing for nearly two decades. Troubled by the image of the little girl, who was the same age when she vanished as his own daughter is now – he is compelled to find her. But one night, soon after taking on the case, as he walks across the bridge spanning the river that divides the city, he encounters a young woman crouched at the foot of a stone angel – a woman who suddenly leaps into the icy water below. Without thinking, Jonathan plunges after her, and is soon drawn into her ghostly world of confusion, coincidence and intrigue, and the city he thought he knew turns strange and threatening.

Bloomsbury, 2016; Kindle £10.04, paperback £8.99

hendrik-groenMay 2017: The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old  by Hendrik Groen and Hester Velmans

Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn’t planning to be buried any time soon. Granted, his daily strolls are getting shorter because his legs are no longer willing and he had to visit his doctor more than he’d like. Technically speaking he is … elderly. But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums? Hendrik sets out to write an exposé: a year in the life of his care home in Amsterdam, revealing all its ups and downs – not least his new endeavour the anarchic Old-But-Not Dead Club. And when Eefje moves in – the woman Hendrik has always longed for – he polishes his shoes (and his teeth), grooms what’s left of his hair and attempts to make something of the life he has left, with hilarious, tender and devastating consequences. The indomitable Hendrik Groen – Holland’s unlikeliest hero – has become a cultural phenomenon in his native Netherlands and now he and his famously anonymous creator are conquering the globe. A major Dutch bestseller, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen will not only delight older readers with its wit and relevance, but will charm and inspire those who have years to go before their own expiry date.

Michael Joseph 2016; Kindle £9.49, paperback £6.10

06 june 2017June 2017:  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

A beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as they both try to survive the devastation of World War 2.

07 July 2017July 2017:  The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

In 1883 Thaniel Steepleton’s life is saved, during a blast that destroys Scotland Yard, by a pocket watch that he finds on his pillow in his flat. This prompts him to go in search of its maker.

08 august 2017August 2017:  Riot and Retribution by Alex E. Robertson

A tale of passion and intrigues set in Bath and Bristol in 1831 when Britain was in social turmoil






09 sept 2017 (1)September:  2017 The Dark Circle by Linda Grant

After the Second World War as the National Health Service begins.  An East End brother and sister are sent to a sanatorium to be treated for Tuberculosis in the new regime.


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