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‘A brilliant debut’ Guardian

1870s, the Black Country.

Michael is a miner. But it’s no life for a man.

Michael exhausts himself working two jobs, to send his son Luke to school, so he won’t have to be a miner too.

Down the pit one day, he finds a seam of gold. If he gets it out, he can save his own life, and Luke’s.

But his workmate has other ideas…

Mercia’s Take summons an England in the heat of the industrial revolution, and the lives it took to make it. Gripping, powerful and intense, it is the debut of an astonishing new talent.

‘A major talent’ Hilary Mantel

Shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize

Whether seeking knowledge, riches, or a better life, the characters in these stories are united by a quest for lasting value, as they ask how we should treat our world, our work, our selves, and each other. A vainglorious mine owner dreams of harnessing all of nature to the machinery of commerce. Two ladies of a certain age hunt rare butterflies in a pre-First World War Europe already experiencing the first bites of biodiversity loss. A climate campaigner must choose between personal happiness and political action. A rural Welsh community is fascinated and angered by glimpses of its invisible, wealthy neighbours.

Exact and lyrical, compassionate, and full of wit and truth, this debut collection from Jo Lloyd, winner of the BBC National Short Story Award, announces a fresh new voice with a sensibility all her own.

‘SUFFUSED WITH JOY’ Guardian, ‘PROPHETIC’ Daily Mail, ‘BEAUTIFUL’ Scotsman, ‘IMMERSIVE’ IMAGE

Perched on a hill above a village by the sea, the high house has a mill, a vegetable garden and a barn full of supplies.

Caro and her younger half-brother, Pauly, arrive there one day to find it cared for by Grandy and his granddaughter, Sally. Not quite a family, they learn to live together, and care for one another.

But there are limits even to what the ailing Grandy knows about how to survive, and, if the storm comes, it might not be enough.

‘Deeply moving … so grounded in reality and the ordinariness of the lives of this disparate group, that I had to read parts of it through my fingers’ Good Housekeeping Books of the Year

‘A sublime gem of a novel’ Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites

Fifteen years after graduating from Harvard, five close friends on the cusp of middle age are still pursuing an elusive happiness and wondering if they’ve wasted their youthful opportunities. Mariam and Rowan, who married young, are struggling with the demands of family life and starting to regret prioritising meaning over wealth in their careers. Jules, already a famous actor when she arrived on campus, is changing in mysterious ways but won’t share what is haunting her. Eloise, now a professor who studies the psychology of happiness, is troubled by her younger wife’s radical politics. And Jomo, founder of a luxury jewellery company, has been carrying an engagement ring around for months, unsure whether his girlfriend is the one.

The soul searching begins in earnest at their much-anticipated college reunion weekend on the Harvard campus, when the most infamous member of their class, Frederick – senior advisor and son of the recently elected and loathed US President – turns up dead.

Old friends often think they know everything about one another, but time has a way of making us strangers to those we love – and to ourselves…

‘A powerful, important, unforgettable book’ Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

In this riveting and immersive novel, bestselling author Thrity Umrigar tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide.

Indian American journalist Smita has returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena – a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man – Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one’s own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita’s own past. While Meena’s fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. She also finds herself increasingly drawn to Mohan, an Indian man she meets while on assignment. But the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures of Meena and Smita themselves: Smita realizes she has the freedom to enter into a casual affair, knowing she can decide later how much it means to her.

In this tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal and sacrifice, Thrity Umrigar shows us two courageous women trying to navigate how to be true to their homelands and themselves at the same time.

A No. 1 international bestseller, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem is a dazzling novel of mothers and daughters, stories told and untold, and the ties that bind four generations of women.

Gabriela’s mother Luna is the most beautiful woman in all of Jerusalem, though her famed beauty and charm seem to be reserved for everyone but her daughter. Ever since Gabriela can remember, she and Luna have struggled to connect. But when tragedy strikes, Gabriela senses there’s more to her mother than painted nails and lips.

Desperate to understand their relationship, Gabriela pieces together the stories of her family’s previous generations – from Great-Grandmother Mercada the renowned healer, to Grandma Rosa who cleaned houses for the English, to Luna who had the nicest legs in Jerusalem. But Gabriela must face a past and present far more complex than she ever imagined.

Spanning decades, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem follows generations of unforgettable women as they forge their own paths through times of dramatic change, and paints a dazzling portrait of a family and a young nation as they struggle to find their way even as others try to carve it out for them.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And never brought to mind?

Millie Partridge desperately needs a party. So, when her (handsome and charming) ex-colleague Nick invites her to a Hebridean Island for New Year’s Eve, she books her ticket North.

But things go wrong the moment the ferry drops her off. The stately home is more down at heel than Downton Abbey. Nick hasn’t arrived yet. And the other revellers? Politely, they aren’t exactly who she would have pictured Nick would be friends with.

Worse still, an old acquaintance from Millie’s past has been invited, too. Penny Maybury. Millie and Nick’s old colleague. Somebody Millie would rather have forgotten about. Somebody, in fact, that Millie has been trying very hard to forget.

Waking up on New Year’s Eve, Penny is missing. A tragic accident? Or something more sinister? With a storm washing in from the Atlantic, nobody will be able reach the group before they find out.

One thing is for sure – they’re going to see in the new year with a bang.

Tense, moody and claustrophobic, Auld Acquaintance is the unputdownable debut by Sofia Slater.

A sensational new novel from the bestselling author of Less Than Zero and American Psycho that tracks a group of privileged Los Angeles high school friends as a serial killer strikes across the city. His first novel in 12 years, The Shards is Bret Easton Ellis at his inimitable best.

Los Angeles, 1981 –17-year-old Bret is a senior at the exclusive Buckley prep school when a new student arrives with a mysterious past. Robert Mallory is bright, handsome, charismatic, and shielding a secret from Bret and his friends, even as he becomes a part of their tightly knit circle. Bret’s obsession with Mallory is equalled only by his increasingly unsettling preoccupation with The Trawler, a serial killer on the loose who seems to be drawing ever closer to Bret and his friends, taunting them with grotesque threats and horrific, sharply local acts of violence.

Can he trust his friends – or his own mind – to make sense of the danger they appear to be in? Thwarted by the world and by his own innate desires, buffeted by unhealthy fixations, Bret spirals into paranoia and isolation as the relationship between The Trawler and Robert Mallory hurtles inexorably toward a collision.

Gripping, sly, suspenseful, deeply haunting and often darkly funny, The Shards is a mesmerizing fusing of fact and fiction that brilliantly explores the emotional fabric of Bret’s life at 17 – sex and jealousy, obsession and murderous rage.

Ingrid Yung’s life is full of firsts. A first-generation Chinese American, the first lawyer in her family, she’s about to collect the holy grail of “firsts” and become the first minority woman to make partner at the venerable old law firm Parsons Valentine & Hunt.

Ingrid has perfected the art of “passing” and seamlessly blends into the old-boy corporate culture. She gamely banters in the corporate cafeteria, plays in the firm softball league, and earnestly racks up her billable hours. But when an offensive incident at the summer outing threatens the firm’s reputation, Ingrid’s outsider status is suddenly thrown into sharp relief. Scrambling to do damage control, Parsons Valentine announces a new Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, commanding Ingrid to spearhead the effort. Only she’s about to close an enormous transaction that was to be her final step in securing partnership.

For the first time, Ingrid must question her place in the firm. Pitted against her colleagues, including her golden-boy boyfriend, Ingrid begins to wonder whether the prestige of partnership is worth breaching her ethics. But can she risk throwing away the American dream that is finally within her reach?

A 2021 FT and Herald Book of the Year

A deadly flu epidemic sweeps through Moscow, killing hundreds of thousands. Anya and her husband Sergey decide they have no choice but to flee to a lake in the far north of Russia.

Joining them on their journey are her son and father-in-law; Sergey’s ex-wife and son; and their garish neighbours. But then some friends of Sergey show up to complete Anya’s list of people she’d least like to be left with at the end of the civilised world.

As the wave of infection expands from the capital, their food and fuel start to run low. Menaced both by the harsh Russian winter and by the desperate people they encounter, they must put their hatreds behind them if they’re to have a chance of reaching safety…

Inspired by a real-life flu epidemic in Moscow, To the Lake was a number one bestseller in Russia, and has now appeared in a dozen languages and been adapted into a Netflix TV series.