New Fiction Summer Reads 2021
Published on 18th June 2021
Mona’s demanding mother ruled their home until a car crash took her life and changed their family forever. Left to tend to a distant father and a needy younger brother, Mona finds her new role almost too much to bear. And when a new stepmother, troubled and depressed, adds yet another crack to the family portrait, Mona’s forced to shoulder an even greater share of the emotional burden.
Somewhere between her responsibility to her family and to her own life, Mona finds a route of escape: in a theatre career she craves. But for every challenge ahead—romantic, professional, sexual, and familial—Mona wonders how much of her future has already been defined by the challenges of her past.
An emotional, funny, and universal novel about the people, experiences, and choices that make us who we are, Mona in Three Acts is a revelatory journey of a woman’s self-discovery, forgiveness, and courage to finally speak her truth.
Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021.
As a child Gifty would ask her parents to tell the story of their journey from Ghana to Alabama, seeking escape in myths of heroism and romance. When her father and brother succumb to the hard reality of immigrant life in the American South, their family of four becomes two - and the life Gifty dreamed of slips away.
Years later, desperate to understand the opioid addiction that destroyed her brother's life, she turns to science for answers. But when her mother comes to stay, Gifty soon learns that the roots of their tangled traumas reach farther than she ever thought. Tracing her family's story through continents and generations will take her deep into the dark heart of modern America.
Transcendent Kingdom is a searing story of love, loss and redemption, and the myriad ways we try to rebuild our lives from the rubble of our collective pasts.
Rosa Kusstatscher has built a global fashion empire upon her ability to find the perfect outfit for any occasion. But tonight, as she prepares for the most important meeting of her life, her usual certainty eludes her.
What brought her to this moment? As she struggles to select her dress and choose the right shade of lipstick, Rosa begins to tell her incredible story. The story of a poor country girl from a village high in the mountains of Italy. Of Nazi occupation and fleeing in the night. Of hope and heartbreak in Switzerland; glamour and love in Paris. Of ambition and devastation in Rio de Janeiro; success and self-discovery in New York.
A life spent running, she sees now. But she will run no longer.
Being Tommy's mother is too much for Sonya. Too much love, too much fear, too much longing for the cool wine she gulps from the bottle each night. Because Sonya is burning the fish fingers, and driving too fast, and swimming too far from the shore, and Tommy's life is in her hands.
Once there was the thrill of a London stage, a glowing acting career, fast cars, handsome men. But now there are blackouts and bare cupboards, and her estranged father showing up uninvited. There is Mrs O'Malley spying from across the road. There is the risk of losing Tommy – forever.
‘The Thelma and Louise of the seventeenth century’ Lawrence Norfolk.
Frances Howard has beauty and a powerful family – and is the most unhappy creature in the world. Anne Turner has wit and talent – but no stage on which to display them. Little stands between her and the abyss of destitution. When these two very different women meet in the strangest of circumstances, a powerful friendship is sparked. Frankie sweeps Anne into a world of splendour that exceeds all she imagined: a Court whose foreign king is a stranger to his own subjects; where ancient families fight for power, and where the sovereign's favourite may rise and rise – so long as he remains in favour.
With the marriage of their talents, Anne and Frankie enter this extravagant, savage hunting ground, seeking a little happiness for themselves. But as they gain notice, they also gain enemies; what began as a search for love and safety leads to desperate acts that could cost them everything.