THE ASTONISHING RETURN OF NORAH WELLS by Virginia Macgregor Sphere: PS14.99 Hardback (ebook PS10.49) ..... THE Astonishing Return Of Norah Wells marks Virginia Macgregor's place at the forefront of contemporary fiction, with a novel so engaging you'll want to read it in one sitting. But it should be cherished and savoured.
Macgregor shapes some of the most delightful and endearing characters you'll read. Her exploration of family begins when a mother, Norah Wells, walks out on her own. Six years later, she returns to find a new mother in her place.
Is it too early to say this is one of the books of 2016? Maybe, maybe not. But it's definitely not too early to say this is a very special book and one to watch this year.
LOVE ME BACK by Merritt Tierce Corsair: PS14.99 Hardback (ebook PS7.99) ..... LOVE Me Back, the debut novel by Texas-born Merritt Tierce is proof you can wholeheartedly enjoy something, but still find it deeply uncomfortable.
Barely out of her own childhood, Marie is divorced and mum to a little girl she only sees on alternate weekends, working - a little too hard - as a waitress to earn a living.
Her life is a mess of booze, drugs, self-harm and sex which she manages to hide behind professionalism at work and an 'up for it' reputation socially.
Tierce's pacey prose pulls you right along with her. There's no pausing for apologies, or sentimental explanations, and no hero who comes along and makes everything better. It's an odd contradiction, as a reader, to wish a story was different - for Marie's life to be different - while at the same time lapping up its brilliance.