6 Spring Reads
It’s the Easter weekend – so that’s two extra days to curl up with a really good book. (Perhaps with a side order of chocolate?)
We've put together a round-up of six fresh spring reads, all recently published or soon to hit the bookshop shelves...
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower
Take one grieving, widowed merchant (Mr Hancock) and one alluring, pleasure-seeking courtesan (Angelica) in search of a retirement plan (a.k.a. ‘marriage’). Oh, and a mermaid. It’s the discovery of the latter which brings the two together in uneasy marriage. This clever, bawdy, touching drama thrills with Georgian details and shimmers with magic. Think Sarah Waters meets Angela Carter.
The Cactus: how a prickly heroine learns to bloom by Sarah Haywood
If you loved Elinor Oliphant…, then you need to meet Susan, the heroine of Cactus. Her life is as organised and emotionally self-contained as she is. But an unexpected pregnancy (in her 40s) and the sudden death of her mother derail her perfectly ordered existence: chaos, people and love in its many guises threaten to intrude.
Tangerine by Christine Mangan
George Clooney can add ‘great taste in books’ to his list of accomplishments: his production company have optioned this taut psychological thriller set in 1950s Tangier. Emotionally fragile Alice has moved to Morocco with her husband, and her ex-friend Lucy (a psychopathic, duplicitous creation worthy of Patricia Highsmith) turns up unannounced. Events take a very dark turn as the narrative ping-pongs between the two women: but which one is telling the truth? Nerve-jangling stuff.
The Lido by Libby Page (out 19th April)
Sometimes, you just want a book that is an unbridled joy – and this charming meditation on loneliness and unexpected friendship is it. Rosemary is a lifelong Brixton resident – she is steeped in her community, but even on her daily swim at the lido, she faces memories of her adored late husband. Junior journalist Kate reports on the community without being part of it. When the lido is threatened with closure and development, the two women are brought together.
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer (out 3rd April)
Shy college student Greer Kadetsky is young and idealistic, in love with her boyfriend, but uncertain about a future that may not fulful her ambitions. She attends a lecture by Faith Frank – an icon of female empowerment, which changes the course of her life and forces her to ask: who do I want to be? Weirdly prescient, it’s the feminist blockbuster for our age – and a brilliant read.
Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughn
Sophie’s husband is late – and her perfect family life is about to unravel. High profile minister James – who trails public school and privilege – has had an affair with Olivia, a researcher. Worse is to come: she accuses him of rape. Kate, the smart, cool barrister assigned to the case, is convinced of his guilt – but does she have an agenda of her own. This year’s Apple Tree Yard.