No holiday is complete without a good book to while away hours in the sun and totally escape with. My holidays tend to revolve around how to pack my clothes in around all the books I’m desperate to cram in!
Here are my 5 books to take away with you this summer:
The Muse by Jessie Burton
Jessie Burton shot to fame with her first book, The Miniaturist, which has sold over a million copies and been translated into over 30 languages. Her second novel charts two stories in parallel: the journey of Odelle Bastian arriving from the West Indies in 1960s London and finding a job at the Skelton Museum and Olive Schloss arriving in Southern Spain in the 1930s with her art dealer father and glamorous yet depressive mother. The two stories interweave and keep you guessing until the end. It is a brilliant page turner, beautifully descriptive and a great story!
The Girls by Emma Cline
The book I keep reading reviews of that everyone seems to be recommending. It’s a dark story centred around the charismatic leader of a cult in 1960s America which explores the vulnerabilities of teenage girls and how easily adulation can be manipulated. You know something has gone horribly wrong from the start and the book keeps you gripped right to the end!
Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt
This book is totally weird in the best possible way. It’s a surreal take on fairy tales which is totally unpredictable and laugh-out-loud funny with dialogue that constantly subverts your expectations! The story follows the male protagonist Lucien ‘Lucy’ Minor, through a series of toe-curlingly embarrassing moments as he leaves his rural village to take up his position as Undermajordomo in the Castle von Aux. It’s succinct, very cleverly written and reads like a brilliant Wes Anderson film!
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction by the highly acclaimed Anthony Doerr, you can’t really go wrong! A different perspective on the Second World War through the eyes of a blind French girl who escapes with her father to St Malo from Paris as the Germans arrive to occupy and a young German orphan who comes to the attention of the Hitler Youth due to his talent for constructing radios. Their paths collide in the most unexpected of ways and the story follows their individual journeys of survival. It is a beautiful story.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
I actually read this for the first time two summers ago and have recommended it to everyone since. It is beautifully written, blew me away and had me madly wanting to note down quotes throughout – the language is so poignant, concise and powerful. It’s a French novel and the English translation is fantastic. Renée Michel is a concierge in a bourgeois building who goes out of her way to hide her intelligence from the residents of her building. A precocious teenage daughter of one of the residents, Paloma, outs her and this story is from both Renée and Paloma’s perspectives as they discover they’re kindred spirits. You just have to read it!