An exotic stranger opens a chocolate boutique in a French village at the beginning of Lent, the traditional season for self-denial, dividing the community and causing a conflict that escalates into a "Church not Chocolate" battle.
THE RUNAWAY SUNDAY TIMES NO.1 BESTSELLER AND THRILLER OF THE YEAR, NOW A MAJOR FILM STARRING EMILY BLUNT ''Really great suspense novel. Kept me up most of the night. The alcoholic narrator is dead perfect'' STEPHEN KING Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She''s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ''Jess and Jason'', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It''s only a minute until the train moves on, but it''s enough. Now everything''s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she''s only watched from afar. Now they''ll see; she''s much more than just the girl on the train...
This is the life and times of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields - a feminist leader ahead of her times. It is also the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes - even of sexual assassinations. It is a novel rich with 'lunacy and sorrow'; yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy both ribald and robust. It provides almost cheerful, even hilarious evidence of its famous last line: "In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases."
Self-published in France, and a subsequent bestseller, the hilarious story of a year in the life of a young Englishman abroad. Less quaint than 'A Year in Provence', less chocolatey than 'Chocolat', 'A Year in the Merde' will tell you how to get served by the grumpiest Parisian waiter; how to make the perfect vinaigrette every time; how to make amour - not war; and how not to buy a house in the French countyside.
A RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK AUTUMN 2016 'Absolutely heart-breaking. One of the best books I've ever read' DINAH JEFFERIES, author of The Tea-Planter's Wife 'Compelling, elegant and insightful' Observer 'Beautifully wrought, tender, heartbreaking' Sunday Express 5/5 'Moving, fascinating' Times 'A tender and absorbing love story' Daily Mail 'Unsentimental and affecting' Sunday Times 'Exquisitely good' Metro 1911: Inside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors, where men and women are kept apart by high walls and barred windows, there is a ballroom vast and beautiful.
For one bright evening every week they come together and dance.
When John and Ella meet It is a dance that will change two lives forever.
Set over the heatwave summer of 1911, the end of the Edwardian era, THE BALLROOM is a historical love story. It tells a page-turning tale of dangerous obsession, of madness and sanity, and of who gets to decide which is which.
A young secretary forsakes Cleveland for San Francisco, tumbling headlong into a brave new world of laundromat Lotharios, cut throat debutantes, and Jockey Shorts dance contests. The saga that ensues is manic, romantic, and outrageous.
Remembrance Day 1920: A wartime secret connects three women's lives: Hettie, whose brother won't speak; Evelyn, who still grieves for her lost lover; and Ada, who has never received an official letter about her sons' death, and is still waiting for him to come home. As the mystery that binds them begins to unravel, far away, in the fields of Northern France, the Unknown Soldier embarks on his journey home. The mood of the nation is turning towards the future - but can these three women ever let go of the past?
Nine year old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no-one to play with.
All Wingos share one heritage... shrimp fishing, poverty and the memory of a terrifying event - the source of Tom Wingo's self-hatred and his sister Savannah's despair. To save himself and Savannah, Tom confronts the past with the help of New York psychologist Susan Lowenstein. This work chronicles the family of Wingos of Colleton, South Carolina.
Set among the apple orchards of rural Maine, it is a peverse world in which Homer Wells' odyssey begins. As the oldest unadopted offspring at St Cloud's orphanage, he learns about the skills which, one way or another, help young and not-so-young women, from Wilbur Larch, the orphanage's founder -- a man of rare compassion and an addiction to ether.
Whitbread Book of the Year, 1995. Ruby was born while her father was in the pub. Her mother, Bunty, had never wanted to marry him, and dreamt of being swept off to America by a romantic hero, but instead, was stuck in a flat with her three children. This is the family's story.
Australia has more things that can kill you than anywhere else. Nevertheless, Bill Bryson journeyed to the country and promptly fell in love with it. The people are cheerful, their cities are clean, the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines.
The Berry family are different. Love abounds - both healthy and incestuous. It is the overwhelming desire of the Berry father to run a hotel, which he does, with dubious success, in both a former girls' school in New Hampshire, and in Vienna. This is a conventional family saga.
WINNER OF THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.
What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?
Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, Kate Atkinson finds warmth even in life's bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here she is at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.
Ahead lay almost 2,200 miles of remote mountain wilderness filled with bears, moose, bobcats, rattlesnakes, poisonous plants, disease-bearing tics, the occasional chuckling murderer and - perhaps most alarming of all - people whose favourite pastime is discussing the relative merits of the external-frame backpack.
A God in Ruins relates the life of Teddy Todd - would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather - as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have. This gripping, often deliriously funny yet emotionally devastating book looks at war - that great fall of Man from grace - and the effect it has, not only on those who live through it, but on the lives of the subsequent generations. It is also about the infinite magic of fiction. Those who loved the bestselling Life After Life will recognise Teddy as Ursula Todd s adored younger brother - but for those who have not read it, A God in Ruins stands fully on its own. Few will dispute that it proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the most exceptional novelists of our age
This is the second chronicle in the "Tales of the City" saga which follows the adventures of a naive young secretary who forsakes Cleveland for San Francisco and discovers a whole new world filled with a bizarre cast of characters.
Modern fictionPaperback edition of the new novel in Maupin's acclaimed Tales Of The City series. Maupin revisits Michael Tolliver, the sweet-spirited Southerner, and one of the most beloved gay characters in fiction, 20 years after ending his groundbreaking saga of San Francisco life. This time, he lets the now 55 year old gardener tell his story in his own words. A novel about the art of growing older joyfully and the everyday miracles that somehow make that possible. 'Comedy in its most classic form... some of the sharpest and most speakable dialogue you are ever likely to read.' Guardian
After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson took the decision to move back to the USA. Before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire, he took one last trip around the UK, and in this book, he turns an affectionate but laconic eye on his adopted country.
The Secret Life of a City. The Paris you never knew by the bestselling author of A Year in the Merde and 1000 Years of Annoying the French.
Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island , was taken to the nation''s heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain.Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed. Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn''t altogether recognize any more. Yet, despite Britain''s occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home. And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas. Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.
It is the Edinburgh Festival. People queuing for a lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident - an incident which changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army, ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander - until he becomes a suspect.
Like mother, like daughter...!
Shopaholic Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood)'s two-year-old is ... spirited. She knows what she wants, whether it's a grown-up Prada handbag or a toy pony (40% off, so a bargain, surely?) When yet another shopping trip turns to mayhem, Becky decides it's time to give Minnie her own pocket money. Is it a bad sign when Minnie goes instantly overdrawn?
Minnie isn't the only one in financial crisis. As the Bank of London collapses, people are having to Cut Back. Everyone needs cheering up, so what better way to do it than to throw a fabulous surprise party? A thrifty party, of course. Except economising and keeping a secret have never been Becky's strong points ...