Book of the month

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – Nov 2021

A searing debut novel about mothers and daughters. This is a tale of obsession and betrayal. This is a poisoned love story. But not between lovers - between mother and daughter. Tara and Antara, the woman and her angry shadow. But which one is which? Sharp as a blade and compulsively readable, Burnt Sugar slowly untangles the knot of memory and fiction that binds two women together, revealing the truth that lies beneath.   Longlisted Women's Prize for Fiction 2021. Shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize.   Join the Modern Fiction reading group to discuss this book!

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – Oct 2021

Benson and Mike are two young guys who have been together for a few years - good years - but now they're not sure why they're still a couple. When Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan he undergoes an extraordinary transformation... Funny and profound, Memorial is about family in all its strange forms, becoming who you're supposed to be and the outer limits of love.

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – Sept 2021

Big Burr, Kansas, is the kind of place where everyone seems to know everyone, and everyone shares the same values – or keeps their opinions to themselves. After being named ”the most homophobic town in the US”, a group of social activists arrive in the small town, and the lives and beliefs of residents and outsiders alike are upended, in this wry, embracing novel.  

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – August 2021

Tracing the fifteen-year fallout of a toxic high school rumour, a riveting, astonishingly original debut novel about the power of stories – and who gets to tell them. This genre-defying novel is by turns a campus novel, psychological thriller, horror story and crime noir, each narrative frame stripping away the fictions we tell about women, men and the very nature of truth.

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – July 2021

Jude is popular, beautiful, wealthier than most in Deep Valley. Cindy is Jude’s neighbour – younger, poorer, a kid from the kind of family everyone knows will come to no good. Jude is black and Cindy is white. One summer, Jude disappears. Search parties go out but come back empty-handed and strangely pleased. Jude thought she was better than everyone else. Look at her now. Meanwhile Cindy is performing a vanishing act of her own. She is slipping out of her old life and into someone else’s. She is becoming Jude... ”A richly atmospheric debut about lost innocence and rural America.”

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – June 2021

In the feverish tropics of the Andaman Islands, a young botanist tends to a fragile rose he has imported to welcome his bride. Hoping their marriage will bloom in this strange life, hundreds of miles from the east coast of India, he is entranced by Chanda Devi's fierce nature and unusual gifts; speaking to trees and the ghosts of former colonialists. Prize-winning Indian bestseller.

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – May 2021

The debut novel from the popular actor and author of How Not To Be A Boy. After her husband’s death, and a crisis-packed period which follows, Kate is transported through time to the day she and her husband met – the first day of Freshers Week. Can she alter the course of events that led to his eventual death? *Recommended by Jan*

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – April 2021

Scabby Queen is a portrait of a woman who refuses to compromise, and a picture of a country that does nothing but. It’s about the silencing of women’s voices, about the destructive power of the celebrity machine, but most of all it is about empathy: its motives, its limits and the way it endlessly transformed. *Recommended by Jan*

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – March 2021

”Such A Fun Age is a gripping page-turner with serious things to say about racism, class, gender, parenting, and privilege in modern America. Reid is a sharp and delightful storyteller, with a keen eye, buoyant prose, and twists that made me gasp out loud.” – Madeline Miller, author of Circe. * Longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize.

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – February 2021

The Illness Lesson is a brilliant, suspenseful, beautifully-executed psychological thriller. With power, subtlety, and keen intelligence, Clare Beams has somehow crafted a tale that feels like both classical ghost story and like a modern (and very timely) scream of female outrage. I stayed up all night to finish reading it, and I can still feel its impact thrumming through my mind and body. A masterpiece”. ― Elizabeth Gilbert