Book of the month

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – Jan 2023

Eager to clean up his act after his troubled early twenties, Owen has returned to Kentucky to take a job as a groundskeeper at a small college in the Appalachian foothills, one which allows him to enrol on their writing course. It's there that he meets Alma, a Writer-in-Residence, who seems to have everything Owen doesn't - a prestigious position, an Ivy League education, and published success as a writer. They begin a secret relationship, and as they grow closer, Alma, from a supportive, liberal family of Bosnian immigrants, struggles to understand Owen's fraught relationship with his own family and home. / *Join the reading group /  

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – Dec 2022

In the aftermath of the Great Depression, Elle Ranier marries Simon to escape a life of destitution. She leaves New York City for Lyra, a remote, wooded island off the south-eastern coast of America. There, amid rumours of strange jewels hidden beneath the water, Elle harbours a secret: her guest, Gabriel, is not a cousin but her lover. A mesmerising exploration of the limits of memory, and the people we can never forget. / *Join the reading group /   

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – Nov 2022

A queen of punk before her time. A duo on the brink of stardom. A night that will define their story for ever. New York city in the 70s. Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, a Black punk artist before her time. Despite her unconventional looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her one night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together. Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2022. 

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – Oct 2022

It is 1985, in an Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant, faces into his busiest season. As he does the rounds, he feels the past rising up to meet him – and encounters the complicit silences of a people controlled by the Church. Shortlisted for the 2022 Man Booker Prize!

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – Sept 2022

A faded list. Nine favourite stories. For two strangers, friendship is only a page away… When Mukesh Patel pops to the local library, he has no idea his life’s about to change. He meets Aleisha, a reluctant librarian and the keeper of a curious reading list – just a scrappy piece of paper with the names of 9 stories. It doesn’t seem anything special. Yet something tells her to keep it close… A fresh chance at life, at friendship, wasn’t on the cards for these lonely souls – but every story starts somewhere…

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – August 2022

In Burntcoat we meet a celebrated sculptor, looking at her life and immense studio from within the first national lockdown in the UK. Her crucible glows, bringing with it memories of her lover. This studio is where she brought Halit, the last person she saw before all the doors were shut. A presence from another culture, a whisper, a doorway into a new and feverish world. ”An electrifying story of passion, connection and transformation from ’a writer of show-stopping genius’” – Guardian.

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – June 2022

One summer can change everything… Ruth and Hannah are sisters. Bonded by love and friendship, they are perplexingly different characters. Hannah is radiant, organised and hard working. Ruth is forever single and totally aimless. Together they are invincible. Every summer they go on a budget holiday together where they bicker, laugh, fight and make up. But this time is different. Something bad happens. And now everything is changed forever. –  This bittersweet love story is about needing someone else as much as they need you. It is an ode to our most powerful bonds, how they build us and break us, and how, when all seems lost, we can find joy in the most unexpected places. A Sunday Times bestseller.

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – May 2022

Hailed as Shafak’s best work yet, this is the story of two teenagers in Cyprus, one from the Greek and the other from the Turkish side who meet in secret in a taverna where a big fig tree grows. This tree bears witness to their hushed, happy meetings and eventually to their silent departures. It is there when war breaks out and the capital is reduced to rubble. Years later, a Ficus carica grows in the back garden of a house in London where Ada Kazantzakis lives. The tree is her only connection to an island she has never visited, and also to her family history and her complex identity as she seeks to untangle years of secrets to find her place in the world. Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction! 

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – April 2022

Perched on a sloping hill, set away from a small town by the sea, the High House has a tide pool and a mill, a vegetable garden, and, most importantly, a barn full of supplies. Caro, Pauly, Sally, and Grandy are safe, so far, from the rising water that threatens to destroy the town and that has, perhaps, already destroyed everything else. But for how long?   A searing novel that takes on take on parenthood, sacrifice, love, and survival under the threat of extinction. What can be salvaged at the end of the world?   Costa Award shortlisted!

Modern Fiction Book of the Month – March 2022

Ethan has always been one of the good guys, and for years, nobody has appreciated this fact more than his wife. Until now. Ethan finds himself caught between their regular meetings at his home and the battle to get his livewire daughter Alex to sleep. But the new, stilted rhythm of his life is interrupted when he receives a panicked message. Accusations. Against his business partner. A slew of them. And Ethan is abruptly forced to question everything: his past, his future, his marriage, and what he values most. Unfolding over five turbulent days in 2018, The Smash-Up wrestles shrewdly with some of the biggest questions of our time: What, exactly, does it mean to be a good guy?