Teresa Driscoll - The Friend
Sophie meets Emma when she becomes a neighbour in the picturesque Devon village where she lives. Their two sons, five-year-old Ben, and Emma's four-year-old Theo, also become friends. It seems to be an ideal situation. Fast forward to the present, and Sophie is travelling by train to the hospital where the two boys lie injured, one of them seriously. The hospital staff haven't identified exactly which one is in danger. Through her anxiety, Sophie reviews the months of her friendship with Emma. She begins to question the true nature of their relationship, and whether Emma was really a friend at all, or has a more sinister agenda. A page-turning suspense novel with unexpected twists, by an author who is a former BBC reporter.
Jenny Worstall - Three Hundred Bridesmaids
A gentle, warm novel, full of authentic detail and nostalgia. Set in the nineteen seventies, it follows Rosie as she begins her career as a music teacher in a girls' boarding school. Cue strict nuns, teenage girls, handsome male teachers and plenty of local colour - this is a fun read. The plot has twists and turns, and it is always buoyant and interesting. The author calls upon her own teaching experiences to give the book authenticity, and the characters are likeable and vivid. I enjoyed this.
The Secret Letter - Debbie Rix
In recent years, a letter from Germany arrives on Imogen's doormat in England, connecting two women who were young during World War II. In parallel, we begin to learn the stories of Imogen and Magda from the outbreak of hostilities in 1939. They grow to womanhood in their own countries through the years of war, experience love and loss, and blossom into maturity. Both are highly principled young women, and though they are on opposite sides of the conflict, they have the same abhorrence for the Nazi regime. A tender and vividly written novel which explores how people strive to keep their values in one of the worst times in twentieth century history.