Pam Evans - Whispers in the Town
A saga set in London, the novel begins in 1957 when the lives of the Storey sisters, Sal and Ann, are turned upside down by a series of events. Sal is set to marry her boyfriend, but his wish to emigrate to Australia no matter what, leaves her alone and heartbroken. Tragedy then strikes, and the sisters must find strength to keep the family shop going. Meanwhile, Ann harbours a secret that she knows will cause trouble, and Sal finds her heart entangled once more. A novel filled with emotion, as the young women struggle to overcome heartbreak and crises in their family and work lives. These characters and their stories capture the reader's heart.
Rosie Thomas - Daughter of the House
This author always writes books that have a different angle. Set in the years after World War I, it follows young Nancy Wix as she grows to maturity. Her family are out of the ordinary, her father owning a variety theatre and specialising in illusions, her mother a former actress and now in poor health. However, Nancy has known since childhood that she has her own talent - she sees and hears people and events beyond the material world. This begins to offer her a means of earning money, though she shies from the sinister Lawrence Feather who claims to have a similar talent and wishes to be her mentor. Torn between the tenuous fortunes of her family and her secret attraction to aristocratic Gil, Nancy tries to find fulfilment in a changing world. Intriguing and unusual, brought to life by Rosie Thomas's skilful writing.
Santa Montefiore - The Beekeeper's Daughter
The novel moves between nineteen seventies Massachusetts, where Trixie is in love with exciting British rock star Jasper, and Dorset in the nineteen thirties, where her mother Grace is torn between her infatuation with local aristocrat's son, Rufus, and her childhood friend, Freddie. Grace's father dies unexpectedly, leaving her orphaned, and she finds consolation in caring for his bees on the Duncliffe estate. This is a novel which explores first loves, class, family and secrets. As it unfolds, we discover the reasons why Trixie ended up being born in the USA, and what binds her family irrevocably with Jasper's. A thoroughly satisfying read, with sympathetic characters and a story which keeps the pages turning.