An eleven-year-old girl stops eating, but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse, sent to investigate whether she is a fraud, meets a journalist hungry for a story. Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder – inspired by numerous European and North American cases of ‘fasting girls’ between the sixteenth century and the twentieth – is a psychological thriller about a child’s murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes. Pitting all the seductions of fundamentalism against sense and love, it is a searing examination of what nourishes us, body and soul.
This year’s theme is Norfolk’s Most Wanted, our top 20 most popular and in demand books asked for by library customers. Norfolk’s Most Wanted features Crime, Thrillers and Romance, including bestselling books such as ‘The Girl on The Train’ by Paula Hawkins and ‘The Night Manager’ by John Le Carre’.
Some of the Great Big Read – Norfolk’s Most Wanted titles are available as eBooks. To download an eBook visit the OverDrive eBook catalogue here
Some libraries will be holding events and activities to tie in with Norfolk’s Most Wanted. These include launch events, coffee mornings, book chats and quizzes. For details of these please visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/mostwantedbooks
If you’ve read one of Norfolk’s Most Wanted titles, please write a review and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that you can rate and review Norfolk’s Most Wanted Books? All you have to do is visit the library catalogue. Log in to your library account. Select your chosen Most Wanted book by clicking on the title and select Add your review. Write a short review and give the book a star rating.
In August 1912, three friends set out on an adventure. Tom, Jimmy and Itzhak have grown up together in the crowded slums of Walworth. They are used to narrow streets, the bustle of East Lane market, extended families weaving in and out of each other’s lives. All three boys are expected to follow their father’s trades and stay close to home. But Tom has wider dreams. So when he hears of a scouting trip, sailing from Waterloo to Sheppey and the mouth of the Thames – he is determined to go. And Itzhak and Jimmy go with him. Inspired by real events , this is the story of three friends, and a tragedy that will change them for ever. It is also a song of south London, of working class families with hidden histories, of a bright and complex world long neglected…
It is a history of the house named ‘Keepsake’ and the Parr family, from the time of Charles II up to present day. Most of the story is set in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Butterflies play a major part in the story, there are many at Keepsake and members of the Parr family travelled abroad in search of others.
This is an intriguing story which once started I didn’t want to put down. The plot is well worked, with many surprises along the way. The characters come to life as the story unfolds, I didn’t like them all but that is necessary for the story.
There is love, sadness, danger, cruelty, anger, misunderstandings and many lies (some of them white ones).
I recommend you to read this. I’ve already reserved another by Harriet Evans. A Place For Us
Reserve The Butterfly Summer
‘Successful historical thrillers need three elements: a killer plot that weaves seamlessly into the history; an engaging protagonist; and an atmospheric sense of place. Parris nails all three – Conspiracy is a gem’ – The Times
Heretic-turned-spy Giordano Bruno arrives in Paris to find a city on the edge of catastrophe. King Henri III lives in fear of a coup by the Duke of Guise and his fanatical Catholic League, and another massacre on the streets.
When Bruno’s old rival, Father Paul Lefv̈re is found murdered, Bruno is drawn into a dangerous web of religious politics and court intrigue. And watching over his shoulder is the King’s mother, Catherine de Medici, with her harem of beautiful spies. When murder strikes at the heart of the Palace, Bruno finds himself on the trail of a killer who is protecting a terrible secret. With the royal houses of France and England under threat, Bruno must expose the truth – or be silenced for good.
One of my reading resolutions has been to try and read more books from genres that I usually ignore. While I do read widely and eclectically as a rule I do find that crime and thrillers are an area that I neglect, I am always a bit scared that the books will be too graphic and that I’ll have nightmares after reading them.
I did however read Rory Clement’s Corpus recently, it is a historical novel with a crime at the heart – I thought I’d ease myself in gently!
The book is set in Cambridge in December 1936 and has several threads to the complicated story but at the heart of the book is the death of a young woman. Investigators are quite happy to dismiss the death as accidental as the woman in question was known to use drugs but her friends think that there is more to it than that.
While the action of the novel is firmly based in Cambridge the scope of the book is much wider ranging from the Spanish Civil War, Nazi Germany and Communist Russia with a side order of conspiracy theory around the British Abdication Crisis.
I did find this book a little gory at times, but it was a gripping thriller with a mystery to solve, and it felt so accurate that I did find myself looking at the world events and wondering which of the plot elements were true! The atmosphere was also very compelling – I really felt like I was in pre-war, cold Cambridge in December.
I’m not sure what I’ll try as a crime/thriller next – perhaps I’ll stick with Rory Clement’s other historical thrillers, if the action is in the past perhaps I won’t find it too scary!
‘Ian McEwan did this with Atonement , Sarah Waters did it with The Night Watch , and Chris Cleave does it too with Everyone Brave is Forgiven .. . A compelling and finely crafted novel.’ – FT
When war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to give it a miss – until his flatmate Alistair unexpectedly enlists, and the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is – bewilderingly – made a teacher, she instead finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary. And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, and inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.
So many books, so little time. Here are my favourites that I’ve read this year.
I notice that a lot of the Fiction are sequels, or part of a series.
In fairness to all the authors I have put them in alphabetical order. (I am a Librarian after all!)
Jeffrey Archer Cometh the Hour – This is the 6th volume of the Clifton Chronicles.
Alex Brown The Secret of Orchard Cottage – Intriguing family story.
Ann Cleeves The Moth Catcher – The 7th story in the Vera Stanhope series, as good as the first six!
Lindsey Davis The Graveyard of the Hesperides – The 4th mystery in the Flavia Albia series, she is the daughter of Marcus Didius Falco.
Carola Dunn Superfluous Women – The 22nd Daisy Dalrymple mystery, I’ve read all of them!
Emma Hannigan The Perfect Gift – A story of family, of hope and despair.
David Lagercrantz The Girl in the Spider’s Web – The 4th book in the Millennium series, continuing on from Stieg Larsson’s first three.
Freya North The Turning Point – A wonderful family story, I can’t lie, I did cry when reading this.
Wilbur Smith Pharoah – The 6th book in the Egyptian Series featuring Taita, history and myth entwined to produce a very readable story.
Lucie Whitehouse Keep You Close – A very suspenseful novel, read it if you dare.
Jacqueline Winspear A Dangerous Place – The 11th book in the Maisie Dobbs crime/thriller stories. A series well worth reading.
Monty Don Nigel: My Family and Other Dogs
Kate Felus The secret life of the Georgian garden
American journalist John Steadman investigates the recent sinking of the Titanic. He soon becomes aware of another story – news filters through that the Midnight Watch on S.S. Californian witnessed a ship sending up flares in the area where the Titanic sank. Steadman becomes obsessed with the fact that the Californian’s Captain failed to come to the Titanic’s rescue. His investigations take him to Boston, Washington, Bootle and Wallasey as he seeks the answer.
“A World War II love story set against the romance and danger of occupied Venice. Cenzo is a world-weary fisherman, determined to sit out the rest of the war. He’s happy to stay out of the way of the SS, quietly going about his business of fishing in the lagoons of northern Italy. Then one night, instead of pulling in his usual haul, Cenzo fishes a young woman out of the canal. Guilia is an Italian Jew who has managed to escape capture and is determined to find her family. This meeting results in them both taking an entirely unexpected journey, and Cenzo suddenly finds himself thrown headlong into the world of international wartime politics, where everyone has their own agenda and nowhere is safe.”