Songbirds, by Christy Lefteri

Petra, newly widowed and struggling, hires Nisha to care for her daughter. Nisha left her own daughter behind in Sri Lanka to find work in Cyprus and has not seen her for many years. Yiannis rents the upstairs apartment in Petra’s house, has a secret relationship with Nisha and another secret: he is a poacher, hunting the tiny songbirds which migrate past the island each year.
When Nisha suddenly vanishes, nobody cares, she is only a domestic worker after all. The only people desperate to find her are Petra and Yiannis, although for different reasons. As they search for Nisha, both realise how little they actually knew her and what they uncover will change them all. Read More »

Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier

The young heroine of Rebecca is working as a companion to a rich American woman summering in Monte Carlo. Her future looks bleak until a surprise meeting with Max de Winter changes everything. A handsome widower with a large estate in England would not seem a likely match. However, a relationship of sorts is formed, but his sudden proposal still takes her by surprise. Whisked from Monte Carlo to the brooding house of Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds herself out of her depth, and her new husband a changed man.
The memory of his dead wife is everywhere at Manderley, kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper. Will the new Mrs de Winter be able to find her place, both in the household and her new marriage, or will the constant presence of Rebecca prove too much? Read More »

Castile for Isabella, by Jean Plaidy

History remembers her as a legendary Queen of Spain, but what about Isabella’s life beforehand? Fifteenth-century Spain was a country at war with itself and rife with intrigue and manipulations. Isabella became the pawn of her half-mad mother and, alongside her young brother, a virtual prisoner in the debauched court of their half-brother, King Henry IV.
From a very young age, Isabella knew that one day she might be Queen of Spain and that she should always act accordingly. But her young life was marred by grief and fear, and surrounded by the ambitious and power-hungry, who could she trust? Through all of this, she remained strong and determined to marry Ferdinand, the young and handsome prince of neighbouring Aragon. Read More »

Bird Summons, by Leila Aboulela

Salma, Moni and Iman, friends and active members of their local Muslim Women’s Group, set out on a trip to the Scottish Highlands. Their destination is the grave of Lady Evelyn Cobbold, who was a Victorian convert to Islam and the first British woman to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca. The three women are each on a personal pilgrimage of sorts and each hope to gain something from this journey. When they are visited by the Hoopoe, a sacred bird from Muslim and Celtic legends, all three women start to question their relationships to faith and femininity, love, loyalty and sacrifice. Read More »

Travel to … British Columbia, Canada

As I am about to embark on an exciting new adventure, it is time for some more bookish wanderings. Next month, my partner and I are heading to British Columbia, more specifically to the Silver Star Mountain Resort, to start new jobs and a new chapter for us. I have been dreaming of going to Canada for years, so I am really excited. But I know very little about the part of the world which I will soon call home. Read More »

Something To Hide, by Deborah Moggach

Petra’s love life has always been a bit of a disaster and now, in her sixties, she is becoming increasingly lonely. Until she falls in love with Jeremy that is. Jeremy is an old friend, visiting from abroad, and they quickly fall for one another. The only problem is that Jeremy is Petra’s best friend’s husband. Just as everything seems set for Petra’s happily-ever-after, tragedy strikes and she finds herself on a plane to West Africa, on her way to support Bev, who she has been betraying so terribly.
Meanwhile, on opposite sides of the world, two other women are struggling with their own secrets and betrayals. In Texas, Lorrie is desperate to hide her secret from her husband, and she is prepared to do anything to cover it up, including the biggest deception of her life. In China, Li-Jing is living in a golden cage and has no idea what her husband does in his business in Africa and what he is planning. Read More »

Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

Just after midnight, somewhere in the Balkans, the Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a massive snowdrift. This famous train is unusually busy for the time of year, but by morning there will be one less passenger. A man is found dead in his compartment, stabbed twelve times in the chest. And his door was locked from the inside!
Luckily Detective Hercule Poirot happened to be travelling on the train, and must now put his remarkable talents to the test. Undoubtedly, the murderer was among the passengers and with the snow preventing any escape, they are certainly still in their midst. The remaining passengers present a real puzzle to Poirot, with many different nationalities, backgrounds and stories. Can he sort out the liars and identify the murderer before he or she strikes again? Read More »

The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah

When Ernt Albright, a former prisoner of war, returns from Vietnam he is a changed man. When he loses yet another job, he makes a drastic decision: he will move his family to Alaska. They will be free to live as they want there, in America’s last true frontier, nobody will bother them and they will all be happy once more.
For thirteen-year-old Leni, the move to Alaska is just the most recent in a long string of moves and changes. Caught in the middle of her parents’ tumultuous relationship, Leni remains hopeful that maybe Alaska will be the answer to their problems. At first, the beauty of the Alaskan summer and the support of the local community make up for the Allbrights’ inexperience and lack of preparation. But as winter sets in, with its impassable snowdrifts and 18 hours of darkness, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon Leni and her mother Cora discover that they are on their own and that the Alaskan winter is not the most dangerous thing they are facing. Read More »

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell her life story and spill the tea on those infamous seven marriages and countless scandals. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant to write the story, no one is more surprised than Monique herself. Monique’s personal and professional lives are going nowhere at the moment, so she jumps at this opportunity to make a name for herself as a writer.
Invited into Evelyn’s sumptuous apartment, Monique is quickly absorbed and fascinated by the actress’ incredible story. From poverty in Brooklyn to a life of fame and fortune in Los Angeles, Evelyn Hugo seems to have lived a charmed life. But her story is also one of ruthless ambition, fear, determination and forbidden love. As her story comes to a close, Evelyn’s reasons for choosing Monique become clear, as do her motives behind finally sharing her story. Read More »