New faces in fiction...debut novels.

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The other side of the world by Stephanie Bishop
Cambridge, 1963. Charlotte is struggling. With motherhood, with the changes marriage and parenthood bring, with losing the time and the energy to paint. Her husband, Henry, wants things to be as they were and can't face the thought of another English winter. A brochure slipped through the letterbox slot brings him the answer: Australia brings out the best in you. Despite wanting to stay in the place that she knows, Charlotte is too worn out to fight. Before she has a chance to realise what it will mean, she is travelling to the other side of the world. Arriving in Perth, the southern sun shines a harsh light on both Henry and Charlotte and slowly reveals that their new life is not the answer either was hoping for. Charlotte is left wondering if there is anywhere she belongs and how far she will go to find her way home.

Church of marvels by Leslie Parry
It is late on a warm city night when Sylvan Threadgill, a young night soiler who cleans out the privies behind the tenement houses, pulls a terrible secret out from the filthy hollows: an abandoned newborn baby. An orphan himself, Sylvan was raised by a kindly Italian family and can't bring himself to leave the baby in the slop. He tucks her into his chest, resolving to find out where she belongs. Odile Church is the girl-on-the-wheel, a second-fiddle act in a show that has long since lost its magic. Odile and her sister Belle were raised in the curtained halls of their mother's spectacular Coney Island sideshow: The Church of Marvels. Belle was always the star-the sword swallower-light, nimble, a true human marvel. But now the sideshow has burnt to the ground, their mother dead in the ashes, and Belle has escaped to the city. Alphie wakes up groggy and confused in Blackwell's Lunatic Asylum. The last thing she remembers is a dark stain on the floor, her mother-in-law screaming. She had once walked the streets as an escort and a penny-Rembrandt, cleaning up men after their drunken brawls. Now she is married; a lady in a reputable home. She is sure that her imprisonment is a ruse by her husband's vile mother. But then a young woman is committed alongside her, and when she coughs up a pair of scissors from the depths of her agile throat, Alphie knows she harbors a dangerous secret that will alter the course of both of their lives...On a single night, these strangers' lives will become irrevocably entwined, as secrets come to light and outsiders struggle for acceptance.

Girl at war by Sara Nović
Growing up in Zagreb in the summer of 1991, 10-year-old Ana Juric is a carefree tomboy; she runs the streets with her best friend, Luka, helps take care of her baby sister, Rahela, and idolizes her father. But when civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, football games and school lessons are supplanted by sniper fire and air raid drills. The brutal ethnic cleansing of Croats and Bosnians tragically changes Ana's life, and she is lost to a world of genocide and child soldiers; a daring escape plan to America becomes her only chance for survival. Ten years later she returns to Croatia, a young woman struggling to belong to either country, forced to confront the trauma of her past and rediscover the place that was once her home. Girl At War is a haunting, compelling debut from a brilliant young writer, rooted in historical fact and personal experience. Sara has lived in the States and Croatia, and her novel bears witness to the haunting stories of her family and friends who lived through the height of the conflict, and reflects her own attempts to come to terms with her relationship to Croatia and its history. It is an extraordinary achievement for a novelist of any age, let alone age 26.

The anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader
Set in the twelfth century, The Anchoress tells the story of Sarah, only seventeen when she chooses to become an anchoress, a holy woman shut away in a small cell, measuring seven paces by nine, at the side of the village church. Fleeing the grief of losing a much-loved sister in childbirth and the pressure to marry, she decides to renounce the world, with all its dangers, desires and temptations, and to commit herself to a life of prayer and service to God. But as she slowly begins to understand, even the thick, unforgiving walls of her cell cannot keep the outside world away, and it is soon clear that Sarah's body and soul are still in great danger...As a publisher, this novel just stopped me in my tracks - wonderfully intimate and compelling, it tells an absorbing story of faith, desire, shame, fear and the very human need for connection and touch. The Anchoress is both mesmerising and thrillingly unpredictable. Robyn Cadwallader writes: 'Who was she? Why did she choose enclosure? Was she afraid, excited, certain, doubtful? What about her family? And what would this small dark place be like as a home? In my mind, I went inside the cell. What was her experience: bodily, emotionally, spiritually, mentally? She was no longer just a weird idea; she was a woman. Sarah. My anchoress.'

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until a twist of fate brings her to before the Silver court. Here, surrounded by the people she hates most, Mare discovers that despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly ability of her own. Fearful of Mare's potential, the king hides her in plain view: betrothed to his youngest son. Trapped, Mare decides to use her new position to bring down the regime - from the inside.


Alice and the fly by James Rice
This is a book about phobias and obsessions, isolation and dark corners. It's about families, friendships, and carefully preserved secrets. But above everything else it's about love. Finding love - in any of its forms - and nurturing it. Miss Hayes has a new theory. She thinks my condition's caused by some traumatic incident from my past I keep deep-rooted in my mind. As soon as I come clean I'll flood out all these tears and it'll all be ok and I won't be scared of Them anymore. The truth is I can't think of any single traumatic childhood incident to tell her. I mean, there are plenty of bad memories - Herb's death, or the time I bit the hole in my tongue, or Finners Island, out on the boat with Sarah - but none of these are what caused the phobia. I've always had it. It's Them. I'm just scared of Them. It's that simple. A spellbinding debut novel about a boy with severe arachnophobia by an exceptional new young British talent.

Nelly Dean by Alison A. Case
A gripping and heartbreaking novel that reimagines life at Wuthering Heights through the eyes of the Earnshaws' loyal servant, Nelly Dean. Young Nelly Dean has been Hindley's closest companion for as long as she can remember, living freely at the great house, Wuthering Heights. But when the benevolence of the master brings a wild child into the house, Nelly must follow in her mother's footsteps, be called servant and give herself to the family completely. But Nelly is not the only one who must serve. When a new heir is born, a reign of violence begins that will test Nelly's spirit as she finds out what it is to know true sacrifice.


You and me and other people by  Fionnuala Kearney
You, Me and Other People is the life-affirming, heartbreaking and ultimately stunning debut novel from Fionnuala Kearney. THEY SAY EVERY FAMILY HAS SKELETONS IN THEIR CLOSET . . . But what happens when you open the door and they won't stop tumbling out? For Adam and Beth the first secret wasn't the last, it was just the beginning





The versions of us by Laura Barnett
What if you had said yes . . . ?

Eva and Jim are nineteen, and students at Cambridge, when their paths first cross in 1958. Jim is walking along a lane when a woman approaching him on a bicycle swerves to avoid a dog.

What happens next will determine the rest of their lives.

We follow three different versions of their future - together, and apart - as their love story takes on different incarnations and twists and turns to the conclusion in the present day.

The Versions of Us is an outstanding debut novel about the choices we make and the different paths that our lives might follow.

Before I go by Colleen Oakley
A heartfelt novel in the bestselling tradition of P.S. I Love You about a young woman in Georgia with stage four breast cancer who undertakes a mission to find a "replacement wife" for her husband before she passes away.

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