If you liked... April suggestions

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Girl at war/ Sarah Novic

Zagreb, 1991. Ana Jurić is a carefree ten-year-old, living with her family in a small apartment in Croatia’s capital. But that year, civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, splintering Ana’s idyllic childhood. Daily life is altered by food rations and air raid drills, and soccer matches are replaced by sniper fire. Neighbors grow suspicious of one another, and Ana’s sense of safety starts to fray. When the war arrives at her doorstep, Ana must find her way in a dangerous world.

New York, 2001. Ana is now a college student in Manhattan. Though she’s tried to move on from her past, she can’t escape her memories of war—secrets she keeps even from those closest to her. Haunted by the events that forever changed her family, Ana returns to Croatia after a decade away, hoping to make peace with the place she once called home. As she faces her ghosts, she must come to terms with her country’s difficult history and the events that interrupted her childhood years before.
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The unquiet dead/ Ausma Zehanat Khan 

Despite their many differences, Detective Rachel Getty trusts her boss, Esa Khattak, implicitly. But she's still uneasy at Khattak's tight-lipped secrecy when he asks her to look into Christopher Drayton's death. Drayton's apparently accidental fall from a cliff doesn't seem to warrant a police investigation, particularly not from Rachel and Khattak's team, which handles minority-sensitive cases. But when she learns that Drayton may have been living under an assumed name, Rachel begins to understand why Khattak is tip-toeing around this case. It soon comes to light that Drayton may have been a war criminal with ties to the Srebrenica massacre of 1995.

If that's true, any number of people might have had reason to help Drayton to his death, and a murder investigation could have far-reaching ripples throughout the community. But as Rachel and Khattak dig deeper into the life and death of Christopher Drayton, every question seems to lead only to more questions, with no easy answers. Had the specters of Srebrenica returned to haunt Drayton at the end, or had he been keeping secrets of an entirely different nature? Or, after all, did a man just fall to his death from the Bluffs?

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Nora Webster/ Colm Toibin
Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín’s magnificent seventh novel introduces the formidable, memorable, and deeply moving Nora Webster. Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be sucked back into it. Wounded, selfish, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father. Yet she has moments of stunning insight and empathy, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven—herself.
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The green road/ Anne Enright

The children of Rosaleen Madigan leave the west of Ireland for lives they never could have imagined, In Dublin, New York and various third-world towns. In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she's decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.

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A god in ruins/ Kate Atkinson
A God in Ruins relates the life of Teddy Todd – would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

This gripping, often deliriously funny yet emotionally devastating book looks at war – that great fall of Man from grace – and the effect it has, not only on those who live through it, but on the lives of the subsequent generations. It is also about the infinite magic of fiction.Those who loved the bestselling Life After Life will recognise Teddy as Ursula Todd's adored younger brother – but for those who have not read it, A God in Ruins stands fully on its own.

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The night stages/ Jane Urquhart
After a tragic accident leaves Tamara alone on the most westerly tip of Ireland, she begins an affair with a charismatic meteorologist named Niall. It's the 1950s, and Tamara has settled into civilian life after working as an auxiliary pilot in World War II. At first her romance is filled with passionate secrecy, but when Niall's younger brother, Kieran, disappears after a bicycle race, Niall, unable to shake the idea that he may be to blame, slowly falls into despondency. Distraught and abandoned after their decade-long relationship, Tamara decides she has no option but to leave. Jane Urquhart's mesmerizing novel opens as Tamara makes her way from Ireland to New York. During a layover in Gander, Newfoundland, a fog moves in, grounding her plane and stranding her in front of the airport's mural. As she gazes at the nutcracker-like children, missile-shaped birds, and fruit blossoms, she revisits the circumstances that brought her to Ireland and the family entanglement that has forced her into exile. Slowly she interweaves her life story with Kieran's as she searches for the truth about Niall. With The Night Stages, this celebrated bestselling author has written a magnificent, elegiac novel of intersecting memories that explores the meaning of separation and reunion, the sorrows of fractured families, and the profound effect of Ireland's harshly beautiful landscape on lives lived in solitude.

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The shining girls/ Lauren Beukes
Stephen King's pick for Best Summer Read 2013 (The Times): 'Clever story, smart prose'
The girl who wouldn't die ... hunting a killer who shouldn't exist. He's the perfect killer. Unstoppable. Untraceable. He thinks.
CHICAGO, 1931. Harper Curtis, a violent drifter, stumbles on a house with a secret as shocking as his own twisted nature - it opens onto other times. He uses it to stalk his carefully chosen 'shining girls' through the decades - and cut the spark out of them. 'It's not my fault. It's yours. You shouldn't shine. You shouldn't make me do this.' CHICAGO, 1992. they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. tell that to Kirby Mazrachi, whose life was shattered after a brutal attempt to murder her. Still struggling to find the attacker, Kirby's only ally is Dan, an ex-homicide reporter who covered the case and now might be falling in love with her. As Kirby investigates, she finds the other girls - the ones who didn't make it. the evidence is ... impossible. But for a girl who should be dead, impossible doesn't mean it didn't happen ...
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Day four/ Sarah Lotz

The trip of their dreams becomes the holiday of their nightmares: Day Four is Sarah Lotz's extraordinary, unmissable follow-up to the book that made headlines around the world, The Three - perfect for fans of The Shining Girls, The Passage and Lost.

Four days into a five day singles cruise on the Gulf of Mexico, the ageing ship Beautiful Dreamer stops dead in the water. With no electricity and no cellular signals, the passengers and crew have no way to call for help. But everyone is certain that rescue teams will come looking for them soon. All they have to do is wait.

That is, until the toilets stop working and the food begins to run out. When the body of a woman is discovered in her cabin the passengers start to panic. There's a murderer on board the Beautiful Dreamer... and maybe something worse.

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