Halfway through her PhD and already dreaming of running her own lab, computer scientist Asha has her future all mapped out. Then a chance meeting and whirlwind romance with her old high-school crush, Cyrus, changes everything. Dreaming big, together with their friend Jules they come up with a revolutionary idea: to build a social networking app that could bring meaning to millions of lives. While Asha creates an ingenious algorithm, Cyrus’ charismatic appeal throws him into the spotlight. When the app explodes into the next big thing, Asha should be happy, shouldn’t she? But why does she feel invisible in the boardroom of her own company? Why are decisions being made without her?
It is 1788. When twenty-one-year-old Elizabeth marries the proud, scarred soldier John Macarthur, she soon realises she has made a terrible mistake. Forced to travel with him to New South Wales, she arrives to find Sydney Town a brutal, dusty, hungry place of makeshift shelters, failing crops, scheming, and rumours. All her life she has learned to fold herself up small. Now, in the vast landscapes of an unknown continent, Elizabeth has to discover a strength she never imagined, and passions she could never express. Inspired by the real life of a remarkable woman, this is an extraordinarily rich, beautifully wrought novel of resilience, courage, and the mystery of human desire.
Annie Perry is born beside the coal-muddied canals of the Black Country, at the height of the industrial revolution. The youngest in a large Romani family who cannot afford to keep her, when she is eight years old Annie is sold as a servant to the famous and feared bare-knuckle boxer Bill Perry, The Tipton Slasher.Bill is starting to lose his strength, but refuses to give up his crown. When it looks like a fight might become Bill’s last, Annie steps into the ring, fists raised in his defence. From that moment she is determined to train and follow in Bill’s footsteps, to learn to fight for herself. But Annie has been doing this all along. A whole new world opens up for Annie, one of love, fortune, family and education, but also of danger. One wrong move, one misstep, and the course of her life will be changed forever.
To everyone else, Terri White appeared to be living the dream, named one of Folio’s Top Women in US Media and accruing further awards for the magazines she was editing. In reality, she was rapidly skidding towards a mental health crisis that would land her in a locked psychiatric ward as her past caught up with her. As well as growing up in a household in poverty, Terri endured sexual and physical abuse at the hands of a number of her mother’s partners. Her success defied all expectations, but the greater the disparity between her outer achievements and inner demons, the more she struggled to hold everything together. ‘Coming Undone’ is the story of Terri’s unravelling, and her precarious navigation back from a life in pieces.
In 1983, backstage at the Lyceum in London, Tracey Thorn and Lindy Morrison first met. Tracey’s music career was just beginning, while Lindy, drummer for The Go-Betweens, was ten years her senior. They became confidantes, comrades and best friends, a relationship cemented by gossip and feminism, books and gigs and rock ‘n’ roll love affairs. Morrison – a headstrong heroine blazing her way through a male-dominated industry – came to be a kind of mentor to Thorn. They shared the joy and the struggle of being women in a band, trying to outwit and face down a chauvinist music media. Thorn takes stock of 37 years of friendship, teasing out the details of connection and affection between two women who seem to be either complete opposites or mirror images of each other. This important book asks what people see, who does the looking, and ultimately who writes women out of – and back into – history.
When an American sailor from the Holy Loch Base goes missing, Harry McCoy is determined to find him. But as he investigates, a wave of bombings hits Glasgow – with the threat of more to come. Soon McCoy realises that the sailor may be part of a shadowy organisation committed to a very different kind of Scotland. One they are prepared to kill for. Meanwhile Cooper, McCoy’s long-time criminal friend, is released from jail and convinced he has a traitor in his midst. As allies become enemies, Cooper has to fight for his position and his life.
Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, ‘How Beautiful We Were’ tells the story of a people living in fear amidst environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of clean-up and financial reparations to the villagers are made – and ignored. The country’s government, led by a brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interest only. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. But their fight will come at a steep price, one which generation after generation will have to pay.
Since 2002, Mohamedou Slahi has been imprisoned at the detainee camp at GuantÃ¡namo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. Although he was ordered to be released by a federal judge, the U.S. government fought that decision, and there is no sign that the United States plans to let him go. Three years into his captivity Slahi began a diary, recounting his life before he disappeared into U.S. custody and daily life as a detainee. His diary is not merely a vivid record of a miscarriage of justice, but a deeply personal memoir – terrifying, darkly humorous, and surprisingly gracious.
When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change. The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger. Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?
Mrs Death has had enough. She is exhausted from spending eternity doing her job and now she seeks someone to unburden her conscience to. Wolf Willeford, a troubled young writer, is well acquainted with death, but until now hadn’t met Death in person – a black, working-class woman who shape-shifts and does her work unseen. Enthralled by her stories, Wolf becomes Mrs Death’s scribe, and begins to write her memoirs. Using their desk as a vessel and conduit, Wolf travels across time and place with Mrs Death to witness deaths of past and present and discuss what the future holds for humanity. As the two reflect on the losses they have experienced – or, in the case of Mrs Death, facilitated – their friendship grows into a surprising affirmation of hope, resilience, and love.
Kerri nÃ Dochartaigh was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, at the very height of the Troubles. She was brought up on a grey and impoverished council estate on the wrong side of town. But for her family, and many others, there was no right side. One parent was Catholic, the other was Protestant. In the space of one year they were forced out of two homes and when she was eleven a homemade petrol bomb was thrown through her bedroom window. Terror was in the very fabric of the city, and for families like Kerri’s, the ones who fell between the cracks of identity, it seemed there was no escape. In ‘Thin Places’, a mixture of memoir, history and nature writing, Kerri explores how nature kept her sane and helped her heal, how violence and poverty are never more than a stone’s throw from beauty and hope, and how we are, once again, allowing our borders to become hard, and terror to creep back in.
‘Black Lamb and Grey Falcon’ was hailed as a masterpiece when it first appeared in 1942 and became ‘the central book’ of Rebecca West’s life. The book was completed as Yugoslavia was plunged into political turmoil, followed by invasion and warfare.
Why is the Church, which claims to be the instrument of God’s love, so prone to cruelty and condemnation? And how can a man live with the tension between public faith and private doubt? In his memoir, Richard seeks to answer these questions and to explain how, after many crises of faith, he finally and painfully left the Church.
As Rehana awakes one morning, she might be forgiven for feeling happy. Today she will throw a party for her son and daughter. But none of the guests at Rehana’s party can foresee what will happen in the days and months that follow. For this is East Pakistan in 1971, a country on the brink of war. And this family is about to change forever.
Exploring the theme of the fate that awaits goodness and innocence in the face of growing up and learning to live in our society, this novel charts the story of Tom, a 13-year-old from a Glasgow slum, and the events of a holiday with his teacher.