First published between 1930 and 1956, the six novels written by Agatha Christie under the name Mary Westmacott, regarded by some as the writer’s finest work, show a very different side of her talent. What they share with her other fiction is Christie’s gift for sharp observations about people, the ambitions that drive them, their relationships, and the conflicts that erupt between them. This omnibus edition brings together three of the Westmacott novels:
A Daughter’s Daughter: A daughter’s opposition to her mother’s plan to remarry threatens to destroy their relationship
Unfinished Portrait: Bereft of three people she has held most dear, Cecilla must decide if she has the strength to come to terms with the past.
The Burden: The burden of one sister’s love for her younger sister—whom she’s sworn to protect—has a drmatic effect on both their lives.
Joseph Conrad - Lord Jim (angol)
First published in 1900, Lord Jim established Conrad as one of the great storytellers of the twentieth century. Set in the Malay Archipelago, the novel not only provides a gripping account of maritime adventure and romance, but also an exotic tale of the East. Its themes also challenge the conventions of nineteenth-century adventure fiction, confirming Conrad's place in literature as one of the first 'modernists' of English letters. Lord Jim explores the dilemmas of conscience, of moral isolation, of loyalty and betrayal confronting a sensitive individual whose romantic quest for an honourable ideal are tested to the limit. In this novel, Conrad draws on his background as Polish emigré, as well as his first-hand experience as a seaman, to experiment radically with the presentation of human frailty and doubt in the modern world.
Charles Dickens - Great Expectations
Great Expectations charts the progress of Pip from childhood through often painful experiences to adulthood, as he moves from the Kent marshes to busy, commercial London, encountering a variety of extraordinary characters ranging from Magwitch, the escaped convict, to Miss Havisham, locked up with her unhappy past and living with her ward, the arrogant, beautiful Estella. Pip must discover his true self, and his own set of values and priorities. Whether such values allow one to prosper in the complex world of early Victorian England is the major question posed by Great Expectations, one of Dickens's most fascinating, and disturbing, novels.
Virginia Woolf - The Waves
The Waves (1931) is Virginia Woolf's most experimental and saturated piece of writing. During the process of composition its self-awareness was prefigural. That is to say, its production of sound, figure, and language were ahead of the author's conscious intention to the extent that she was – famously – obliged to go stumbling after her own seemingly autonomous voice. In one sense, then, The Waves obviously represents a high-Modernist breaking and remaking of novelistic form. But in another sense it is really the acme of a certain kind of rhetoric in which Woolf was long practised and in which she had achieved great facility; and it takes that sort of fluency about as far as Woolf would have wished to go. The Waves consists of soliloquies spoken by the book's six characters: Bernard, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Jinny, and Louis. Also important is Percival, the seventh character, though readers never hear him speak through his own voice. The monologues that span the characters' lives are broken up by nine brief third-person interludes detailing a coastal scene at varying stages in a day from sunrise to sunset.
Charlotte Brontë - Villette (angol)
In shaping Villette, as with Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontё drew upon her own life. Her heroine, Lucy Snowe, possesses neither beauty nor fortune, but her cool demeanour belies a passionate heart. Friendless and alone in the world, she takes up a position at a girls' school in Brussels presided over by the indomitable Madame Beck. There she falls under the spell of the vain, irascible and noble-hearted professor, M. Paul Emanuel. Seldom has the ebb and flow of a love affair been portrayed so harrowingly and movingly. In its wit and flashes of poetry, its depth and originality of character, for many readers Villette is Charlotte Brontё's crowning achievement.
Virginia Woolf - Mrs. Dalloway (angol)
This brilliant novel explores the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman’s life. Direct and vivid in her account of the details of Clarissa Dalloway’s preparations for a party she is to give that evening, Woolf ultimately managed to reveal much more. For it is the feeling behind these daily events that gives Mrs. Dalloway its texture and richness and makes it so memorable. Foreword by Maureen Howard. "Mrs. Dalloway was the first novel to split the atom. If the novel before Mrs. Dalloway aspired to immensities of scope and scale, to heroic journeys across vast landscapes, with Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf insisted that it could also locate the enormous within the everyday; that a life of errands and party-giving was every bit as viable a subject as any life lived anywhere; and that should any human act in any novel seem unimportant, it has merely been inadequately observed. The novel as an art form has not been the same since. "Mrs. Dalloway also contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century." --Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours
Freya North - Chloe (angol)
Chloë Cadwaller’s godmother’s dying wish was for her goddaughter to travel the four countries of the United Kingdom – one in each season of the year. Join Chloë on the adventure of a lifetime as she learns to celebrate the beauty of Britain and discover love, lust, life (and a man for each season).
J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry has been burdened with a dark, dangerous and seemingly impossible task: that of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes. Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation the inexorable path laid out for him… In this final, seventh instalment of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling unveils in spectacular fashion the answers to the many questions that have been so eagerly awaited. The spellbinding, richly woven narrative, which plunges, twists and turns at a breathtaking pace, confirms the author as a mistress of storytelling, whose books will be read, reread and read again.
Dan Abnett - Salvation's Reach
The Tanith First-And-Only embark on a desperate mission that could decide the fate of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade in the thirteenth book of this popular Imperial Guard series. The Ghosts of the Tanith First-and-Only have been away from the front line for too long. Listless, and hungry for action, they are offered a mission that perfectly suits their talents. The objective: the mysterious Salvation’s Reach, a remote and impenetrable stronghold concealing secrets that could change the course of the Sabbat Worlds campaign. But the proposed raid is so hazardous, it’s regarded as a suicide mission, and the Ghosts may have been in reserve for so long they’ve lost their edge. Haunted by spectres from the past and stalked by the Archenemy, Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and his Ghosts embark upon what could be their finest hour… or their final mission.
Diane Chamberlain - Necessary Lies
After losing her parents, fifteen-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm. As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give. When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County’s newest social worker, she doesn’t realize just how much her help is needed. She quickly becomes emotionally invested in her clients' lives, causing tension with her boss and her new husband. But as Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm—secrets much darker than she would have guessed. Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong. Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension, Necessary Lies tells the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy. Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: how can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?
Lawrence Norfolk - In the Shape of a Boar
Lawrence Norfolk has been hailed in his native England as "just about ahead of everyone in his generation of novelists" (The Observer) and acclaimed as "Britain's brightest young writer" by The Guardian. His award-winning novels Lempriere's Dictionary and The Pope's Rhinoceros were best-sellers there, and have gone on to win acclaim throughout the world. Now he has written his most ambitious novel yet -- a story that sweeps from prehistory to the present day in addressing the meeting point of truth and lies: In the Shape of a Boar. The story begins in the ancient Greece of myth, where King Meleager of Kalydon has assembled the sixty greatest hunters -- and one huntress, Atalanta -- to rid his realm of the supernatural boar sent by the vengeful goddess Artemis to lay waste to his lands. But as the hunters bear down upon their prey a darker tale unfolds, of treachery and destructive love. It is a tale that will reverberate in those same hills across the millennia in the final chaotic months of the Second World War, as a band of Greek partisans pursues an S.S. officer. Solomon Memel, a young Jewish Romanian refugee who was rescued by resistance fighters and subsequently joined them in their chase, will be inspired by the experience to write a poem, titled Die Keilerjagd, or The Boar Hunt, which mixes the elements of the mythical hunt with the historical pursuit of S.S. field commandant Heinrich Eberhardt. The partisans, from the charismatic leader Xanthos to the dangerous beauty Theyella, will themselves become part of modern mythos, as the poem becomes an international sensation. But the truth of what happened in the hills of Kalydon in 1945 is more complicated than it seems, and as the older Sol reunites with his childhood love, Ruth, in 1970s Paris to make a film version of the poem, the dark memories and horrors of those days emerge anew. Epic in scope and staggering in its mastery of language and character, In the Shape of a Boar is a tour de force.
Louis de Bernières - Birds Without Wings
Set against the backdrop of the collapsing Ottoman Empire, the Gallipoli campaign and the subsequent bitter struggle between Greeks and Turks, _Birds Without Wings_ traces the fortunes of one small community in south-west Anatolia - a town in which Christian and Muslim lives and traditions have co-existed peacefully for centuries. When war is declared and the outside world intrudes, the twin scourges of religion and nationalism lead to forced marches and massacres, and the peaceful fabric of life is destroyed. Philothei, a Christian girl of legendary beauty, and Ibrahim the Goatherd who has courted her since infancy are but two of the many casualties. With the end of a community that once transcended religious differences, their great love seems destined to end in tragedy and madness...
Mo Hayder - Poppet
The Maude is outside. It wants to come in. It wants to sit on your chest. The mentally ill patients in Amberly Secure Unit are highly suggestible. A hallucination can spread like a virus. When unexplained power cuts lead to a series of horrifying incidents, fear spreads from the inmates to the staff. Amidst the growing hysteria, AJ, a senior psychiatric nurse, is desperate to protect his charges. Detective Inspector Jack Caffery is looking for the corpse of a missing woman. He knows all too well how it feels to fail to find a loved one’s body. When AJ seeks Caffery’s help in investigating the trouble at Amberley, each man must face a bitter truth in his own life. Before staring pure evil in the eye.
Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Scarlet Letter
America’s first psychological novel, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a dark tale of love, crime, and revenge set in colonial New England. It revolves around a single, forbidden act of passion that forever alters the lives of three members of a small Puritan community: Hester Prynne, an ardent and fierce woman whobears the punishment of her sin in humble silence; the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, a respected public figure who is inwardly tormented by long-hidden guilt; and the malevolent Roger Chillingworth, Hester’s husband—a man who seethes with an Ahab-like lust for vengeance. The landscape of this classic novel is uniquely American, but the themes it explores are universal—the nature of sin, guilt, and penitence, the clash between our private and public selves, and the spiritual and psychological cost of living outside society. Constructed with the elegance of a Greek tragedy, The Scarlet Letter brilliantly illuminates the truth that lies deep within the human heart.
Emma Healey - Elizabeth is Missing
Meet Maud. Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn't remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Sometimes her home is unrecognizable - or her daughter Helen seems a total stranger. But there's one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it. Because somewhere in Maud's damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about. Everyone except Maud...
M. C. Beaton - Death of a Celebrity
Murder on the Telly Lochdubh, a remote village reached only by a one-track lane, nestles serenely amid Scotland's hills...until well-known TV reporter Crystal French races into town in her bright BMW. And Constable Hamish Macbeth, dourly wed to duty instead of the fiancee who dumped him, promptly gives her a summons for reckless driving. Outraged, Crystal makes Macbeth's life a misery with a TV report on policing in the Highlands. When she also rakes up old local scandals for her new hit show, Macbeth notes that someone besides himself might be dead keen to stop her. Then someone does-with stealth and violence. Now, finding out who did it will lead the laconic Macbeth down roads he never envisioned, into a dark story of passion and vengeance...and perhaps a crisis of the heart all his own.
Joanna Trollope - The Men And The Girls
Julia Hunter and Kate Bain have found true happiness with men old enough to be their fathers.Julia organises her husband Hugh and their cherubic twins with ruthless efficiency and Kate has lived with James for eight years, and although she refuses to marry him, she’s apparently devoted to him.Hugh and James, lifelong friends, feel blessed indeed. But age differences cannot be ignored forever and when James accidentally knocks a fiercely independent elderly woman from her bicycle, a chain of events is set off in which many suppressed discontents and frustrations emerge.Kate begins to seek out friends of her own age and Julia’s career begins to blossom just as her husband's starts to decline... The tranquil lives of the men and the girls seem shattered as new relationships develop and old anxieties surface.
Emma Tennant - Thornfield Hall
Adele, the daughter of a celebrated Parisian actress, is a homesick, forlorn eight-year-old when first brought to Thornfield Hall by Edward Fairfax Rochester, her mother's former lover. Lonely and ill at ease in the unfamiliar English countryside, she longs to return to the glitter of Paris . . . and to the mother who has been lost to her. But a small ray of sunshine brightens her eternal gloom when a stranger arrives to care for her - a serious yet intensely loving young governess named Jane Eyre - even as young Adele's curiosity leads her deeper into the shadowy manor, toward the dark and terrible secret that is locked away in a high garret. . . . Includes fascinating in-depth background material about Charlotte Brontë and the Jane Eyre legacy
Anna Jacobs - Yesterday's Girl
The Great War opened up an exciting new career for Vi in London. But that was yesterday. Now, the war's over, her husband is dead and she needs to pick up the pieces of her life. On her way home she meets a man who needs her help. Recently demobbed, Joss Bentley has no job or home, and with his wife dead, a new baby to care for - not his. As he searches grimly for its real father, he runs up against people who are trying to conceal dark secrets and will use any means necessary to do so. And Vi finds herself faced with conflicting loyalties. Whichever way she moves, it seems she'll hurt someone - or they'll hurt her ...
Danielle Steel - Friends Forever
Five children meet on their first day of school, one bright September morning. Drawn by that magical spark of connection that happens to the young, Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean - each bursting with their own personality, all with strikingly different looks and diverse talents - soon become an inseparable group, known to everyone else as the Big Five. As they grow up, their seemingly perfect lives are altered by families falling apart, unfortunate mistakes, and losses and victories great and small. Throughout their adolescence, the five are able to turn back to their trusted group to regain their footing and steady their course. But as they emerge from school, their futures seem neither safe nor clear. As their lives separate, the challenges and risks they face become greater, the losses sharper, and it becomes much harder to know the right path to choose. But despite life's ups and downs, together they are able to face up to challenges with the help of the important bonds forged all those years ago. And the five realise just how lucky they are to treasure valuable friendships that last a lifetime.
Lawrence Norfolk - John Saturnall's Feast
From the bestselling author of _Lempriere's Dictionary,_ Lawrence Norfolk is back with an astounding novel of seventeeth-century life, love and war; the story of an orphan who becomes the greatest cook of his age. The village of Buckland, 1625. A boy and his mother run for their lives. Behind them a mob chants of witchcraft. Taking refuge among the trees of Buccla's Wood, the mother opens her book and tells her son of an ancient Feast kept in secret down the generations. But as exquisite dishes rise from the page, the ground beneath them freezes. That winter, the boy's mother dies. Taken to Buckland Manor, John is put to work in the house's vast subterranean kitchens where his talent raises him from the scullery to the great house above. A complex dish served to King Charles brings him before Lady Lucretia Fremantle, the headstrong daughter of the house. He must tempt her from her fast. But both encounters will imperil him. As the Civil War begins and the New Order's fanatical soldiers march, John and Lucretia are thrown together into a passionate struggle for survival. To keep all he holds most dear, John must realise his mother's vision. He must serve the Saturnall Feast.