Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years.
This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person’s life – a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us – blazingly – about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney’s second novel breathes fiction with new life.
Jeanette Winterson - Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Jeanette, the protagonist of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and the author's namesake, has issues–"unnatural" ones: her adopted mam thinks she's the Chosen one from God; she's beginning to fancy girls; and an orange demon keeps popping into her psyche. Already Jeanette Winterson's semi-autobiographical first novel is not your typical coming-of-age tale. Brought up in a working-class Pentecostal family, up North, Jeanette follows the path her Mam has set for her. This involves Bible quizzes, a stint as a tambourine-playing Sally Army officer and a future as a missionary in Africa, or some other „heathen state”. When Jeanette starts going to school ("The Breeding Ground") and confides in her mother about her feelings for another girl ("Unnatural Passions"), she's swept up in a feverish frenzy for her tainted soul. Confused, angry and alone, Jeanette strikes out on her own path, that involves a funeral parlour and an ice-cream van. Mixed in with the so-called reality of Jeanette's existence growing up are unconventional fairy tales that transcend the everyday world, subverting the traditional preconceptions of the damsel in distress. In Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Winterson knits a complicated picture of teenage angst through a series of layered narratives, incorporating and subverting fairytales and myths, to present a coherent whole, within which her stories can stand independently. Imaginative and mischievous, she is a born storyteller, teasing and taunting the reader to reconsider their worldview. –Nicola Perry
Anna Gavalda - I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere
'I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere' explores how a life can be changed irrevocably in just one fateful moment. A pregnant mother's plans for the future unravel at the hospital; a travelling salesman learns the concequences of an almost-missed exit on the motorway in the newapaper the next morning; while a perfect date is spoilt by a single act oh thoughtlessness. In those crucial moments Gavalda demostrates her almost magical skill in conveying love, lust, longing and loneliness. 'Someone I Loved' is a h hauntingly intimate look at the intolerably painful, yet sometimes valuable effects that adultery can have on a marriage and the individuals involved. A simple tale, yet long in substance, 'Someove I Loved' ends like most great love affairs, forever leaving you waiting just one more moment.
Colm Tóibín - Nora Webster (angol)
Set in Wexford, Ireland, Colm Tóibín’s superb 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 drawn back into it. Wounded, 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 empathy and kindness, and when she begins to sing again, after decades, she finds solace, engagement, a haven—herself.
Nalini Singh - Mine to Possess
Nalini Singh pulls away another dark layer of sheer desire, revealing passions unknown, in her latest novel about the world of the Psy. A ghost returns from a leopard changeling’s past, making him question everything—even his base animal instincts… Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed...and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead. Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life--the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows... Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past...or lose everything that ever mattered.
Nalini Singh - Visions of Heat
Go deeper into the world of the Psy and the changelings, where a gifted woman sees passion in her future-a passion that is absolutely forbidden by her kind... Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her. Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced-and keep her from Vaughn...
Bernard O'Donoghue - Gunpowder
This is the sequel to the author's first collection of poems, which was shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize. Many of the poems in this collection reflect the author's Irish background, including pen-portraits of his family and friends, and are by turns haunting and hilarious.
Nalini Singh - Slave to Sensation
Dive into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind—and none of the heart… In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”— the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…. Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…
David Nicholls - Us
Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen-year-old son, Albie; then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce. The timing couldn’t be worse. Hoping to encourage her son’s artistic interests, Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family, and she can’t bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best anyway. Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage and might even help him bond with Albie. Narrated from Douglas’s endearingly honest, slyly witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves and learning how to get closer to a son who’s always felt like a stranger.
Cecelia Ahern - One Hundred Names
The thoughtful and unique new novel from the phenomenally popular author. Kitty Logan is a journalist who has just made a colossal mistake on a story, which puts her career on the line and sends her personal life into turmoil. Feeling at an all time low and in need of some guidance, she visits her terminally ill mentor, editor and friend, Constance. Kitty asks her friend what story has she always wanted to write but never had the opportunity to? Constance instructs Kitty to retrieve a file from her office and bring it back to her in hospital. However, when Kitty returns with the envelope, it’s too late. Constance has passed away. Opening the envelope, Kitty finds a list of names: one hundred names. There is no synopsis, no explanation, nothing else to explain what the story is or who these people are. The list is simply a mystery. Kitty embarks on the biggest story of her life, seeking out and meeting as many people on the list as she can to hear their stories, uncover Constance’s own story, and, importantly, rediscover herself.
Darren Shan - Zom-B Mission
B Smith and the other Angels are relieved to finally receive their first mission - to safely escort a group of human survivors from the zombie-infested streets of London to New Kirkland, a barricaded safe haven in the country. But after battling through crowds of undead monsters, B discovers that the survivors of the town don't necessarily represent the best of humanity. And when evil influences make their way to New Kirkland, unearthing demons from B's past, the humans will be forced to choose between being honorable and being safe. Darren Shan continues his adventures of a teenage zombie trying to right the wrongs of a flawed human life, exploring the morality and ills of society through the lens of an apocalypse gone wrong--and a terrifying hell on earth reigning.
Cecelia Ahern - Lyrebird
Life is in two parts: who you were before you met her, and who you are after. A documentary crew discover a mysterious young women living alone in the mountains of West Cork. Strikingly beautiful she has an extraordinary talent for mimicry, like the famous Australian Lyrebird. The crew, fascinated, make her the subject of her story, and bestow the nickname upon her. When they leave, they take Lyrebird with them back to the city. But as she leaves behind her peaceful life to learn about a new world, is she also leaving behind a part of herself? For her new friend Solomon the answer isn’t clear. When you find a rare and precious thing, should you share it – or protect it…
Maggie O'Farrell - The Hand That First Held Mine
A gorgeously written story of love and motherhood, this is a tour de force from one of our most acclaimed and best loved novelists. When the sophisticated Innes Kent turns up by chance on her doorstep, Lexie Sinclair realises she cannot wait any longer for her life to begin, and leaves for London. There, at the heart of the 1950s Soho art scene, she carves out a new life for herself, with Innes at her side. In the present day, Elina and Ted are reeling from the difficult birth of their first child. Elina, a painter, struggles to reconcile the demands of motherhood with sense of herself as an artist, and Ted is disturbed by memories of his own childhood, memories that don't tally with his parents' version of events. As Ted begins to search for answers, so an extraordinary portrait of two women is revealed, separated by fifty years, but connected in ways that neither could ever have expected.
Joseph O'Connor - Star of the Sea
In the bitter winter of 1847, from an Ireland torn by injustice and natural disaster, the Star of the Sea sets sail for New York. On board are hundreds of fleeing refugees. Among them are a maidservant with a devastating secret, bankrupt Lord Meridith and his family, an aspiring novelist, a maker of revolutionary ballads, all braving the Atlantic in search of a new home. Each is connected more deeply than they can possibly know. But a camouflaged killer is stalking the decks, hungry for the vengeance that will bring absolution. The twenty-six day journey will see many lives end, others begin afresh. In a spellbinding story of tragedy and mercy, love and healing, the further the ship sails towards the Promised Land, the more her passengers seem moored to a past which will never let them go.
Maeve Binchy - Dublin People (Oxford Bookworms)
A young country girl comes to live and work in Dublin. Jo is determined to be modern and independent, and to have a wonderful time. But life in a big city is full of strange surprises for a shy country girl... Gerry Moore is a man with a problem - alcohol. He knows he must give it up, and his family and friends watch nervously as he battles against it. But drink is a hard enemy to fight... These stories by the Irish writer Maeve Binchy are full of affectionate humour and wit, and sometimes a little sadness.
Maeve Binchy - Quentins
Bestselling Irish writer Maeve Binchy tells heartwarming stories of common people coming together in a loving community. Her latest novel, Quentins, continues in that vein. It's the story of an Ella Brady, a Dublin woman who wants to film a documentary about a restaurant, Quentins, and tell the story of its growth over the years by retelling the stories of many its patrons. Though told as a sequence of separate stories, their interlocking themes and shared locale of the restaurant tie it together as one narrative. The publisher, Dutton, says, "By getting to know the people that pass through the doors of Quentins, Ella has finally gotten to know herself."
John Boyne - The Heart's Invisible Furies
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery -- or at least, that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from and over his many years will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.
Anna Gavalda - Someone I loved
Someone I Loved is Anna Gavalda's first novel and is obviously inspired by the dissolution of her own marriage. Told from the perspective of a woman in her late 30s, Chloe, it begins with her decision to take her children to her in-laws' lake house after her husband leaves her for another woman. Chloe's father-in-law decides to come along. What ensues is a loaded conversation by the fireplace about love found, love lost, and the realization that no one is truly who you think they are. While Chloe has always believed her father-in-law to be an „old bastard,” it turns out he is human, has flaws, had the option to do to his family what Chloe's husband did to his, and took the nobler path.
Maeve Binchy - Whitethorn Woods
When a new highway threatens to bypass the town of Rossmore and cut through Whitethorn Woods, everyone has a passionate opinion about whether the town will benefit or suffer. But young Father Flynn is most concerned with the fate of St. Ann’s Well, which is set at the edge of the woods and slated for destruction. People have been coming to St. Ann’s for generations to share their dreams and fears, and speak their prayers. Some believe it to be a place of true spiritual power, demanding protection; others think it’s a mere magnet for superstitions, easily sacrificed. Father Flynn listens to all those caught up in the conflict, as the men and women of Whitethorn Woods must decide between the traditions of the past and the promises of the future.
Maeve Binchy - Nights of Rain and Stars
Four strangers, with nothing in common but a need to escape, meet in a Greek taverna high above the small village of Aghia Anna. From Ireland, America, Germany and England, they have each left their homes and their old lives, when a shocking tragedy throws them unexpectedly together. Fiona is a young nurse, trying to make her family understand her need to follow her own path. Thomas desperately misses his young son and fears that his ex-wife will come between them. Elsa abruptly left her career as a television presenter, but someone from her past refuses to let her go. And shy, quiet David is determined to make a stand against his overbearing father. With these four is Andreas, the taverna owner, who badly misses the son who left home nine years ago and has never returned. Nights of Rain and Stars is the story of one summer and four people, each with a life in turmoil. With the help of Vonnie, a middle-aged Irishwoman who lives in the village and is now a near-native, they find solutions - though not necessarily the ones they anticipated...
Maeve Binchy - The Copper Beech
Eight children once carved their names on the trunk of the great copper beech tree which shades the schoolhouse in Shancarrig. Now those children are grown. They have different lives but it was the school that formed them and made them what they are. For each their hometown of Shancarrig holds special memories – some too private ever to be told. From Ryan’s Hotel to Barna Woods where the gypsies camp each year, from Nellie Dunn’s sweet shop to Father Gunn’s church, the tenor of life in this small Irish town is outwardly placid, uneventful, some – like Nessa Ryan in search of passion – would say, deadly dull. But peel away the layers and all sorts of unexpected things come to light: like Maddy Ross’s secret love, Eddie Barton’s surprising pen friendship, and what Maura Brennan discovers about the glamorous newcomers, Mike and Gloria Darcy . . .