A sweeping, breath-taking story of love and betrayal from the Number One Sunday Times bestselling author of The Tea Planter’s Wife
Ceylon, 1935. Louisa Reeve, the daughter of a successful British gem trader, and her husband Elliot, a charming, thrill-seeking businessman, seem like the couple who have it all. Except what they long for more than anything: a child.
While Louisa struggles with miscarriages, Elliot is increasingly absent, spending much of his time at a nearby cinnamon plantation, overlooking the Indian ocean. After his sudden death, Louisa is left alone to solve the mystery he left behind. Revisiting the plantation at Cinnamon Hills, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn towards the owner Leo, a rugged outdoors man with a chequered past. The plantation casts a spell, but all is not as it seems. And when Elliot’s shocking betrayal is revealed, Louisa has only Leo to turn to…
Dinah Jefferies - Il silenzio della pioggia d'estate / Il segreto del mercante di zaffiri / La sorella perduta
India, 1930. Dopo la morte del marito, Eliza si sente persa. A tenerle compagnia c’è soltanto la sua macchina fotografica. La solitudine viene un giorno interrotta da una chiamata e da un incarico inaspettato: il Governo britannico ha deciso di inviarla in un ricchissimo stato indiano per fotografare la famiglia reale. Ceylon, 1935. Louisa Reeve, figlia di un agiato mercante di gemme, ha tutto quello che una donna potrebbe desiderare. Ma non riesce a dare un erede al marito. Quel figlio che non arriva diventa un’ossessione e inizia a gettare ombre sul suo matrimonio, in cui niente è come sembra. Birmania, 1930. Belle Hatton si è imbarcata verso una nuova eccitante avventura lontano da casa. Si esibirà con la sua splendida voce in un hotel dove la attendono notti scintillanti e sofisticati ammiratori. La sua vita sarebbe perfetta, se l’ossessione per un mistero del passato non continuasse a tormentarla…
Dinah Jefferies - The Tea Planter's Wife
Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper steps off a steamer in Ceylon full of optimism, eager to join her new husband. But the man who greets her at the tea plantation is not the same one she fell in love with in London. Distant and brooding, Laurence spends long days wrapped up in his work, leaving his young bride to explore the plantation alone. It's a place filled with clues to the past - locked doors, a yellowed wedding dress in a dusty trunk, an overgrown grave hidden in the grounds, far too small for an adult... Gwen soon falls pregnant and her husband is overjoyed, but she has little time to celebrate. In the delivery room the new mother is faced with a terrible choice, one she knows no one in her upper class set will understand - least of all Laurence. Forced to bury a secret at the heart of her marriage, Gwen is more isolated than ever. When the time comes, how will her husband ever understand what she has done? The Tea Planter's Wife is a story of guilt, betrayal and untold secrets vividly and entrancingly set in colonial era Ceylon.
William Somerset Maugham - The Painted Veil
Kitty Fane is the beautiful but shallow wife of Walter, a bacteriologist stationed in Hong Kong. Unsatisfied by her marriage, she starts an affair with charming, attractive and exciting Charles Townsend. But when Walter discovers her deception, he exacts a strange and terrible vengeance: Kitty must accompany him to his new posting in remote mainland China, where a cholera epidemic rages... First published to a storm of protest. The Painted Veil is a classic story of a woman's spiritual awakening.
Tracy Chevalier - The Last Runaway
In New York Times bestselling author Tracy Chevalier's newest historical saga, she introduces Honor Bright, a modest English Quaker who moves to Ohio in 1850, only to find herself alienated and alone in a strange land. Sick from the moment she leaves England, and fleeing personal disappointment, she is forced by family tragedy to rely on strangers in a harsh, unfamiliar landscape. Nineteenth-century America is practical, precarious, and unsentimental, and scarred by the continuing injustice of slavery. In her new home Honor discovers that principles count for little, even within a religious community meant to be committed to human equality. However, drawn into the clandestine activities of the Underground Railroad, a network helping runaway slaves escape to freedom, Honor befriends two surprising women who embody the remarkable power of defiance. Eventually she must decide if she too can act on what she believes in, whatever the personal costs. A powerful journey brimming with color and drama, The Last Runaway is Tracy Chevalier's vivid engagement with an iconic part of American history.
Ford Madox Ford - Parade's End
With his acclaimed masterpiece Parade's End, Ford Madox Ford set himself a work of immense scale and ambition: "I wanted the Novelist in fact to appear in his really proud position as historian of his own time... The 'subject' was the world as it culminated in the war." Published in four parts between 1924 and 1928, his extraordinary novel centers on Christopher Tietjens, an officer and a gentleman -- "the last English Tory"--and follows him from the secure, orderly world of Edwardian England into the chaotic madness of the First World War. Against the backdrop of a world at war, Ford recounts the complex sexual warfare between Tietjens and his faithless wife, Sylvia. A work of truly amazing subtlety and profundity, Parade's End affirms Graham Greene's prediction: "There is no novelist of this century more likely to live than Ford Madox Ford."
Monica Ali - Brick Lane
At the tender age of eighteen, Nazneen's life is turned upside down. After an arranged marriage to a man twenty years her elder she exchanges her Bangladeshi village for a block of flats in London's East End. In this new world, where poor people can be fat and even dogs go on diets, she struggles to make sense of her existence - and to do her duty to her husband. A man of inflated ideas (and stomach), he sorely tests her compliance. But Nazneen submits, as she must, to Fate and devotes her life to raising her family and slapping down her demons of discontent. Until she becomes aware of a young radical, Karim. Against a background of escalating racial and gang conflict, they embark on an affair that finally forces Nazneen to take control of her life...
Arthur Golden - Memoirs of a Geisha
A seductive and evocative epic on an intimate scale, that tells the extraordinary story of a geisha girl. Summoning up more than twenty years of Japan's most dramatic history, it uncovers a hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation. From a small fishing village in 1929, the tale moves to the glamorous and decadent heart of Kyoto in the 1930s, where a young peasant girl is sold as servant and apprentice to a renowned geisha house. She tells her story many years later from the Waldorf Astoria in New York; it exquisitely evokes another culture, a different time and the details of an extraordinary way of life. It conjures up the perfection and the ugliness of life behind rice-paper screens, where young girls learn the arts of geisha - dancing and singing, how to wind the kimono, how to walk and pour tea, and how to beguile the most powerful men.
Jane Austen - Adam Rann - Emma and the Werewolves
Beware the howls in the darkness and the light of the full moon. As the ever headstrong Ms. Emma Woodhouse schemes and plots as matchmaker, a dark and deadly terror descends upon Highbury. A series of bestial murders fills the residents with fear as the ever mysterious Mr. Knightley leads a secret life, unknown to all, combating evils not of this Earth. Carnage and destruction reign throughout the land, and though the residents of Highbury try to attend to day-to-day matters as civilly as possible, each cannot help but wonder what lurks in the shadows and if it'll be coming for them next.
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
The Collector's Library in Colour takes the favourite illustrated titles of The Collector's Library and presents them in full colour. Jane Austen's best-loved novel is a memorable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, about the power of reason, and above all about the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions. Here, where Hugh Thomson's delightful period illustrations were originally black-and-white, they have been sensitively coloured by Barbara Frith, one of Britain 's most accomplished colourists. A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and Prejudice shows how the headstrong Elizabeth Bennett and the aristocratic Mr Darcy must have their pride humbled and their prejudices dissolved before they can acknowledge their love for each other." With an Afterword by Henry Hitchings.
Elena Ferrante - My Brilliant Friend
A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila. Ferrante is the author of three previous works of critically acclaimed fiction: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, and The Lost Daughter. With this novel, the first in a trilogy, she proves herself to be one of Italy’s great storytellers. She has given her readers a masterfully plotted page-turner, abundant and generous in its narrative details and characterizations, that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight her many fans and win new readers to her fiction.
Julia Quinn - The Duke and I
Simon Basset, the irresistible Duke of Hastings, has hatched a plan to keep himself free from the town's marriage-minded society mothers. He pretends to be engaged to the lovely Daphne Bridgerton. After all, it isn't as if the brooding rogue has any real plans to marry-though there is something about the alluring Miss Bridgerton that sets Simon's heart beating a bit faster. And as for Daphne, surely the clever debutante will attract some very worthy suitors now that is seems a duke has declared her desirable. But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, she soon forgets that their courtship is a complete sham. And now she has to do the impossible and keep herself from losing her heart and soul completely to the handsome hell-raiser who has sworn off marriage forever! Simon Basset, the irresistible Duke of Hastings, has hatched a plan to keep himself free from the town's marriage-minded society mothers. He pretends to be engaged to the lovely Daphne Bridgerton. After all, it isn't as if the brooding rogue has any real plans to marry-though there is something about the alluring Miss Bridgerton that sets Simon's heart beating a bit faster. And as for Daphne, surely the clever debutante will attract some very worthy suitors now that is seems a duke has declared her desirable. But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, she soon forgets that their courtship is a complete sham. And now she has to do the impossible and keep herself from losing her heart and soul completely to the handsome hell-raiser who has sworn off marriage forever!
Daphne du Maurier - Frenchman's Creek
Frenchman's Creek, set in 17th-century England, is an absorbing tale of adventure, danger and passion. Lady St. Columb is bored with fashionable life at Court so she sets off for the peace and freedom of her husband's Cornwall estate. Quite unexpectedly, she stumbles on the mooring place of the white-sailed ship belonging to the daring Frenchman who plunders the shores of Cornwall. It is only a question of time before this philosopher-pirate captures the heart of the lovely Lady St. Columb. Satisfying, romantic, swashbuckling action.
Dinah Jefferies - A teaültetvényes felesége
A tizenkilenc éves Gwen reményekkel és szerelemmel teli szívvel érkezik Ceylonba teaültetvényes férjéhez, Laurence-hez. A paradicsomi szépségű birtok azonban sötét titkokat rejt: egy elhagyatott sír a kertben, egy poros ruhásláda. A kezdeti boldogságnak hamar vége szakad. Laurence megváltozik: kiszámíthatatlanul, távolságtartó módon, mogorván viselkedik a lánnyal. Nem hajlandó magyarázatot adni a rejtélyekre sem, hagyja, hogy a felesége kétségek közt vergődjön. Gwen teherbe esik, Laurence boldog, de az igazi nehézségek csak most kezdődnek.: az ikrek születése szívbemarkolóan nehéz döntés elé állítja Gwent, és ettől kezdve tragikus titok terheli az ő szívét is. A lebilincselően izgalmas regény az 1920-as években, Ceylon szigetén játszódik, és még az utolsó oldalakon is váratlan fordulatokkal lepi meg az olvasót. Dinah Jefferies Malajziában született, kilencévesen költözött a szüleivel Angliába. Mélyen a szívébe zárta Délkelet-Ázsia és a Távol-Kelet világát, és gyerekkora óta számtalanszor járt arra. Az írónő élt kommunában egy rockbandával, dolgozott festőművészként, élt Olaszországban és Spanyolországban. Jelenleg Angliában él a férjével, és minden idejét a regényírásnak szenteli.
David Lodge - The Picturegoers
The Palladium, Brickley, is the haunting setting for this novel. Here is a seedy Saturday night venue which attracts people searching for something new in their lives. Mark, Clare and Father Kipling are just three of the characters featured.
Philippa Gregory - The Other Boleyn Girl
Mary Boleyn catches the eye of Henry VIII when she is a girl of just fourteen. But her joy is cut short when she discovers that she is a pawn in her family's plots. When the capricious king's interest warnes, Mary is ordered to pass on her knowledge of how to please him to her friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Anne soon becomes irresistible to Henry, and Mary must resign herself to being the other Boleyn girl. But beyond the court is a man who dares to challenge the power of her family to offer Mary a life of freedom and passion. If only she has the courage to break away - before the Boleyn enemies turn on the Boleyn girls... (Harper, 2011)
Leo Tolstoy - Anna Karenina
Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's translation of Anna Karenina is quite simply the most faithful rendering of Tolstoy's words ever accomplished. Winners of the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize for their translation of The Brothers Karamazov, Pevear and Volokhonsky bring the same literary and cultural fastidiousness to one of the greatest novels ever written, making Tolstoy accessible to a whole new generation of readers.
Diana Wynne Jones - Howl's Moving Castle
In the land of Ingary, where seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, Sophie Hatter attracts the the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste, who puts a curse on her. Determined to make the best of things, Sophie travels to the one place where she might get help - the moving castle which hovers on the nearby hills. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the hearts of young girls...
María Dueñas - The Seamstress
María Dueñas's million copy best-selling tale of adventure, tragedy, love and war, The Seamstress, a Richard and Judy 2012 book club pick. Spain, 1936 and the brink of civil war. Aged twelve, Sira Quiroga was apprenticed to a Madrid dressmaker. As she masters the seamstress's art, her life seems to be clearly mapped out - until she falls passionately in love and flees with her seductive lover. But in Morocco she is betrayed and left penniless. As civil war engulfs Spain, Sira finds she cannot return and so turns to her one true skill - and sews beautiful clothes for the expat elite and their German friends. With Europe rumbling towards war, Sira is lured back to Franco's Nazis-friendly Spain. She is drawn into the shadowy world of espionage, rife with love, intrigue and betrayal. And where the greatest danger lies. . . 'María Dueñas is a true storyteller. Read this book and prepare to be transported' Kate Morton, author of The House at Riverton 'A wonderful novel with intrigue, love, mystery and tender, audacious and clean-cut characters' Mario Vargas Llosa 'A magnificent novel that flawlessly brings together history and intrigue' Juan Gómez-Jurado, author of The Moses Expedition How can a novel be both cruel and tender, dark and luminous all at the same time, and keep the reader glued to its pages with a complex, captivating narrative? María Dueñas's novel manages to make this possible with a tale that is destined to become a literary classic (Javier Sierra, bestselling author of The Secret Supper and The Lady in Blue)
Janette Oke - When Calls the Heart
Nothing in her cultured East Coast upbringing prepared Elizabeth for a teaching position on the Canadian frontier. Yet, despite the constant hardships, she loves the children in her care. Determined to do the best job she can and fighting to survive the harsh land, Elizabeth is surprised to find her heart softening towards a certain member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Book 1 of the bestselling Canadian West series.
Jane Austen - Sense and Sensibility
"I could hardly keep my seat." Spirited and impulsive, Marianne Dashwood is the complete opposite to her controlled and sensible sister, Elinor. When it comes to matters of the heart, Marianne is passionate and romantic and soon falls for the charming, but unreliable Mr Willoughby. Elinor, in contrast, copes stoically with the news that her love, Edward Ferrars is promised to another. It is through their shared experiences of love that both sisters come to learn that the key to a successful match comes from finding the perfect mixture of rationality and feeling.