|Flowers, fire and fairy tales are the elements that will forever shape nine-year-old Alice Hart’s life, in The Lost Flower’s of Alice Hart, the remarkable debut by Holly Ringland.
Alice Hart lives in isolation by the sea, where her mother’s enchanting flowers and their hidden messages shelter her from the dark moods of her father. When tragedy changes her life irrevocably, nine-year-old Alice goes to live with the grandmother she never knew existed, on a native flower farm that gives refuge to women who, like Alice, are lost or broken. In the Victorian tradition, every flower has a meaning and, as she settles into her new life, Alice uses this language of flowers to say the things that are too hard to speak.
As she grows older, though, family secrecy, a devastating betrayal and a man who’s not all he seems, combine to make Alice realise there are some stories that flowers alone cannot tell. If she is to have the freedom she craves, she must find the courage to possess the most powerful story she knows: her own.
|“Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter ‘H’.”
Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
“One of the greatest literary adventures of modern times” — Sunday Telegraph
A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, this is Ken Follett’s classic historical masterpiece. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known . . . of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect – a man divided in his soul . . . of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame . . . and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother. ‘Enormous and brilliant . . . this mammoth tale seems to touch all human emotion – love and hate, loyalty and treachery, hope and despair. This is truly a novel to get lost in’ – Cosmopolitan
‘A historical saga of such breadth and density . . . Follett succeeds brilliantly in combining hugeness and detail to create a novel imbued with the rawness, violence and blind faith of the era’ – Sunday Express
|A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson’s fascinating and humorous quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilisation. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
‘Mr Bryson has a natural gift for clear and vivid expression. I doubt that a better book for the layman about the findings of modern science has been written.’ — The Sunday Telegraph
‘Stylish [and] stunningly accurate prose … Brims with strange and amazing facts … destined to become a modern classic of science writing.’ — The New York Times
|The world is messing with our minds.
Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index.- How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad?
– How do we stay human in a technological world?
– How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious?After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him.
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|“I have to tell you something. I did something bad.”
Fifteen years ago, Blair’s best friend Molly was murdered.
And now, Blair’s terminally ill sister has made a devastating deathbed confession, which could prove that the wrong man has been imprisoned for years – and that Molly’s killer is still out there. Blair’s determined to find him, but the story behind Molly’s death is more twisted than she could imagine. If she isn’t careful enough, the killer will ensnare her and bury Blair with his secret.
MacDonald will delight fans of psychological thrillers, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction — Booklist
|Platform Seven at 4am: Peterborough Railway Station is deserted. The man crossing the covered walkway on this freezing November morning is confident he’s alone. As he sits on the metal bench at the far end of the platform it is clear his choice is strategic – he’s as far away from the night staff as he can get. What the man doesn’t realise is that he has company. Lisa Evans knows what he has decided. She knows what he is about to do as she tries and fails to stop him walking to the platform edge. Two deaths on Platform Seven. Two fatalities in eighteen months – surely they’re connected?
No one is more desperate to understand what connects them than Lisa Evans herself. After all, she was the first of the two to die.
|You think you know what’s best for your grown-up children. But you’ll find they have lessons they can now teach you.
Kate Morgan is an esteemed Manhattan lawyer. After losing her beloved husband in a tragic accident, she’s successfully raised their three children single-handedly. Now in their twenties, she slightly smugly feels that they are well set up to travel the path she planned. Except why is her eldest daughter, Tamara, a high-flying marketing executive, so secretive and why won’t she commit to a relationship? Then there’s Anthony, Kate’s middle child, who is engaged to a wealthy New York socialite – it will be the wedding of the year, so why doesn’t he seem happy? And as for her youngest daughter, Claire, at twenty-six she’s on a successful career path until she suddenly reveals she’s in love with, in Kate’s opinion, the ‘wrong man’. We all know that life rarely turns out the way we plan for our children. But it’s about listening, learning when to let go and letting them live the life that makes them happy.