World Book Night - Page 1
The author of The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory, brings the tumultuous times of the Wars of the Roses to life in The White Queen. Told through the eyes of the women of the House of Lancaster and House of York, it begins with the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen. With impeccable research and inimitable storytelling skills, this is a tale of an extraordinary woman and devastating conflict.
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry describes how Roseanne McNulty, nearing her 100th birthday, is facing an uncertain future. The Roscommon Regional Mental hospital where she's spent the best part of her adult life is preparing for closure and over the weeks leading up to this upheaval, she talks with her psychiatrist Dr. Grene, and their relationship intensifies. Told through their respective journals, the story that emerges is both shocking and deeply beautiful. Refracted through the haze of memory and retelling, Roseanne's story becomes an alternative history of Ireland's changing character and one of a life blighted by terrible mistreatment and ignorance, and yet is still marked by love, passion and hope. Truly an unforgettable read.
On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother's past. But Sofia has never spoken of it. All she admits to is growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend, and promises that through her she will learn more. Arriving in Plaka, Alexis is astonished to see that it lies a stone's throw from the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga - Greece's former leper colony. Then she finds Fotini, and at last hears the story that Sofia has buried all her life: the tale of her great-grandmother Eleni and her daughters and a family rent by tragedy, war and passion. She discovers how intimately she is connected with the island, and how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip. Victoria Hislop's debut novel, The Island is a book that you will find hard to put down.
For 15 year-old Michael Berg, a chance meeting with older woman Hanna leads to a passionate love affair, leaving him both euphoric and confused. Years later, as a law student observing a trial in Germany, Michael is shocked when he recognises Hanna is the person in the dock. The lady he had loved is a criminal. At first, Michael is confused by her behaviour, but soon it all suddenly, and terribly, makes sense: Hanna is not only obliged to answer for a horrible crime, she is also hiding a bigger secret. Set against the backdrop of the Holocaust, Bernhard Schlink's thriller The Reader delicately tells a moving story about love and obsession. In 2008, the book was adapted into a successful film starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes.
This title was chosen as a World Book Night book for 2013
Malorie Blackman's best-selling dystopian novel Noughts & Crosses launches a superb trilogy. Callum (a lowly Nought) and Sephy (a Cross and the daughter of a powerful politician) are childhood friends who eventually fall in love. Increasing animosity between the two families leads Callum and Sephy to see each other in secret. But for how long? Written alternately in the voices of Sephy and Callum, this is a powerful and perfectly paced novel with a provocative plot line that will keep readers on tenterhooks.
The Knife of Never Letting Go has won many awards for author Patrick Ness and will score an instant hit with teenagers readers aged 13+. First in the Chaos Walking trilogy, this novel covers big issues of identity and trust with lots of skill and wit. The plot unfolds at breakneck speed as Todd Hewitt is forced to go on the run from his town when he uncovers a secret that puts his life at risk. The strange dystopian world throws up a series of nightmare encounters that Todd struggles to survive. This is an unbeatable read for boys and girls.
A remarkable journey through Jackie Kay's childhood - one ridden with prejudice and experiences of rejection - Red Dust Road is a moving and beautifully written autobiography. Vividly told, Kay's memoir tells of her upbringing as an adopted, mixed-race lesbian in a genuine and appealing manner, without unattractive doses of self pity. Full of good humour and touching honesty, and written in a flowing, delicate style more akin to a bestselling novel, this is a fascinating story of nature versus nurture. This remarkable read was the winner of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards: Book of the Year Award in 2011.