Mums love nothing more than snuggling up with a good book, and we’ve got 10 fab reads we know she’ll love. Tie a few of these books together with ribbon for the perfect Mother’s Day gift.
The Patchwork Marriage, by Jane Green
Are love and devotion enough to create a happy family?
When Andi married Ethan, she not only got the man she loved but also the chance to be a mother, to his daughters Emily and Sophia. Unable to have a child of her own, Andi saw this opportunity of motherhood as a precious gift. If only it were that simple. For this is not a happy family, and the trouble lies with Emily. Her conflicted feelings towards her stepmother leave Andi feeling hated in her own home, despite years of trying to reach out to her stepdaughter. And with each drama, Emily drives Andi and Ethan further apart. Just as Andi starts to contemplate a life without Ethan and the girls, Emily comes home with some shocking news. News that will change their lives forever.
Fifty Shades of Grey, by E L James. Published By Arrow RRP $17.95
When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind – until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time. The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her too – but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny. Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?
E L James is a TV executive, wife and mother-of-two based in West London. Since early childhood she dreamed of writing stories that readers would fall in love with, but put those dreams on hold to focus on her family and her career. She finally plucked up the courage to put pen to paper with her first novel, Fifty Shades of Grey.
The Witness, by Nora Roberts. Published by Little Brown Group RRP $32.99
Abigail Lowery has a dark and terrifying secret. Aged just sixteen, she witnessed a shocking mafia murder. Narrowly escaping with her life, she was forced to leave her old identity even her real name behind for good.
Fifteen years later Abigail is still hiding from the world a semi-recluse in the quiet, rural town of Bickford, Arkansas. She has convinced herself that this is all she needs: peace, safety and her faithful guard dog Bert. Perhaps now, at last, she can stop running. But Brooks Gleason, the local chief of police, has other ideas. Abigail intrigues him and he d like nothing better than to break through the walls she has built around herself. His persistence and determination to uncover the truth is unsettling, exciting and dangerous. One way or another, it will change both their lives forever.
A Thousand Tiny Truths, by Kyo Maclear
Born of an adulterous affair, ethnically ambiguous and growing up in the racially charged 1960s, life was never going to be kind to Marcel. Living with his white surrogate father, Oliver, Marcel clings to the piecemeal memories of his mother, desperate to know who his real parents are. But the world is changing: coups, revolutions, the end of colonialism. When Oliver leaves Marcel to pursue his dream as a foreign correspondent, Marcel is set adrift in swinging London, a city of magic, of possibilities – and of devastating realities. When Marcel joins Oliver in Vietnam, and discovers the truth about his mother, his world is shattered.
Years later, when Marcel is asked to take care of eleven-year-old Iris, he is intrigued by her uncanny observations about the world. Her easy grace compels Marcel to confront the past, and to pick up the thousand small fragments that have shaped the man he has become. A profound novel of betrayal and resurrection, A Thousand Tiny Truths asks how long can you carry the wounds of the past before moving into a wholehearted future?
?A Cook’s Life, by Stephanie Alexander
With The Cook’s Companion front and centre in half a million kitchens, Stephanie Alexander is the very definition of a household name. Each day thousands turn to her ‘food bible’ for the most reliable recipes and advice. But before Stephanie Alexander penned a word for the emerging food media, let alone for The Cook’s Companion, she had spent decades avidly documenting food experiences. Shaped by her mother’s dedication to good food and her father’s love of reading, she trained as a librarian and all the while observed, assessed and re-created the dishes she loved. Her monthly university allowance rarely lasted more than a week – all spent on pan-fried flounder and chestnut Mont Blanc.
She was seduced over pain Poîlane while working as an au pair in Paris, and later over ackee and saltfish in London. In 1966, with no formal culinary training and a newborn baby, but brimming with confidence and sheer determination, she opened Jamaica House with her first husband. The personal toll was great and it was many years until she emerged on the restaurant scene again. Stephanie’s Restaurant would become part of Melbourne food folklore, permanently raising the bar for restaurant dining in Australia. At the time of its opening, in 1976, a salad to most people meant iceberg lettuce, no-one had heard of goat’s cheese and ginger came in a tin. Over the next twenty-one years, in her quest for the sort of produce she had enjoyed while living and travelling in Europe, Stephanie championed small local suppliers or grew it herself.
Her indefatigable determination and single-minded vision have influenced – and sometimes intimidated – a generation of chefs, cooks and diners. And now her Kitchen Garden Foundation is inspiring tens of thousands of primary school children across Australia to grow and cook their own food. A Cook’s Life is a very personal account of one woman’s uncompromising commitment to good food, and of how it shaped her life and changed the eating habits of a nation.
Between a Mother and Her Child, by Elizabeth Noble. Published By Penguin RRP $29.95
For Maggie and Bill it was love at first sight . . .
One impulsive wedding later, and with the arrival of three perfect children – Jake, Aly and Stan - the Barrett family seem to have it all. Until the day their world stops turning. When Jake dies suddenly, they’re swept away on a tide of grief that fractures Maggie and Bill’s marriage. She and the children are left clinging to the wreckage of their family. And they need help, because in her grief Maggie is in danger of losing Aly and Stan too. Enter Kate, housekeeper, companion and shoulder to cry on. She’s here to pick up the pieces and fix what isn’t completely broken. But can Maggie trust Kate? And why is Kate so keen to help?
When Bill falls for another woman, Maggie realizes she will have to fight to put her family back together – but will they still want her?
The Day You Saved my Life, by Louise Candlish. Published By Sphere RRP $29.99
On a perfect summer’s day in Paris, tourists on a river trip watch in horror as drama unfolds. A small boy has fallen overboard and disappeared below the surface of the water. As his mother stands frozen to the spot, another passenger jumps…
This is the story of how a single act of courage transforms the lives of those involved: the hero James and his wife Alexa; Holly, the young mother of the victim; and Holly’s mother Joanna, whose whole adult life has been lived in the hope that her daughter will not make the same mistakes she did.
Secrets of the Tides, by Hannah Richell. Published by Hachette RRP $29.99
A stunning debut novel: a dramatic family saga with a dark thread of suspense lurking at its heart.
Every family has its secrets. Some are small, like telling a white lie or snooping through a private drawer. Others are more serious, like infidelity and betrayal. And some secrets are so terrible they must be hidden away in a deep, dark place, for if they ever came to light, they would surely tear a family apart. The Tides are a family full of secrets. Returning to Clifftops, the rambling family house perched high on the Dorset coastline, youngest daughter Dora hopes for a fresh start, for herself and the new life she carries. But can long-held secrets ever really be forgiven? And even if you can forgive, can you ever really learn to love again?
Secrets of the Tides is the spellbinding debut from Hannah Richell, a rich and compelling family drama with a dark thread of suspense at its heart.
Dinner at Rose’s, by Danielle Hawkins. Published By Allen and Unwin RRP $27.99
A beautifully written, funny, intelligent and heartwarming novel about a young woman who leaves the city for her home town where she falls in love with a wonderful man – and does much more besides.
In the wake of an unfortunate best-friend-and-boyfriend-caught-having-sex-in-a-chair incident, Jo Donnelly flees her civilised city life to take up a temporary job at the physiotherapy clinic in her small home town.?Jo is ineptly assisted at work by a receptionist who divides her time between nail care and surfing the internet.
Meanwhile, her new flatmate is a joyless couch potato who hogs the TV and is vigilant in her quest to prevent excessive electricity consumption. Life would seem a bit grim if not for Jo’s eccentric honorary Aunty Rose, who lives up the valley with her pet piglet, four dogs and two sheep.
?Rose was a wise and infinitely patient friend to both Jo and her bona fide nephew, Matthew, while they were growing up. And when Rose is hit by illness Jo moves in to look after her, while Matt helps out as much as his farming duties allow. But illness aside, it’s not long before the mischievous Rose is playing cupid…This is an utterly charming, funny, insightful novel of friendship and love.
What book are you reading right now?