Latest Book Reviews: September’s Best New Books
From a hilariously witty new novel about school mums, to a can’t-put-down mystery that will appeal to all book lovers, September’s new release books are five of the best must-read books for spring.
Kiss me First, by Lottie Moggach. Published by Picador, RRP $29.99
Leila has never met Tess, but she now knows more about Tess than anyone in the world. She’s read all of her emails, researched her past and asked Tess for every detail about her friends and family.
Tess has never met Leila. But if she wants to slip away from the world unnoticed, she needs to trust Leila with her life.
At first, Leila finds it easy to assume Tess’s identity, and no one has any reason to distrust her. But as Leila is soon to discover, there is much more to a person than the facts and there are things about life you can learn only by living it . . .
Original, haunting and utterly gripping, Kiss Me First is an electrifying debut from a phenomenally gifted storyteller.
Picador won the rights for Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach in a hotly-contested eleven-publisher auction.
Mr Wigg, by Inga Simpson. Published by Hachette Australia, RRP $26.99
A novel that celebrates the small things in life by a fresh Australian voice.
It s the summer of 1971, not far from the stone-fruit capital of New South Wales, where Mr Wigg lives on what is left of his family farm. Mrs Wigg has been gone a few years now and he thinks about her every day. He misses his daughter, too, and wonders when he ll see her again. He spends his time working in the orchard, cooking and preserving his produce and, when it s on, watching the cricket. It s a full life. Things are changing though, with Australia and England playing a one-day match, and his new neighbours planting grapes for wine. His son is on at him to move into town but Mr Wigg has his fruit trees and his chooks to look after. His grandchildren visit often: to cook, eat and hear his stories. And there s a special project he has to finish …
It’s a lot of work for an old man with shaking hands, but he’ll give it a go, as he always has.
The Hive, by Gill Hornsby. Published by Hachette Australia, RRP $29.99
Welcome to St Ambrose Primary School. A world of friendships, fights and feuding. And that’s just the mothers. . .
It’s the start of another school year at St Ambrose. But while the children are in the classroom colouring in, their mothers are learning sharper lessons on the other side of the school gates. Lessons in friendship. Lessons in betrayal. Lessons in the laws of community, the transience of power. . . and how to get invited to lunch.
Beatrice – undisputed queen bee. Ruler, by Divine Right, of all school fund-raising, this year, last year and, surely, for many years to come.
Heather – desperate to volunteer, desperate to be noticed, desperate just to belong.
Georgie – desperate for a fag.
And Rachel – watching them all, keeping her distance. But soon to discover that the line between amused observer and miserable outcast is a thin one.
The Hive is an irresistible, brilliantly observed novel – warm, witty and true. Wickedly funny, it is also a fascinating and subtle story about group politics and female friendship. From the joys and perils (well, mainly perils) of the Lunch Ladder, to the military operation that is the Car Boot Sale, via the dos and don’ts of dressing your child as a dalek, all human life is here.
The Bookman’s Tale, by Charlie Lovett. Published by Text Publishing, RRP $29.99
A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller’s search—through time and the works of Shakespeare—for his lost love.
Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books, The Bookman’s Tale is a former bookseller’s sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature’s most tantalising mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt’s Possession.
Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn’t sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn’t really her. The watercolour is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture’s origins.
As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare’s time, Peter communes with Amanda’s spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.
The Son-in-Law, by Charity Norman. Published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99
A heart-catching, riveting and extremely engaging family drama for readers who love Joanna Trollope and Jodi Picoult.
For three years Joseph Scott has been haunted by one moment-the moment that changed his life forever. Now he is starting over, and he wants his family back more than anything.
This is the story of Joseph and his wife, Zoe; of their children, Scarlet, Theo and Ben, for whom nothing will be the same; and of Zoe’s parents, who can’t forgive or understand.
A compelling, moving and ultimately optimistic story of one man who will do almost anything to be reunited with his children. And of the grandparents who are determined to stop him.
What are you reading right now? Tell us in the comments!