Bookdiva November Contemporary Fiction Round-Up

Article published on November 25, 2011.

A Gift for My Sister

Tara and Sky are as different as two sisters can be. Sky, obedient and cautious, has worked hard to build her dream life: In her ideal job as a lawyer and married to handsome Troy, they live with their beautiful three-year-old daughter, Rachel, in a house on the beach. Rebellious and impetuous, her younger sister, Tara, devotes herself to her music, falls in love with the unsuitable but irresistible Aaron, becomes pregnant, and embarks on a rollercoaster of a life as a musician. But when tragedy besets Sky her life is turned upside down. Meanwhile, to Tara’s astonishment, instead of facing a future destined to be foolhardy and risky, Tara suddenly finds herself on the brink. With this reversal of fortune, everything changes between the two sisters. Sky is at a loss until Tara offers her to help her start over and move home. And so begins a road trip where tensions between the two sisters erupt, loyalties are tested and long hidden secrets revealed.

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Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James

The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the Pemberley nursery, Elizabeth’s beloved sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live within seventeen miles, the ordered and secure life of Pemberley seems unassailable, and Elizabeth’s happiness in her marriage is complete.

But their peace is threatened and old sins and misunderstandings are rekindled on the eve of the annual autumn ball. The Darcys and their guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley’s wild woodland, and as it pulls up, Lydia Wickham, an uninvited guest, tumbles out, screaming that her husband has been murdered.

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The Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall

A new collection of short stories by Booker-shortlisted author Sarah Hall.

From the heathered fells and lowlands of Cumbria with their history of smouldering violence, to the speed and heat of summer London, to an eerily still lake in the Finnish wilderness, Sarah Hall evokes landscapes with extraordinary precision and grace. The characters within these territories are real-life survivors, but whether it’s a frustrated housewife seeking extreme experience or a young woman contemplating the death of her lover, dark devices and desires rise to the surface. And the human body, too – flawed, visceral, and full of emotional conflict – provides a sensuous frame for each unfolding drama.

Uniquely disturbing and deeply erotic, this collection confirms Sarah Hall as one of the greatest writers of her generation.

The Beautiful Indifference includes ‘Butcher’s Perfume’, which was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Prize in 2010.

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The Golden Mean, by Annabel Lyon

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The Wine of Solitude, by Irene Nemirovsky

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