The Japanese Lover
From internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende comes an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic that sweeps from present-day San Francisco to Poland and the United States during WWII. In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis and the world goes to war, young Alma Belasco's parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There she meets Ichimei Fukuda, the son of the family's Japanese gardener, and between them a tender love blossoms. Following Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart when Ichimei and his family - like thousands of Japanese Americans - are declared enemies by the US government and relocated to internment camps. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love they are forever forced to hide from the world. Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to come to terms with her own troubled past, meets the older woman and her grandson, Seth, at Lark House nursing home.
As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, and learn about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years.
Buy the Book
The Sound of Things Falling
The dark, brilliant new novel by the author of The Informers and The Secret History of Costaguana. No sooner does he get to know Ricardo Laverde than disaffected young Colombian lawyer Antonio Yammara realises that his new friend has a secret, or rather several secrets. Antonio's fascination with the life of ex-pilot Ricardo Laverde begins by casual acquaintance in a seedy Bogota billiard hall and grows until the day Ricardo receives a cassette tape in an unmarked envelope. Asking Antonio to find him somewhere private to play it, they go to a library. The first time he glances up from his seat in the next booth, Antonio sees tears running down Laverde's cheeks; the next, the ex-pilot has gone. Shortly afterwards, Ricardo is shot dead on a street corner in Bogota by a guy on the back of a motorbike and Antonio is caught in the hail of bullets. Lucky to survive, and more out of love with life than ever, he starts asking questions until the questions become an obsession that leads him to Laverde's daughter.
His troubled investigation leads all the way back to the early 1960s, marijuana smuggling and a time before the cocaine trade trapped a whole generation of Colombians in a living nightmare of fear and random death. Juan Gabriel Vasquez is one of the leading novelists of his generation, and The Sound of Things Falling that tackles what became of Colombia in the time of Pablo Escobar is his best book to date.
Buy the Book
'I have so carefully mapped the corners of my mindThat I am forever waking in a lost country...'SUMMER REQUIEM traces the immutable shifting of the seasons, the relentless rhythms of a great world that both 'gifts and harms'. Luminous, resonant and profound, these poems trace the dying days of summer, 'the hour of rust', when memory is haunted by loss and decay. But in the silence that follows, as the soul is cast adrift, there is also reconciliation with the transience of all things; the knowledge that there is a place, 'changeable, that will not betray'.
Buy the Book
***LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE*** From the Booker-winning author of Last Orders and Waterland comes a long-awaited new novel - `Mothering Sunday is bathed in light; and even when tragedy strikes, it blazes irresistibly... Swift's small fiction feels like a masterpiece' Guardian It is March 30th 1924. It is Mothering Sunday. How will Jane Fairchild, orphan and housemaid, occupy her time when she has no mother to visit? How, shaped by the events of this never to be forgotten day, will her future unfold? Beginning with an intimate assignation and opening to embrace decades, Mothering Sunday has at its heart both the story of a life and the life that stories can magically contain. Constantly surprising, joyously sensual and deeply moving, it is Graham Swift at his thrilling best. `Mothering Sunday is a powerful, philosophical and exquisitely observed novel about the lives we lead, and the parallel lives - the parallel stories - we can never know ... It may just be Swift's best novel yet' Observer
Buy the Book
A Christmas Carol
Using only Charles Dickens' extraordinary words and a chameleon ensemble of eight actors, Neil Bartlett's "A Christmas Carol" brings a boldly theatrical imagination to bear on a classic story. "Gets right to the frozen heart of Dickens' classic Christmas tale . . . one of those rare festive offerings for which no adult will need the excuse of a child in tow."--"The Guardian"
Buy the Book