Cor blimey guvnor! There’s some right corkin’ fiction coming our way in 2019 and no mistake!
I have been extremely fortunate to have already read several 2019 releases (reviews to follow closer to their publication dates in the new year!), and I have a nice little stack of proofs ready and raring for after we’ve popped our last party popper, supped our last glass of our favourite tipple, swallowed our last mouthful of cheese and declared Happy New Year!
I thought I would just take this opportunity to highlight some books that I am particularly looking forward to next year. I always enjoy reading other peoples posts about this subject because it’s always nice to come across books you might not have necessarily encountered.
These are books that I am lucky enough to have proofs of already with large publicity campaigns and muchos chat over on the socials, OR books I have encountered whist having a lovely quiet little peruse of publisher catalogues on my lunchhour.
Now this list of 12 books is by no means exhaustive, but if I mention EVERY SINGLE BOOK I’m pumped for next year we could be here until Christmas 2019! These are the books that have piqued my interest, or given me the book tingles…..or basically just books I have been staring at dewey eyed…..possibly stroking them a little……
Wait, ignore that bit. Too creepy. *ahem*
I will talk about them in publication date order and if I actually have a proof copy the image will be my own, If I haven’t got a copy the image will be pilfered from t’internet. I don’t usually do the old ‘copy and paste’ with blurbs but it will save us all a lot of time if I do in this case, rather than trying to tell you about them in my own words when I haven’t read them yet!
Onwards with the books:
Slack-Tide by Elanor Dymott – Jonathan Cape: 17/1/19
It is four years since the loss of a child broke her marriage, and Elizabeth is fiercely protective of her independence. She meets Robert – exuberant, generous, apparently care-free – and they fall in love with breath-taking speed.
Slack-tide tracks the ebbs and flows of the affair: passionate, coercive, intensely sexual. When you’ve known lasting love and lost it, what price will you pay to find it again?
I read and absolutely loved Silver And Salt by the same author. I also have Every Contact Leaves A Trace on my shelves too. This one sounds compelling and I have read a couple of books this year surrounding the subject of coercive relationships and found them fascinating.
The Familiars by Stacey Halls – Bonnier Zaffre – 7/12/19
Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn’t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.
Then she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife. Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong.
As Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the north-west, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye?
Soon the two women’s lives will become inextricably bound together as the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood’s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake.
I am drawn to this one firstly because it’s historical fiction and we all know I love me a bit of that, but also because I believe it has links to the Pendle Witch Trials, although I could be wrong….. I think I’m going to enjoy finding out.
The Five by Hallie Rubenhold – Transworld – 28/2/19
Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.
What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.
For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that ‘the Ripper’ preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time – but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.
I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with Jack The Ripper and this sounds amazing! I never even realised that he murdered women who were not prostitutes. I think this one is going to be fantastic.
The Dollmaker by Nina Allan – Riverrun – 4/4/19
Stitch by perfect stitch, Andrew Garvie makes exquisite dolls in the finest antique style. Like him, they are diminutive, but graceful, unique and with surprising depths. Perhaps that’s why he answers the enigmatic personal ad in his collector’s magazine.
Letter by letter, Bramber Winters reveals more of her strange, sheltered life in an institution on Bodmin Moor, and the terrible events that put her there as a child. Andrew knows what it is to be trapped; and as they knit closer together, he weaves a curious plan to rescue her.
On his journey through the old towns of England he reads the fairytales of Ewa Chaplin – potent, eldritch stories which, like her lifelike dolls, pluck at the edges of reality and thread their way into his mind. When Andrew and Bramber meet at last, they will have a choice – to remain alone with their painful pasts or break free and, unlike their dolls, come to life.
This one has had quite a large publicity campaign, the cover is just beautiful and I can’t wait to get started!
Dignity by Alys Conran – W&N – 4/4/19
Magda lives alone in her a huge house by the sea. A former scientist with a bad temper and a good dose of old fashioned British pride, she does not need help from anyone – despite her derelict house and her body’s many betrayals. With her sharp tongue, she gets through carers at a rate of knots.
Until Susheela arrives.
And Susheela, it turns out, is in even more trouble than Magda. Still reeling from the recent death of her mum and trying to prop up her heartbroken dad, she finds herself falling for Ewan, a beautiful, fragile young man recovering from the brutal experience of war.
The two women – seemingly separated by class, culture and time – strike up an unlikely and sometimes uneasy friendship. Magda’s no-nonsense approach to life turns out to be an unexpected source of strength for Susheela; and Susheela’s Bengali heritage brings back memories of Magda’s childhood in colonial India, a time filled with servants and privilege, and terrible secrets.
Those memories slowly bring back to life the tragic figure of Magda’s mother, Evelyn, once a warm hearted, and free-spirited school teacher in rural England who had her innocent optimism ground away by a controlling husband and the misery of being a respectable member of the Raj’s ruling class – with devastating consequences.
I think Magda sounds like quite a character and the relationship between an elderly person and their carer can be a tricky one! I’m very much looking forward to this one.
Good Day? by Vesna Main – Salt – 15/4/19
This novel-within-a-novel charts the writing of a story about Richard and Anna, a middle-aged professional couple, who face the biggest crisis of their twenty-five-year marriage when he admits seeing prostitutes. The text unfolds through a dialogue between Anna, the writer, and her husband, Richard, the reader.
As the story of Richard and Anna progresses, the tension between them increases and, on several occasions, they stop speaking to each other. The writer’s novel compels them to examine their own marriage.
Gradually the differences between the characters in the novel on the one hand and the reader and the writer on the other appear to diminish to the point where we begin to wonder whether the reader, like Richard, pays for sex, and whether the writer, like her female protagonist, is coping with the situation by having several lovers.
I like the idea of a ‘novel within a novel’ aspect of this one, I also like books which deal with the intricacies and intimacies of a marriage.
Crushed by Kate Hamer – Faber & Faber – 2/5/19
Phoebe stands on Pulteney Bridge, tights gashed from toe to thigh. The shock of mangled metal and blood-stained walls flashes through her mind as she tries to cover her face so she won’t be recognised. It wouldn’t do to be spotted looking like this. She’s missing a shoe. She feels sick.
Phoebe thought murder and murder happened. Thoughts are just thoughts, they said. Now she knows they were wrong.
At home, Phoebe arranges the scissors and knives so they point toward her mother’s room. She is exhausted, making sure there’s no trace of herself – not a single hair, not even her scent – left anywhere in the house. She must not let her thoughts unravel, because if they do, there’s no telling who might be caught in the crossfire, and Phoebe will have to live with the consequences.
I have read and loved Kate Hamer’s other books, particularly The Doll Funeral which has pride of place on my forever shelf. So as you can imagine I am excited for this one!
The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal – Picador -2/5/19
London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning.
When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love.
But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening . . .
There’s a bit of a doll theme next year! London 1850……..that’s all I need to know!
What Red Was by Sophie Price – Harvill Secker – 9/5/19
Through their four years at university, Kate and Max are inseparable. For him, she breaks her solitude; for her, he leaves his busy circles behind. But loving Max means knowing his family, the wealthy Rippons, all generosity, social ease and quiet repression. Theirs is not Kate’s world. At their London home, just after graduation, her life is shattered apart in a bedroom while a party goes on downstairs.
This one sounds like it could be a tough read. Potentially a very harrowing subject but I am not one to shy away from that.
Haverscroft by S.A Harris – Salt – 15/5/19
Kate Keeling leaves all she knows and moves to Haverscroft House in an attempt to salvage her marriage. Little does she realise, Haverscroft’s dark secrets will drive her to question her sanity, her husband and fatally engulf her family unless she can stop the past repeating itself. Can Kate keep her children safe and escape Haverscroft in time, even if it will end her marriage?
Haverscroft is a gripping and chilling dark tale, a modern ghost story that will keep you turning its pages late into the night.
A house with dark secrets that make you question your sanity?! sign me up!
Supper Club by Lara Williams – Hamish Hamilton – 4/7/19
Twenty-nine year old Roberta has spent her whole life hungry – until the day she invents Supper Club. Supper Club is a secret society for hungry women. Women who are sick of bad men and bad sex, of hinted expectations to talk less, take less, be less. So they gather after dark and feast until they are sick. They drink and dance and roar. And, month by month, their bodies expand. At the centre of the Supper Club stands Roberta – cynical yet anxious, precocious and lost. She is seeking the answer to a simple question: if you feed a starving woman, what will she grow into? This is a story about the hunger that never goes away. And it is a story about the people who make us what we are – who lead us astray and ultimately save us. You look hungry. Join the club.
I think this sounds amazing! As a foodie myself (ie ‘greedy’) I’m interested to see what this one is all about!
Fish House by Edward Carey – Gallic Belgravia – 11/7/19
A brilliant re-telling of the Pinocchio story, in the voice of his ‘father’, the carpenter Gepetto – from inside the enormous sea creature that has swallowed him.
Whatttt?!?! how unique does this one sound! I LOVED Little by Edward Carey and have very high hopes for this one. I believe it also has illustrations as with Little. Gorgeous!
So there we have it! My apologies for the blurb heavy text but I feel it’s better that you get to see what the books are all about for yourselves rather than me trying to ever so succinctly sum them up for you.
I hope maybe you’ve seen some titles you might not have heard about yet and please do let me know what your most anticipated books of 2019 are!
See you all soon.
Bookish Chat xxx