It is always a huge privilege to work with authors and to sometimes be the first pair of eyes on their manuscripts. The honour of being able to see their words in the early stages will never grow old.
Whilst I was deciding my favourite reads of 2019, it made me think about the books I have read this year but aren’t actually published until the new year and how excited I am for when they are published and I can discuss with friends their take on them! I am sharing with you the three books that I believe you must add to your ‘wish lists’ right now for when the festivities are over and you’re wondering what the year ahead will bring… amazing, engrossing books with beautifully written scenes and incredible characters will add plenty of colour to 2020.
- Three Hours. Rosamund Lupton.
When this book came through the post from Rosamund Lupton we were very excited! We love Rosamund’s writing and it has been over four years her last publication, so we were very excited to get our hands on this. We were not disappointed, and you won’t be either, this is a compelling, immersive read which will keep you up until the small hours turning the pages.
The story takes place in a school which is under siege. Over the course of three hours, every parents’ worst nightmare unfolds and, as the children and their teachers are under threat, the authorities frantically try to establish who the suspects are and how best to rescue those within the school.
There are lots of themes within this book which build up the tension; comparisons to Macbeth, the threat of terrorism, parenting teenagers, what it takes to be a teacher, being a refuge in Britain… the eerie snow outside adds to the chilling terror… We were totally gripped and we weren’t the only ones! Jane Fallon describes it as being ‘staggeringly good’ and Marian Keynes says it is ‘affecting and moving’. We love it, they love it, you’ll love it too.
Published by Penguin.
Publish date 6th January 2020.
See our full review here: Rosamund Lupton Review
Pre-order here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Three-Hours-Rosamund-Lupton/dp/0241374499/
2. Jackie and Maria. Gill Paul.
When Gill Paul first sent us this book 12 months ago, we were honoured to get to read her words first and excited to get turning the pages! We were intrigued – such complex and interesting women for Gill to write about and we couldn’t wait to see how she mastered bringing them to life and knew she would master drawing us into their lives brilliantly. We love Gill Paul books and this one is due to hit the shelves in summer 2020, meaning it will be two years since her last book The Lost Daughter was published. Gill Paul fans who are waiting for this novel will be delighted when they get their hands on this as it’s an incredible read. We loved it, it is a wonderful novel and we can’t wait until this is published so we can hear your reviews!
Gill Paul weaves fact and fiction beautifully within these pages giving us a unique insight into the lives of Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas. Both formidable women, they’re living very glamourous lives and making headlines, but with their lifestyles comes incredible tragedy and life-changing insecurity. As the pages turn, their lives begin to intertwine and when they both fall in love with the same man – the richest man in the world – we are treated to a compelling love triangle.
The way this story is written really drew me into the main characters, I felt every emotion they did; from the tensions on election night as Jackie Kennedy awaited her husband’s fate, to the shock and horror on the day she witnessed his murder. I felt Maria’s frustration at the unfair headlines and stories told of her and shed a tear when she suffered a heartbreaking loss. The insight into their lives was fascinating and transported me to this era. The descriptions of the places, the glamourous cruises, the intense passion, the amazing atmosphere on stage… really brought this story to life.
Perfectly timed for people to devour on their summer holidays, this is a book that will sweep you away on a wonderfully glamourous and passionate adventure, but be warned, once you’ve finished reading it, the characters stay with you long after you finish the book.
Published by Morrow in summer 2020.
Available to pre-order now: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jackie-Maria-Novel-Kennedy-Callas-ebook/dp/B081NHH3GW
3. Secrets of the Lavendar Girls. Kate Thompson.
When the manuscript of Kate Thompson’s next novel arrived, we couldn’t wait to lose ourselves in her writing and be transported to the East End of London. Secrets of the Lavender Girls is a sequel to her previous book Secrets of the Homefront Girls and this story brings the characters we met in the first book to life even more.
The war may still be raging, but the girls who work in the Yardley factory are defiantly getting on with their lives. It isn’t easy, many of the home lives of the girls are difficult and they’re about to get even more complex with the arrival of new neighbours. Queenie and Patsy moving into the neighbourhood makes an impact – Patsy has heads turning but also hides a secret, Queenie – her mother – is bitter and out for revenge. As the story unfolds, we soon learn that it isn’t just Patsy who is desperately hiding a secret but others too… what will happen if these secrets become public knowledge?
There’s something about the way that Kate Thompson creates characters that just makes you care; they are passionate, they have flaws, they are real and this is what draws you in – I needed to know what would happen to them and longed for them to fall on their feet. This story makes you think about the war days in a different way; we’re often told about the facts on the frontline or from a soldiers perspective, Kate gets under the skin of the realities of war for the everyday citizen in a way that history books fail to do.
We loved reading this, the characters are brilliant, the twists intriguing and the dialogue between characters authentic.
Published in summer 2020 by Hodder this is one to add to your wish-lists now! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secrets-Lavender-Girls-Kate-Thompson-ebook/dp/B07SV4Q6W5
So when the festivities of Christmas are over, you have these incredible books to look forward to! You’ll be gripped by Rosamund, taken on a moving, glamorous journey by Gill and fall in love with the wonderful East End girls by Kate. If you’re wondering what books to add to your 2020 reads, these are the top 3 that we know you’ll love!