Title: Weyward

Author: Emelia Hart

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

KATE, 2019

Kate flees London – abandoning everything – for Cumbria and Weyward Cottage, inherited from her great-aunt. There, a secret lurks in the bones of the house, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.

VIOLET, 1942

Violet is more interested in collecting insects and climbing trees than in becoming a proper young lady. Until a chain of shocking events changes her life forever.

ALTHA, 1619

Altha is on trial for witchcraft, accused of killing a local man. Known for her uncanny connection with nature and animals, she is a threat that must be eliminated.

But Weyward women belong to the wild. And they cannot be tamed…

Weaving together the stories of three women across five centuries, Weyward is an enthralling novel of female resilience and the transformative power of the natural world.

The Review

Wow. Just wow.

Weyward is the feminist story of three generations of women who all have a link with magic and the stigma that being a woman with power can bring.

Each of our three protagonists has a battle to fight and are at the mercy of those around them. However their resilience and strength is palpable and jumps off the page.

As a reader, I became lost into this story and immersed in this world and I really didn’t want it to end. It could be said that stories of witchcraft have been done to death but oh my this book does not disappoint. Emelia Hart is a writer I will keeping an eye on.

Weyward by Emelia Hart is available now.

For more information regarding Emelia Hart (@EmeliaHartBooks) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollins) please visit www.harpercollins.com.

Title: Not My Problem

Author: Ciara Smyth

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Andersen Press

The Blurb

Sex Education with an Irish LGBT heroine: Aideen can fix anyone’s problem – just not her own

When Aideen agrees to help ambitious class swot Maebh Kowalska deal with her crazy workload, she doesn’t expect to end up reluctantly pushing Maebh down the stairs. With this, Aideen becomes the school ‘fixer’: any problem a student has, Aideen will sort it out, from stealing confiscated mobiles to breaking into parties. All she asks for is a favour in return. But Aideen’s own life is a mess – her mam’s drinking again, her BFF Holly is avoiding her and she’s skipping school. Spending more time with the uptight (but annoyingly cute) Maebh and chatterbox Kavi, Aideen starts to wonder: can every problem be solved?

The Review

What a special book.

Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth is a fabulous campus novel set in Ireland. Our heroine, Aideen, has a lot of problems of her own. No money, strained relationship with her sperm donor father, a hot mess of a mother yet she cannot help but sort out the problems of others. This lands her in many scrapes which are often hilarious. However, at the heart of this novel is a young girl who is just trying to hold things together.

I absolutely bloody loved this story from the very first page. The inimitable Irish humour jumps off the page. It had me howling with laughter and I am so sad that it is over.

Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth is available now.

For more information regarding Andersen Press (@AndersenPress) please visit www.andersenpress.co.uk.

Title: The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou

Author: Eleni Kyriacou

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Head of Zeus

The Blurb

A compelling historical crime novel set in the Greek diaspora of 1950s London – that’s inspired by a true story – The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou is perfect for fans of Sara Collins, Eve Chase and Jessie Burton.

THEY HAVE TOLD SO MANY LIES ABOUT ME.

London, 1954. Zina Pavlou, a Cypriot grandmother, waits quietly in the custody of the Metropolitan police. She can’t speak their language, but she understands what their wary looks mean: she has been accused of the brutal murder of her daughter-in-law.

Eva Georgiou, Greek interpreter for the Met, knows how it feels to be voiceless as an immigrant woman. While she works as Zina’s translator, her obsession with the case deepens, and so too does her bond with the accused murderer.

Zina can’t speak for herself. She can’t clear her own name. All she can do is wait for the world to decide…

IS SHE A VICTIM? OR IS SHE A KILLER?

The Review

This is quite possibly my book of the year.

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou is based on real life events and is about the justice system in Britain post-WW2. Zina Pavlou is a Greek Cypriot who has come to England to live with her son and his wife. During her time in England she struggles with the new way of life, not understanding the language and mostly not getting on with her daughter-in-law. However, when she gets accused of a heinous crime things become decidedly worse.

This story is a fascinating read that makes you question what it is that you think you know. Told from two different perspectives with a non linear timeline you are left really unsettled.

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou is a fantastic story.

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou by Eleni Kyriacou is available now.

For more information regarding Eleni Kyriacou (@elenikwriter) please visit www.elenikwriter.com.

For more information regarding Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Blackouts

Author: Justin Torres

Pages: 321 Pages

Publisher: Granta Publications

The Blurb

An intimate, emotionally rich novel, in which two men – young and old – reckon with queer histories and their place within them, from the critically acclaimed author of We the Animals.

Juan Gay is on his deathbed. He has decided to spend his last days in The Palace: a monumental, fading institution in the desert, which was an asylum in another lifetime. There, a young man tends to this dying soul – someone who Juan met only once, but who has haunted the edges of his life ever since.

As the end approaches, the two trade stories – resurrecting lost loves, lives, mothers and fathers – and their lives are woven, ineluctably, into a broader story of pathology and oppression. Charged with sifting through Juan’s belongings, our narrator uncovers a copy of Sex Variants: A Study in Homosexual Patterns, its pages blacked out, censored, reduced down to poetic dispatches. And, as he sifts through the manuscript, another story is told: that of Jan Gay – a radical, queer anthropologist – whose ground-breaking work was co-opted, and stifled, by the committee she served.

Blackouts is a haunting, dreamlike rumination on memory and erasure, on the ways in which stories sustain histories. Both emotionally and intellectually daring, Justin Torres blends fact with fiction – drawing from historical records, screenplays, testimony and image – force us to look again at the world we have inherited and the narratives we have received.

The Review

Blackouts is a lovely and heartbreaking story about the friendship between two gay men – one of whom is on his deathbed. It explores the issues of mental health, of love, lust and sex.

Additionally, it explored the changes in perception towards the LGBT+ community and also sadly how things have stayed the same.

It is a sumptuous story that allows the reader to get completely lost in the story.

I thoroughly recommend this book

Blackouts by Justin Torres is available now.

For more information regarding Granta Publications (@GrantaBooks) please visit www.granta.com.

Title: Suddenly A Murder

Author: Lauren Munoz

Pages: 297 Pages

Publisher: Hot Key Books

The Blurb

Everyone has a secret. Everyone has a motive. But only one of them brought a knife to the party . . .

To celebrate the end of high school, Izzy Morales joins her best friend Kassidy and five friends on a luxury 1920s-themed getaway at the glamorous Ashwood Manor. There, Izzy and her friends party in vintage dresses and expensive diamonds – until Kassidy’s boyfriend turns up dead.

And when a raging storm traps them on the island with two detectives, the sparkling young socialites become the prime suspects in his murder. There’s the girlfriend, and the other girl. The old friend, and the new friend. The brooding enigma. And then, there’s Izzy – the girl who brought the knife . . .

A glamorous and scandalous modern murder mystery that’ll have you reading through the night to find out whodunnit! Perfect for fans of ONE OF US IS LYING, THE INHERITANCE GAMES and KNIVES OUT.

The Review

In the grand tradition of a Christie mystery, Suddenly A Murder is a teen crime drama that is a really good page turner.

The novel focuses on privileged teenagers who travel to a private island to celebrate their graduation. Once on the island, the teens cannot leave and all of them is carrying more than their luggage with them. Each of them has a secret. When one of the party ends up murdered each of the teenagers are questioned and each has a motive.

With red herrings abound, dark twisted tales and a dramatic climax I can honestly say this is one of the easiest reads that I have read but I did not solve the crime. It was very well written.

Suddenly A Murder by Lauren Munoz is available now.

For more information regarding Hot Key Books (@HotKeyBooks) please visit their Twitter page.