40 books we can't wait to curl up with in 2020 3 weeks ago

40 books we can't wait to curl up with in 2020

 The end of the holidays are here.

Which means that in between the last few of the holiday parties, festive feasts, and the general fear of returning to work we've been trying to work our way through the "to read" pile that has been sitting beside our bed.

And while our minds are set on making it through the literary gems of 2019, our minds can't help but turn to what adventures are going to be hitting the shelves this year.

After all, there's nothing quite as nice as curling up with a good book and a mug of tea on a chilly day, is there?

Loveless by Alice Oseman

April 2020. 

Georgia feels loveless – in the romantic sense, anyway. She’s eighteen, never been in a relationship, or even had a crush on a single person in her whole life. She thinks she's an anomaly, people call her weird, and she feels a little broken. But she still adores romance – weddings, fan fiction, and happily ever afters. She knows she’ll find her person one day … right?

After a disastrous summer, Georgia is now at university, hundreds of miles from home. She is more determined than ever to find love – and her annoying roommate, Rooney, is a bit of a love expert, so perhaps she can help.

But maybe Georgia just doesn’t feel that way about guys. Or girls. Or anyone at all. Maybe that's okay. Maybe she can find happiness without falling in love. And maybe Rooney is a little more loveless than she first appears.

The Gilded Cage by Camilla Lackberg

April 2020. 

People would kill to have Faye von Essen's life. She lives in an ultra-swanky apartment in the most exclusive area of Stockholm, she has a gorgeous husband who gives her everything she's ever wanted and she has an adorable daughter who lints up her world. Faye's life is perfect.

So how is it, then, that she finds herself in a police station?

The truth is that Faye's life is far from what it seems. The truth is that Faye isn't even her real name. And now she's been caught out. there's no way she's going to go down without a fight - the only question is, who will escape with thier life?

Q by Christina Dalcher

April 2020. 

Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state's new elite schools. Her daughters are exactly like her: beautiful, ambitious, and perfect. A good thing, since the recent mandate that's swept the country is all about perfection.

Now everyone must undergo routine tests for their quotient, Q, and any children who don't measure up are placed into new government schools. Instead, teachers can focus on the gifted.

Elena tells herself that it's not about eugenics, not really. But when one of her daughters scores lower than expected, she intentionally fails her own test to go with her. And what Elena discovers is far more terrifying than she ever imagined...

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

January 2020. 

Yesterday, Lydia had a bookshop. Yesterday, Lydia was married to a journalist. Yesterday, she was with everyone she loved most in the world.

Today, her eight-year-old son Luca is all she has left.

For him, she will carry a machete strapped to her leg. For him, she will leap onto the roof of a high speed train. For him, she will find the strength to keep running.

Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth

January 2020. 

Jenny is unloved, unemployable and emotionally unfiltered.

Her long-suffering friends seem sick of her and whilst her social media portrays her life as a bed of roses, it is more of a dying succulent.

Adults is what you want it to be. A misadventure of maturity, a satire on our age of self-promotion, a tender look at the impossibility of womanhood, a love story, a riot.

 Staunch by Eleanor Wood

March 2020. 

Eleanor finds herself in her late 30s on a beach in India with three old ladies, trying to ‘find herself’ and ‘discover her family history’ like some sad middle-class crisis cliché. How did she get here?

Truthfully, it could be for any one of the below reasons, if not all combined:Stepmum dying/Stepdad leaving – family falling apart, subsequent psychotic break; both parents now on third marriage; Breaking up with J after 12 years – breaking up a whole life, a whole fucking universe – for reasons that may have been… misguided; New boyfriend moving in immediately, me insisting ‘it’s not a rebound!’ even after everyone has stopped listening, being cited in his messy divorce, him being sectioned, then breaking up with me; Going into therapy after dating a potentially violent, certainly threatening, narcissist (the most pertinent point of which should be noted: I did not break up with him – he ghosted me).

How to address this situation? Take a trip to India with your octogenarian nan and two great aunts of course. The perfect, if somewhat unusual, distraction from Eleanor’s ongoing crisis. But the trip offers so much more than Eleanor could ever have hoped for.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

May 2020. 

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.

Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen

February 2020. 

Other people find Majella odd. She keeps herself to herself, she doesn't like gossip and she isn't interested in knowing her neighbours' business. But suddenly everyone in the small town in Northern Ireland where she grew up wants to know all about hers.

Since her da disappeared during the Troubles, Majella has tried to live a quiet life with her alcoholic mother. She works in the local chip shop, wears the same clothes every day, has the same dinner each night and binge watches Dallas  from the safety of her single bed. She has no friends and no boyfriend and Majella thinks things are better that way.

But Majella's safe and predictable existence is shattered when her grandmother dies and as much as she wants things to go back to normal, Majella comes to realise that maybe there is more to life. And it might just be that from tragedy comes Majella's one chance at escape.

One Year of Ugly by Caroline Mackenzie

May 2020. 

It was Aunt Celia who got us into the whole mess. The entire Palacios family thrust smack into the middle of a crime ring. Having escaped crumbling, socialist Venezuela the illegal way (who needs residency permits when you know a guy with a boat?), Yola Palacios and her family are settling into their new under-the-radar life in Trinidad.

But when Aunt Celia dies, the Palacios discover that she’s been keeping one hell of a secret. She’s seriously in debt to a local criminal called Ugly, a debt that is now theirs to repay. He might dress like David Bowie, but Ugly’s business style is pure Pablo Escobar. What he says, the Palacios must do, otherwise: big trouble.

Ugly’s right-hand man Román is tasked with keeping an eye on the family but Yola can barely keep her eyes off him. Forbidden fruit is the original aphrodisiac, and when Yola and Román fall in lust, even bigger trouble is on the horizon…

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

January 2020. 

Kensington Ave, Philadelphia: The first place you go for drugs or sex The last place you want to go to look for your sister.

Mickey Fitzpatrick has been patrolling the 24th District for years. She knows most of the working women by name. She knows what desperation looks like and what people will do when they need a fix. She’s become used to finding overdose victims: their numbers are growing every year. But every time she sees someone sprawled out, slumped over, cold to the touch, she has to pray it’s not her sister, Kacey.

When the bodies of murdered sex workers start turning up on the Ave, the Chief of Police is keen to bury the news. They’re not the kind of victims that generate a whole lot of press anyway. But Mickey is obsessed, dangerously so, with finding the perpetrator - before Kacey becomes the next victim

 

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel 

March 2020. 

England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour.

Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future.

But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him?

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

February 2020. 

On a remote island, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater.

Old friends. Past grudges. Happy families. Hidden jealousies. Thirteen guests.One body.

The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped.

All have a secret. All have a motive.
One guest won’t leave this wedding alive . . .

One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

January 2020. 

Come on, Bayview, you know you've missed this. A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one's been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now. This time it's not an app, though--it's a game. Truth or Dare.

Phoebe's the first target. If you choose not to play, it's a truth. And hers is dark. Then comes Maeve and she should know better--always choose the dare. But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it's that they can't count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon's gone, but someone's determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there's a whole new set of rules.

The Cutting Place by Jane Casey

April 2020. 

Everyone's heard the rumours about elite gentlemen's clubs, where the champagne flows freely, the parties are the height of decadence . . . and the secrets are darker than you could possibly imagine.

DS Maeve Kerrigan finds herself in an unfamiliar world of wealth, luxury and ruthless behaviour when she investigates the murder of a young journalist, Paige Hargreaves. Paige was working on a story about the Chiron Club, a private society for the richest and most privileged men in London. Then she disappeared.

It's clear to Maeve that the members have many secrets. But Maeve is hiding secrets of her own – even from her partner DI Josh Derwent. Will she uncover the truth about Paige’s death? Or will time run out for Maeve first?

His And Hers by Alice Feeney

April 2020. 

If there are two sides to every story, someone is always lying…

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Anna’s ex-husband, DCI Jack Harper, is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.

Someone is lying, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

March 2020. 

Laurie and Jamie have the perfect office romance (They set the rules via email). Everyone can see they’re head over heels (They staged the photos).  This must be true love (They’re faking it).

When Laurie is dumped by her partner of eighteen years, she’s blindsided. Not only does she feel humiliated, they still have to work together.

So when she gets stuck in the lift with handsome colleague Jamie, they hatch a plan to stage the perfect romance. Revenge will be sweet…

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan

April 2020. 

Ava, newly arrived in Hong Kong from Dublin, spends her days teaching English to rich children. Julian is a banker. A banker who likes to spend money on Ava, to have sex and discuss fluctuating currencies with her. But when she asks whether he loves her, he cannot say more than 'I like you a great deal'.

Enter Edith, a lawyer. Refreshingly enthusiastic and unapologetically earnest, Edith takes Ava to the theatre when Julian leaves Hong Kong for work. Quickly, she becomes something Ava looks forward to.

And then Julian writes to tell Ava he is coming back to Hong Kong... Should Ava return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with Edith?

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

March 2020. 

Vanessa Wye was fifteen-years-old when she first had sex with her English teacher. She is now thirty-two and in the storm of allegations against powerful men in 2017, the teacher, Jacob Strane, has just been accused of sexual abuse by another former student.

Vanessa is horrified by this news, because she is quite certain that the relationship she had with Strane wasn't abuse. It was love. She's sure of that.

Forced to rethink her past, to revisit everything that happened, Vanessa has to redefine the great love story of her life – her great sexual awakening – as rape. Now she must deal with the possibility that she might be a victim, and just one of many.

Pine by Francine Toon

January 2020. 

Lauren and her father Niall live alone in the Highlands, in a small village surrounded by pine forest. When a woman stumbles out onto the road one Halloween night, Niall drives her back to their house in his pickup. In the morning, she’s gone.

In a community where daughters rebel, men quietly rage, and drinking is a means of forgetting, mysteries like these are not out of the ordinary. The trapper found hanging with the dead animals for two weeks. Locked doors and stone circles. The disappearance of Lauren’s mother a decade ago.

Lauren looks for answers in her tarot cards, hoping she might one day be able to read her father’s turbulent mind. Neighbours know more than they let on, but when local teenager Ann-Marie goes missing it’s no longer clear who she can trust.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

March 2020. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?  Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan has been in possession of her meticulously crafted answer since she understood the question. On the day that she nails the most important job interview of her career and gets engaged to the perfect man, she's well on her way to fulfilling her life goals.

That night Dannie falls asleep only to wake up in a different apartment with a different ring on her finger, and in the company of a very different man. The TV is on in the background, and she can just make out the date. It's the same night - December 15th - but 2025, five years in the future.

It was just a dream, she tells herself when she wakes, but it felt so real... Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind. That is, until four and a half years later, when Dannie turns down a street and there, standing on the corner, is the man from her dream...

Followers by Megan Angelo

January 2020. 

2051. Marlow and her mother, Floss, have been handpicked to live their lives on camera, in the closed community of Constellation.

Unlike her mother, who adores the spotlight, Marlow hates having her every move judged by a national audience.

But she isn’t brave enough to escape until she discovers a shattering secret about her birth.

Now she must unravel the truth around her own history in a terrifying race against time…

The Herd by Andrea Bartz

March 2020. 

The name of the elite, women-only coworking space stretches across the wall behind the check-in desk: THE HERD, the H-E-R always in purple. In-the-know New Yorkers crawl over each other to apply for membership to this community that prides itself on mentorship and empowerment. Among the hopefuls is Katie Bradley, who's just returned from the Midwest after a stint of book research blew up in her face. Luckily, Katie has an "in," thanks to her sister Hana, an original Herder and the best friend of Eleanor Walsh, its charismatic founder.

Eleanor is a queen among The Herd's sun-filled rooms, admired and quietly feared, even as she strives to be warm and approachable. As head of PR, Hana is working around the clock in preparation for a huge announcement from Eleanor--one that would change the trajectory of The Herd forever. Though Katie loves her sister's crew, she secretly hopes she's found her next book subject in Eleanor, who's brilliant, trailblazing--and extremely private.

Then, on the night of the glitzy Herd news conference, Eleanor vanishes without a trace. Everybody has a theory about what made Eleanor run, but when the police suspect foul play, everyone is a suspect: Eleanor's husband, other Herders, the men's rights groups that have had it out for The Herd since its launch--even Eleanor's closest friends. As Hana struggles to figure out what her friend was hiding and Katie chases the story of her life, the sisters must face down the secrets they're keeping from each other--and confront just how dangerous it can be when women's perfect veneers start to crack, crumble, and then fall away all together.

Tennis Lessons by Susannah Dickey

July 2020. 

You’re strange and wrong. You’ve known it from the beginning. This is the voice that rings in your ears. Because you never say the right thing. You’re a disappointment to everyone. You’re a far cry from beautiful – and your thoughts are ugly too.

You seem bound to fail, bound to break.  But you know what it is to laugh with your best friend, to feel the first tentative tingles of attraction, to take exquisite pleasure in the affront of your unruly body.

You just need to find your place.From dead pets and crashed cars to family traumas and misguided love affairs, Susannah Dickey's revitalizing debut novel plunges us into the private world of one young woman as she navigates her rocky way to adulthood.

Seven Lies by Elizabeth Kay

April 2020. 

Jane and Marnie have been inseparable since they were eleven years old. They have a lot in common. In their early twenties they both fell in love and married handsome young men.

But Jane never liked Marnie's husband. He was always so loud and obnoxious, so much larger than life. Which is rather ironic now, of course.

Because if Jane had been honest - if she hadn't lied - then perhaps her best friend's husband might still be alive...This is Jane's opportunity to tell the truth, the question is:
Do you believe her?

Six Wicked Reasons by Jo Spain

January 2020. 

It's June 2008 and twenty-one-year-old Adam Lattimer vanishes, presumed dead. The strain of his disappearance breaks his already fragile family.

Ten years later, with his mother deceased and siblings scattered across the globe, Adam turns up unannounced at the family home. His siblings return reluctantly to Spanish Cove, but Adam's reappearance poses more questions than answers. The past is a tangled web of deceit.

And, as tension builds, it's apparent somebody has planned murderous revenge for the events of ten years ago.

The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually by Helen Cullen

May 2020. 

On an island off the west coast of Ireland, the Moone family are poised for celebration - but are instead shattered by tragedy. Murtagh Moone is a potter and devoted husband to Maeve, an actor struggling with her most challenging role yet as mother to their four children. Now Murtagh must hold his family close as we bear witness to their story before that night.

We return to the day Maeve and Murtagh meet, outside Trinity College in Dublin, and watch how one love story gives rise to another. As the Moone children learn who their parents truly are, we journey onwards with them to a future that none of the Moones can predict.

Except perhaps Maeve herself.

The Hungry Road by Marita Conlon-McKenna

January 2020. 

Ireland’s hopes for freedom are dashed with the arrival of a deadly potato blight that strikes terror in the heart of its people.

1845. Seamstress Mary Sullivan's dreams of a better future are shattered as she looks out over their ruined crop. Refusing to give in to despair, she must use every ounce of courage and strength to protect her family as they fight to survive.

Dr Dan Donovan is Medical Officer to the Skibbereen Union. The arrival of 'The Hunger' soon brings starving men, women and children crowding into the town and the workhouse, desperate for assistance. Fr John Fitzpatrick's faith is tested by the suffering that surrounds him as his pleas for help fall on deaf ears.

The 24-Hour Cafe by Libby Page

January 2020. 

Welcome to the café that never sleeps. Day and night Stella's Café opens its doors for the lonely and the lost, the morning people and the night owls. It is many things to many people but most of all it is a place where life can wait at the door. A place of small kindnesses. A place where anyone can be whoever they want, where everyone is always welcome.

Meet Hannah and Mona: best friends, waitresses, dreamers. They work at Stella's but they dream of more, of leaving the café behind and making their own way in life.

Come inside and spend twenty-four hours at Stella's Café; a day when Hannah and Mona's futures will be changed and their friendship tested. Today is just the start, but it is also marks a conclusion. Because all beginnings are also endings. And all endings can also be beginnings...

As You Were by Elaine Feeney

April 2020. 

Sinéad Hynes is a tough, driven, funny young property developer with a terrifying secret.

No-one knows it: not her fellow patients in a failing hospital, and certainly not her family. She has confided only in Google and a shiny magpie.

But she can’t go on like this, tirelessly trying to outstrip her past and in mortal fear of her future. Across the ward, Margaret Rose is running her chaotic family from her rose-gold Nokia.

In the neighboring bed, Jane, rarely but piercingly lucid, is searching for a decent bra and for someone to listen. Sinéad needs them both.

The Holdout by Graham Moore

February 2020. 

Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar fortune, vanishes on her way home from school. Her teacher, Bobby Nock, is the prime suspect. It's an open and shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed.

Until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, persuades the rest of the jurors to vote not guilty: a controversial decision that will change all of their lives forever.

Ten years later, one of the jurors is found dead, and Maya is the prime suspect.

The real killer could be any of the other ten jurors. Is Maya being forced to pay the price for her decision all those years ago?

The Weight of Love by Hilary Fannin

March 2020. 

London, 1996. Robin and Ruth meet in the staff room of an East London school. Robin, desperate for a real connection, instantly falls in love. Ruth, recently bereaved and fragile, is tentative.

When Robin introduces Ruth to his childhood friend, Joseph, a tortured and talented artist, their attraction is instant. Powerless, Robin watches on as the girl he loves and his best friend begin a passionate and turbulent affair.

Dublin 2017. Robin and Ruth are married and have a son, Sid, who is about to emigrate to Berlin. Theirs is a marriage haunted by the ghost of Joseph and as the distance between them grows, Robin makes a choice that could have potentially devastating consequences.

Hament by Maggie O'Farrell

March 2020. 

On a summer's day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.

This Lovely City by Louise Hare

March 2020. 

With the Blitz over and London reeling from war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Fresh off the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.

Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home – and it’s alive with possibility. Until, one morning, he makes a terrible discovery.

As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And, before long, the newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart.

Highfire by Eoin Cofler

January 2020. 

Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way - like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him . . .

An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke's unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy's reputation.

Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou - and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp . . .

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore

April 2020. 

It’s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. While the town’s men embrace the coming prosperity, its women intimately know and fear the violence that always seems to follow.

In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramírez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager has been viciously attacked in a nearby oil field – an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law.

Corinne Shepard spent years pushing against the limits of her town as they closed in on the girls in her classroom. Now, world-weary and unmoored by the loss of her husband, she has had enough of trying to save people. But her young neighbour, Debra-Ann – wild, motherless and lonely – has other ideas.

When justice for Glory is evasive and one of the town’s women decides to take matters into her own hands, the stage is set for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences.

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

February 2020. 

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles. There are 191 passengers aboard: among them a young woman taking a pregnancy test in the airplane toilet; a Wall Street millionaire flirting with the air hostess; an injured soldier returning from Afghanistan; and two beleaguered parents moving across the country with their adolescent sons, bickering over who gets the window seat. When the plane suddenly crashes in a field in Colorado, the younger of these boys, 12-year-old Edward Adler, is the sole survivor.

Dear Edward depicts Edward's life in the crash's aftermath as he struggles to make sense of the meaning of his survival, the strangeness of his sudden fame, and find his place in the world without his family. In his new home with his aunt and uncle, the only solace comes from his friendship with the girl next door, Shay. Together Edward and Shay make a startling discovery: hidden in his uncle's garage are sacks of letters from the relatives of the other passengers, addressed to Edward.

As Edward comes of age against the backdrop of sudden tragedy, he must confront some of life's most profound questions: how do we make the most of the time we are given? And what does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?

The Recovery of Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

March 2020. 

Rose Gold Watts believed she was sick for eighteen years. She thought she needed the feeding tube, the surgeries, the wheelchair...Turns out her mother is a really good liar.

After five years in prison, Patty Watts is finally free. All she wants is to put old grievances behind her, reconcile with her daughter - and care for her new infant grandson. When Rose Gold agrees to have Patty move in, it seems their relationship is truly on the mend.

But Rose Gold knows her mother. Patty won't rest until she has her daughter back under her thumb. Which is inconvenient because Rose Gold wants to be free of Patty. Forever. Only one Watts woman will get her way.

The Burning Men by Will Shindler

February 2020. 

When a development in South London catches fire mid-construction, a close-knit team of fire fighters runs in to save a man spotted at the window.

They come out without a body. They quit the service. They plan never to speak to each other again.

Five years later one of them is set alight at his own wedding. Soon after, a second is found, nothing but a smoking corpse. It appears that someone knows what they did that night. What they chose over their duty. And there are still three men left to burn . . .

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

April 2020. 

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen's house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She'd like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn't offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen's romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another's shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn't as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect - and distractingly handsome - school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?

Haven't They Grown by Sophie Hannah

January 2020. 

Just because she knows that her former best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn't mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn't seen Flora Braid for twelve years.

But she can't resist. She parks outside Flora's house and watches from across the road as Flora and her children, Thomas and Emily, step out of the car. Except...There's something terribly wrong.Flora looks the same, only older - just as Beth would have expected. It's the children that are the problem.

Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily Braid were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then. They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt - Beth hears Flora call them by their names - but they haven't changed at all. They are no taller, no older. Why haven't they grown?