1. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Ever since I moved to the coast, nearly eleven years ago, the sea has become a constant character in my books. Places aren’t just settings. They feel like people too. I think this is why I love The Dutch House so much. This family drama revolves around a glassy monstrosity or stunning architectural icon — whichever way you see it — which affects everyone who lives in it. To my shame, I had never read Ann Patchett before and now I am looking forward to reading more. Her gift of seeing through to the very heart of young Danny, who tells the story in the first person, has been an unexpected and welcome discovery to me during this strange time.
2. Holiday Stories by Noel Streatfeild
There’s a lot to be said for comfort reading. This author brings back suburban summer childhood days spent in our only tree, reading Ballet Shoes. Maybe that’s why I fell on this beautifully packaged new edition of short stories with excitement. I particularly enjoyed ‘Devon Mettle’ which starts like this: ‘Staying with Grandmother was an event, the loveliest bit of the summer, a glorious time.’ I can’t wait to share this with my own grandchildren when restrictions are lifted.
3. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
This made me laugh so much that I committed my husband’s cardinal crime: I kept interrupting his reading to read out passages. It’s not just the plot (a group of OAPs solving murders at an upmarket retirement home) but the viewpoints which stand out. Unexpected, side-splitting and poignant. If this is what retired life is like, I’m booking my spot now! I’ve always got on well with older people. Maybe because our grandmother lived with us when my sister and I were growing up.
Available for pre-order.
4. How to Disappear by Gillian McAllister
I usually make a point of not picking up crime novels because I prefer to read outside my genre. But when I was sent this for a review, I was utterly gripped. I’ve always wondered what happens when someone goes into witness protection. But this mother/daughter story, with a viewpoint from the stepfather, adds new heat to summer days.
Available for pre-order.
5. Somone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple
First published in 1953, this is the kind of book which stays with you. It’s a deceptively quiet story about a deceived wife which delivers a powerful punch to the heart. Yet also leaves you with hope that true love still exists. I devoured this during a holiday in Capri.
Jane Corry's latest heart-in-mouth psychological thriller I Made a Mistake is out in May 2020. For fans of Nicci French, Lisa Jewell and Clare Mackintosh, Corry's novel is a truly addictive read following two women who make life changing mistakes. You can read an extract from her new thriller here.
Jane Corry shares the story of Alice, the friend who inspired her to write about a young woman whose life is changed by a brain injury in her latest book, Blood Sisters