Actress by Anne Enright (20 Feb)

Booker Prize-winner Anne Enright returns with a moving story that captures the glamour of post-war America juxtaposed against 70s Dublin, whilst examining the corrosive nature of fame. Norah’s mother Katherine is a successful theatre performer but as she starts to uncover her mother’s secrets, their lives unravel with disastrous results.

All About Sarah by Pauline Delabroy-Allard (12 Mar)

An intoxicating novel which tells of an all-consuming and intense affair between two women – a thirty-something single mother and a vivacious violinist. Already a literary bestseller in France, Delabroy-Allard’s debut accurately portrays the destructive pull of desire. 

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha (28 May)

Channelling South Korea's growing obsession with cosmetic surgery, this gripping story centres on four young women struggling to survive in a modern Seoul where women compete to entertain businessmen in ‘secret salons’ and rivalries turn violent. With undertones of the societal gender imbalances that we continue to face in the modern-day, it’s a pertinent read for 2020.
 

You People by Nikita Lalwani (4 Jun)

A moving human drama that exposes the true Britain we live in, set in an Italian restaurant in London where half the kitchen staff are illegal immigrants, each shadowed by a complex – and often harrowing – backstory.

As You Were by Elaine Feeney (4 Jun)

Acclaimed poet Elaine Feeney delivers a wildly funny and desperately tragic story about hospital-bound Sinead, who strikes up a relationship with two neighbouring patients. It’s a tale that shines a light on young women’s struggles, the realities of institutional failures and the darkly present past of modern Ireland.

Sisters by Daisy Johnson (4 Jun)

An electrifying new novel from the author of Everything Under that examines the fractious relationship between two sisters. When July and September move across the country with their mother to an abandoned family home, a boy arrives and unsettles the bond between the siblings. With undertones of psychological horror, Sisters is reminiscent of horror classics, though told with a delightfully modern take.

Summer by Ali Smith (2 Jul)

We were taken to a transient dreamscape with Autumn. We revisited timeless myths in Winter. We took a cynical turn in Spring (and enjoyed several Brexit-inspired puns along the way). Now, Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet, exploring austerity in Britain, comes to an epic conclusion with Summer.

Must I Go by Yiyun Li (2 Jul)

An intimate novel of secret lives and painful histories told from the standpoint of octogenarian Lilia Liska, who discovers the recently-published and long-forgotten diary of her past lover. Told through one-way correspondence, Li explores grief and resilience, loss and rebirth.

The Liar’s Dictionary by Eley Williams (2 Jul)

Two lives from the past and the present intertwine in a curious tale. A rebellious Victorian ‘lexicographer’ Peter starts to input false words into dictionaries, and in a parallel modern world, an overworked intern Mallory discovers them while undertaking a dreary data entry task. Slowly their narratives intertwine, as Peter imagines which future person will discover his words, and Mallory follows a breadcrumb trail of literary clues…

Tennis Lessons by Susannah Dickey (11 Jun)

An unflinchingly honest story of a teenage misfit, navigating her way through life in a bid for happiness. Each year our protagonist stops along the way to recount disastrous dates, dead pets, crashed cars and lost loves - with an underlying reminder that underneath it all, we’re all a bit abnormal and that’s fine. 

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi (17 Jul)

A powerful and caustic debut about the relationship between mothers and daughters, and the fine line trodden between obsession and betrayal. As a young woman, Tara approached life with reckless abandon much to her parent’s chagrin. But now, as she grows older and more forgetful, her teenage daughter is faced with the task of caring for a woman that never cared for her. 

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