February 2021 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Annakarin Klerfalk has a look at what’s on offer and chooses three good reads for February 2021. A Town Called Solace, Nick and The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot are all out in February.

Images above: A Town Called Solace; Mary Lawson

A Town Called Solace

A Town Called Solace, written by Mary Lawson, explores the relationships of three people connected by fate and their past mistakes. Eight-year-old Clara is missing her sister, Rose, who stormed out one day and disappeared. As a result, her parents keep Clara isolated and protected from the truth. Divorced, unemployed Liam Kane moves in next door. Shortly after his arrival, he is visited by the police, suspected of a crime. In the same area, Elizabeth Orchard is dwelling on a crime that was committed thirty years ago. Two families and a child were affected by the tragedy, and as Elizabeth is at the end of her life, she desperately wants to make amends.

A Town Called Solace is set in 1972, in Northern Ontario, but feels timeless. Readers who love Anne Tyler, should definitely dive into this one. The story focuses on what we owe other people and how long we keep their secrets. Vintage publishes this marvel on 18February.

Images above: Michael Farris Smith; Nick


Michael Farris Smith’s book Nick is written as the prequel to The Great Gatsby. Nick Carraway was part of a very different story before he entered Gatsby’s world and that’s where the novel begins, in the trenches and tunnels of World War I. The reader gets to know a new character and the portrait of Nick is both haunting and romantic. The flashbacks bring Nick to life and add depth to his character. The writing, full of stylish elements, and the charged plot, filled with heartbreak and alcohol, justifies the prequel epithet.

Amy Douglas (ARC reader) said: “It is a truly unique tribute to the Classic original, peppered with Easter eggs that add to the experience of reading even more. If you’re a fan of Gatsby, you have to read this book.” Old Castle Books will publish this gem on 25 February.

Images above: The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot; Marianne Cronin

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot

Marianne Cronin’s debut, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot, tells the story of two hospital patients, one older and one younger. Seventeen-year-old Lenni lives on the terminal ward and one day she joins an art class, where she meets Margot, an eighty-three-year-old. Their bond is instant when they realise that together they have lived one hundred years. Lenni and Margot decide to paint their life stories, and as their special friendship grows, it becomes clear that life isn’t quite over yet.

Jess Kidd reviewed it as “Sharp and funny, warm and wise, a remarkable friendship sparks two lifetimes of shared stories in one unforgettable book. I loved it.”

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is published by Transworld on 18 February.

Annakarin Klerfalk

Anna is a literary agent based in Chiswick who is keen to hear from authors trying to get their books published. Contact her on anna@intersaga.co.uk. She used to run the Waterstones bookshop in Chiswick. You can read more about her and Intersaga here.


See more of Anna’s book choices here

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.