May 2022 books

What’s new and good to read this month? Jessica Bloom has a look at what’s on offer and chooses The House With the Golden Door, Ruth & Penand The Island.

The House With the Golden Door by Elodie Harper

The life of a courtesan in Pompeii is glittering, yet precarious…

Amara has escaped her life as a slave in the town’s most notorious brothel, but now her existence depends on the affections of her patron: a man she might not know as well as she once thought.

At night she dreams of the wolf den, still haunted by her past. Amara longs for the women she was forced to leave behind and worse, finds herself pursued by the man who once owned her. In order to be free, she will need to be as ruthless as he is.

Amara knows her existence in Pompeii is subject to Venus, the goddess of love. Yet finding love may prove to be the most dangerous act of all.

We return to Pompeii for the second instalment in Elodie Harper’s Wolf Den Trilogy, set in the town’s lupanar and reimagining the lives of women long overlooked.

Image above: The House with the Golden Door front cover, author Elodie Harper

Ruth & Pen by Emilie Pine

The brilliant debut novel from Emilie Pine, author of the international bestseller Notes To Self

Dublin, 7 October 2019.

One day, one city, two women: Ruth and Pen. Neither knows the other, but both are asking the same questions: how to be with others and how, when the world won’t make space for you, to be with yourself?

Ruth’s marriage to Aidan is in crisis. Today she needs to make a choice – to stay or not to stay, to take the risk of reaching out, or to pull up the drawbridge.

For teenage Pen, today is the day the words will flow, and she will speak her truth to Alice, to ask for what she so desperately wants.

Ruth & Pen is the fictional debut from Emilie Pine, author of the international bestseller Notes To Self Deeply involving, poignant and radiantly intelligent, it is a portrait of the limits of grief and love, of how we navigate our inner and outer landscapes, and the tender courage demanded by the simple, daily quest of living.

Image above: Ruth & Pen front cover, author Emilie Pine

The Island by Adrian McKinty

The brand new unmissable thriller from the award-winning author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Chain.

It was just supposed to be a family vacation. A terrible accident changed everything. You don’t know what you’re capable of until they come for your family.

After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.

When they discover a remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.

But as soon as they set foot on the enclave, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare.

When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.

Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.

Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

Image above: The Island front cover, author Adrian McKinty

Jessica Bloom

Jessica Bloom is a bookseller at her family bookshop, ‘Bookcase London’, an independent bookshop open in Chiswick since 1993.

See Anna Klerfalk’s book choices from previous months here.

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