If you’re an avid reader, but have recently put novels on the back-burner, there’s no better time than spring to get absorbed in a good book. Well regarded as a time for people to have a thorough physical and mental declutter, the emergence of warmer weather provides the perfect opportunity to donate some of your old books to charity, and invest in some of the best reads of the year so far.
The Flower Girls – Alice Clark-Platts
A gripping, unforgettable psychological thriller, it tells the story of three girls who went out to play – with only two of them returning home. The remaining girls, Laurel and Rosie, are convicted of murder – and consequently, Laurel is sent to prison, whilst Rosie, too young to serve the same punishment, is given a new identity. But what could cause two seemingly innocent girls to commit such a terrible crime?
The Guest Book – Sarah Blake
This fascinating novel touches on controversial topics, including politics and race, and follows the story of three generations of the Milton family; an old New York family. A seemingly powerful, upper-class dynasty, the Miltons are, in fact, faced with a number of societal challenges that serve to question the reputation and wealth of the family as they know it.
My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite
This novel is for those who thoroughly enjoyed following the story of Killing Eve’s brutal yet somewhat endearing serial killer, Villanelle. Readers of My Sister, the Serial Killer will experience the story of Ayoola and Korede, who share an undeniable sisterly bond – a bond which appears to override Korede’s moral obligation to report Ayoola’s horrific acts of murder. A seemingly unlikely combination of comedy and horror, this is a must-read for those who enjoy a unique take on a typical crime novel.
The Confessions of Frannie Langton – Sara Collins
A gripping murder mystery set in the 19th century, The Confessions of Frannie Langton follows the story of Frannie, a slave to the Benham family in London, who is on trial for the murder or Mr and Mrs Benham. Having started her life on a Jamaican plantation before becoming a household maid in England, Frannie encounters issues of race, class and gender all in the pursuit of gaining juridical freedom – but the fact that she cannot remember how Mr and Mrs Benham died, despite being covered in their blood, may stack the odds against her.
We Must Be Brave – Francis Liardet
This courageous wartime novel, We Must Be Brave, tells the story of Pamela and Ellen – a woman and child both caught up in the chaos of World War Two, who, despite initially being strangers, develop an undeniable bond as a result of Ellen’s compassionate and selfless nature. This fantastic historical tale will evoke a mixture of emotions, but nevertheless serve as an unforgettable page-turner.
Whether you’re a voracious reader, or someone who can’t remember the last time you picked up a book, try to spend a little time this spring getting lost in one of these brilliant novels.