A saga set in Wales over four generations of women
LOVE WITHOUT SAID
by Ruth Jones (bantam £20, 416 pp)
A saga set in Wales over four generations of women. The youngest is schoolgirl Beca, at odds with her uptight principal mother, Elin.
Hopeless at school, Beca is brilliant at the keyboard, so when she meets budding singer Soozi, the blue paper lights up. And not just musically.
Elin, meanwhile, finds her inner fire after her husband abandons her for a younger woman, while her mother, Alys, a lifelong alcoholic, finally discovers what matters in life.
My favorite character was Grace, the octogenarian matriarch, who presides over everything with tolerance, humor and wonderful Welsh cuisine. A wise and comforting read by Ruth Jones.
This tale has a claustrophobic Stranger Things vibe
SPELLS TO FORGET
by Adrienne Young (Quercus £16.99, 368 pages)
The island of Saoirse is a tourist mecca; people flock there by ferry from the American mainland. But Saoirse is also a place of secrets; a catastrophic fire and the death of a teenage girl are still raw memories for the locals. Who set the fire and killed the girl? The main suspect is August Salt, a descendant of the most powerful family on the island.
He left the island, but now he has returned and old memories are awakened. Emery is particularly moved, who was passionately in love with August at the time. Can she prove it wasn’t him?
This tale has a claustrophobic Stranger Things feel – witches and spells are part of the plot – and is written in a very emotional key.
This love story, set in civil war-torn Syria, is both horribly visceral and deeply romantic.
WHILE THE LEMONS GROW
by Zoulfa Katouh (Bloomsbury £12.99, 448pp)
This love story, set in civil war-torn Syria, is both horribly visceral and deeply romantic. Teenager Salama, from Homs, has lost her entire family to the violence. This took a heavy psychological toll; fear, guilt and those she has lost haunt her day and night.
A former pharmacist, she had to become a doctor and now fights to save the victims of the bombs in the hospital. Many of them are children, including the daughter of a smuggler with whom she makes a deal.
Another daughter has a brother, Kenan, who is flat. In the midst of chaos and misery, Salama and Kenan fall in love, but what are their chances of happiness? A bold, courageous and revealing page-turner.`