Start the year as you mean to go on: a cocktail in one hand a book in the other.
December 1st 2022
It’s the first month of the new year and we have a frankly sizzling line up of books for you to enjoy.
Select your chosen read and then settle down and sip your perfectly matched drink.
The Maid, Nita Prose
An absolute breath of fresh air to bring in the New Year. This sharp edged thriller, takes the classic murder mystery suspect (the maid) and brings a tongue in cheek narrative style with a brilliantly crafted protagonist to take you through the twists and turns of a murderous plot.
Step into the New Year with a cool strawberry iced lemonade to sip your way through this cool cool thriller.
The Unravelling, Polly Crosby
If you remember The Illustrated Child from last year’s picks, then you will be delighted to learn that Polly Crosby has been busy in the intervening months and her second novel has again left us delighted to recommend her work! Like the Illustrated Child, this is a beautifully written, bewitching tale full of dark twists and turns.
For this magical, lyrical book something with a bit of warmth and a bit of bite is necessary. Mix yourself up an espresso martini to watch the unravelling of this gorgeous narrative.
A Terrible Kindness Jo Browning Wroe
This is a deeply touching novel that pivots on the catastrophic historical moment of the Aberfan disaster - the collapse in 1966 of a coal waste tip on top of a school in a Welsh mining village, killing 116 children and 28 adults. The characters in this novel are astonishingly powerful and will stay with you long after you have finished reading.
You ‘ll need something to help soak up the tears with this one. My recommendation would be to get a bottle of crisp white wine and settle down to have your heart broken.
Wahala Nikki May
‘Wahala’ is commonly used to mean ‘trouble’ in West Africa. Trouble is exactly what the protagonists - three best friends - find when an old friend bursts into their adult lives and seems intent on causing trouble between the longstanding friend group. A story about female friendships, the difficulty of finding contentment in modern life and the experience of being Anglo-Nigerian and living between cultures.
Pretend you’re taking yourself out for a gossipy brunch in Notting Hill and mix yourself up a passionfruit smoothie to sip whilst you absorb all that drama.
Free Love Tessa Hadley
It's nearing the end of the 60s and the Fischer family have so far managed to avoid all of the fun (and the chaos) of the swinging sixties. One fateful evening changes the course of the family’s stable life forever.
To go with this period drama, you have to tap into the most popular drink of the 60s and grab yourself a bitter beer. If that isn’t really your style you can pour yourself a classic old fashioned, which although has been around since the 1800s, became popular in - you guessed it - the 60s!
No One Is Talking About This Patricia Lockwood
The novel for our social media saturated moment and who better than the queen of twitter herself to dissect the online world. Prepare to become immersed in the world of the portal and battle the chaos of emerging from the portal into a reality that is far less appealing than a constructed realty.
The fitting drink to recommend for this one would be one of the new virtual reality cocktails that can be indulged in for the cheap price of £100. If the VR cocktail experience is somewhat out of your budget then I would recommend a tart and tangy cherry lime vodka soda to match the bitter sweet taste of this novel.
The Prophets Robert Jones, Jr
A story set in the deep American South on a plantation. Two enslaved Black men find a haven of comfort, love and intimacy with one another, but a devastating betrayal destroys the brief oasis they had created.
I think this one calls for a gin and tonic. Garnish with dried juniper berries for an extra peppery bite.
Would I Lie to You Aliya Ali-Afzal
This is a tangled family drama that pivots on the privileged life of a family living in London who, finding themselves without employment fall back on their £75000 emergency fund… unfortunately the fund has in fact been spent by Fazia, as she tried to claw her way to acceptance from the other rich mums. When her husband announces his plan to use the emergency fund she is left with a choice: either to tell an uncomfortable truth or go to great lengths to hide it.
The tangled web of this novel makes for an anxiety inducing read, so to offset the anxiety I would recommend a herbal tea to accompany this book - perhaps a chamomile, or peppermint.