Patrick Melrose Volume 1 Patrick Melrose Volume 2 | Edward St Aubyn

These two books could be the only two you need to read this winter. Originally written as five novels covering the life and times of the Melrose family, the paperback version is in two volumes, three books in the first and the remaining two books in the second. Patrick comes from a clever wealthy family with houses in England and Province where his bully of a father and alcoholic mother have various friends visit to while away the long summer days. But Patrick is treated horribly by his father and the effects carry on to his relationships with others as he grows up and has a family of his own, to the reaction when he finally becomes the head of the Melrose family. Dark, very funny (in parts) and deeply moving. Read before indulging in the TV series, good as it is, the books are far better.


Shanghai Wife | Emma Harcourt

Set in the international city of Shanghai in the 1920s, a young Australian woman marries the captain of a river ship not long after they first meet. Annie travels with him from the beginning of their marriage but it becomes too dangerous and he decides she is safer  at home. For company she frequents his club and befriends not her own social set but those locals and servants who work behind the scenes. Of course she gets in far deeper than she intends and the repercussions are dangerous and wide-reaching. Perfect for the book club list. Shanghai was such a dynamic city then and now and Emma Harcourt has captured the exciting atmosphere of old Shanghai perfectly.


The Man Between | Charles Cumming 

This is a good read for those fans of the intelligent spy novel. Author Charles Cumming got noticed immediately after his first book The Trinity Six and he has gone on to write three or four other series of books. His readers are always desperate for his next book and The Man Between has just hit the bookshelves. A clever writer, Kit Carradine, needs a little something to keep him busy, he is approached by British intelligence and is offered a project which he accepts. He soon discovers the life of a spy is not at all glamorous and you can trust no one. Kit Carradine finds himself caught between two departments of the service both of who want different outcomes and Kit has a tough life or death decision to make.


Words: Doris Mousdale / Arcadia Bookshop
26 Osborne St, Newmarket
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