Past Caring by Robert Goddard

1910: Distinguished MP Edwin Strafford resigns at the pinnacle of his career, removing himself from the public eye. The woman he loves, and for whom he was willing to sacrifice everything, suddenly and coldly rejects him. All the reasons for his fall from grace are shrouded in darkness. Seventy years later, historian Martin Radford is down on his luck when a mysterious benefactor offers him the opportunity of a lifetime: to uncover what exactly happened to Edwin Strafford. But this apparent good fortune swiftly turns into a nightmare. Radford's investigations trigger a violent series of events, which throw him straight into the path of those who believed they had escaped punishment for crimes long past but never paid for...

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

1570 in the Italian city of Ferrara. Sixteen-year-old Serafina is fipped by her family from an illicit love affair and forced into the convent of Santa Caterina, renowned for its superb music. Serafina's one weapon is her glorious voice, but she refuses to sing. Madonna Chiara, an abbess as fluent in politics as she is in prayer, finds her new charge has unleased a power play - rebellion, ecstasies and hysterias - within the convent. However, watching over Serafina is Zuana, the sister in charge of the infirmary, who understands and might even challenge her incarceration.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, Kate Atkinson finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here she is at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.

After Such Kindness by Gaynor Arnold

Inspired by the tender and troubling friendship between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell, After Such Kindness demonstrates Gaynor Arnold's extraordinary 'capacity to imagine the truth behind the facts'. With the same assured feel for the Victorian period displayed in her prize-listed debut, Arnold brings to scintillating life an idiosyncratic genius and his timeless muse.

The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2010. A haunting coming-of-age novel with a love story at its heart, for anyone who has ever loved L.P. Hartley's The Go-Between. England. A story of longing, loss and complicated loyalties, combining a sweeping narrative with subtle psychological observation, The Very Thought of You is not just a love story but a story about love.

Fortune's rocks by Anita Shreve

About the book 14-year-old Olympia Biddeford is spending the summer with her parents at Fortune's Rocks. She is swiftly despatched to Boston when it's discovered she has embarked on an affair with a friend of her father's, but Olympia is already pregnant. Reviewed by Hayling Island Library Readers' Group Anita Shreve is a new author… Continue reading Fortune's rocks by Anita Shreve

Bring up the bodies by Hilary Mantel

About the book By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. But Henry's actions have forced England into dangerous isolation.… Continue reading Bring up the bodies by Hilary Mantel

The Shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

About the book Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is a labyrinthine library of obscure & forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. A man brings his 10-year-old son to the library & allows him to choose one book to keep. But as he grows up, several people seem… Continue reading The Shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

About the book Set in 1860s London, this is the story of Susan, a pickpocket who is persuaded to pose as a lady's maid and infiltrate the house of a young heiress. This novel explores the nature of identity and what people do with disguise. Reviewed by Hayling Readers Group Nominated for both the Orange… Continue reading Fingersmith by Sarah Waters