The House by the Sea by Santa Montefiore

About the book Ten-year-old Floriana is captivated by the beauty of the magnificent Tuscan villa just outside her small village, and dreams of living there someday. When Dante, the son of the villa's owner, invites her inside, she knows that her destiny is there, with him. But as they grow up they cross an unseen… Continue reading The House by the Sea by Santa Montefiore

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

Jane Austen in the hands of queen of crime, Val McDermid. Get ready for a very different Northanger Abbey. For Cat Morland life being home-schooled in Dorset is unendurably ordinary. To cope, she devours as many novels as possible, especially anything supernatural. But if Cat can tear her eyes away from the page, she’s in for a shock: the very stuff of her dreams is about to come true. An invite to the Edinburgh Festival from some wealthy neighbours throws her in the way of a mysterious young man, Henry Tilney; a like-minded friend, Isabella Thorpe; and her odious brother, who threatens to ruin Cat’s chances of adventure. But this heroine is not so easily deterred, especially when she’s singled out by the Tilney family to stay with them at their imposing gothic castle, Northanger Abbey. Turrets and creaking doors there may be, but in the depths of the Scottish Borders Cat is isolated from the outside world, with no phone signal and no internet. She’s all alone in an ancient abbey alive with old secrets and a family who are not quite as they seem. Is real life about to become more terrifying than the world of her imagination?

A Room Swept White by Sophie Hannah

TV producer Fliss Benson receives an anonymous card at work. The card has sixteen numbers on it, arranged in four rows of four - numbers that mean nothing to her. On the same day, Fliss finds out she's going to be working on a documentary about miscarriages of justice involving cot-death mothers wrongly accused of murder. The documentary will focus on three women: Helen Yardley, Sarah Jaggard and Rachel Hines. All three women are now free, and the doctor who did her best to send them to prison for life, child protection zealot Dr Judith Duffy, is under investigation for misconduct. For reasons she has shared with nobody, this is the last project Fliss wants to be working on. And then Helen Yardley is found dead at her home, and in her pocket is a card with sixteen numbers on it, arranged in four rows of four . . .

Leaving the World by Douglas Kennedy

On the night of her thirteenth birthday, Jane Howard made a vow to her warring parents - she would never get married and she would never have children. But life, as Jane discovers, is a profoundly random business. Many years and many lives later, she is a professor in Boston, in love with a brilliant, erratic man named Theo. And then she falls pregnant. Motherhood turns out to be a great welcome surprise - but when a devastating turn of events tears her existence apart she has no choice but to flee all she knows and leave the world. Just when Jane has renounced life itself, the disappearance of a young girl pulls her back from the edge and into an obsessive search for personal redemption. Convinced that she knows more about the case than the police do, she is forced to make a decision - stay hidden or bring to light a shattering truth. Like Kennedy's previous highly acclaimed novels, Leaving the World, speaks volumes about the dilemmas we face in trying to navigate our way through all that fate throws in our path.

The Snow Child by Eoywn Ivey

Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her? Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairy tale from which it takes its inspiration, The Snow Child is an instant classic.

The Thirteenth tale by Diane Setterfield

About the book 'The Thirteenth Tale' is an emotional mystery in the vein of Daphne du Maurier's 'Rebecca', about family secrets and the magic of books and storytelling. Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield House. As she digs deeper, Margaret discovers tragedy and secrets about her own past. Reviewed by Sandy's Reading Group A compelling read… Continue reading The Thirteenth tale by Diane Setterfield