Book Reviews

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The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg is published in paperback by Serpent's Tail, priced PS11.99 (ebook PS3.79). Available now. YOU can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family - and that's something those close to Edie Middlestein know all too well. Slowly eating herself to death, thanks in part to a misguided notion that food equals love, Edie finds herself abandoned by her husband.

For her grown-up children Robin and Benny, each with their own neuroses and relationships to contend with, her health becomes - if you'll excuse the pun - a weighty issue.

We hear from different Middlesteins in turn, from Edie to her bratty grandchildren and her overbearing daughter-in-law.

There are also the trials and tribulations of her husband Richard, entering the minefield that is the dating world after years away from its frontline.

At its heart, The Middlesteins is a book about love, putting the ties that bind people together under the microscope.

It is at times a painful one, but only for the truths it presents about something we all have - our families.

Fuse by Julianna Baggott is published in hardback by Headline, priced PS12.99 (ebook PS6.99). Available now. WHAT best-selling author Julianna Baggott has created here is one hell of a nightmare world - for her characters, that is. For us, it's a sensational, thrilling ride.

The second book in the Pure trilogy, Fuse sees protagonists Pressia and Partridge continue their quest to save their post-apocalyptic world from further ruin, with devastating twists and turns along the way.

Vividly written, it's little wonder film rights have been bought for this series as each sentence oozes creative imagery that would look fantastic brought to life on the big screen.

From page to page we are also given in-depth access to the minds of our heroes, but at times this can disrupt the pacing as we get too caught up in their observations and thoughts.

Nonetheless, this only serves to make the ending pack a more powerful emotional punch.

How To Create The Perfect Wife: Georgian Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor And His Quest To Cultivate The Ideal Woman by Wendy Moore is published in hardback by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, priced PS18. …