Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

12 Brilliant Holiday Reads; ARE YOU LYING COMFORTABLY IN A SUNNY SPOT ON THE BEACH? THEN WE'LL BEGIN

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

12 Brilliant Holiday Reads; ARE YOU LYING COMFORTABLY IN A SUNNY SPOT ON THE BEACH? THEN WE'LL BEGIN

Article excerpt

ONE of the best things about going on holiday is getting to catch up on all those talked-about books you haven't read yet.

Whether you're a Kindle addict or prefer the real thing there's something to suit all tastes in our round-up.

TOP PICKS THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS Arundhati Roy (Hamish Hamilton) THE heaviest tome on our list comes 20 years after Arundhati Roy's debut novel, The God Of Small Things.

The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness mines her research on India's troubled political system, delicately braiding together strands of the brutal and toxic Kashmir conflict, with the difficulties faced by a community of hijra (transgender people, now recognised as the 'third gender' in Indian law) and the fate of a baby abandoned on a rubbish-strewn street.

Roy's use of language is beautiful and inventive - she demands your mind and your time, and the rewards are huge.

THE SUNSHINE SISTERS Jane Green (Macmillan) DEFINITELY the 'beachiest' book of our 12, this is the story of beautiful and charismatic B-movie actress Ronni's three daughters.

Self-absorbed and disinterested, Ronni wasn't the mother she wanted to be. Nell, Meredith and Lizzy have been left to their own devices, estranged from their Ronni - and each other - until in adulthood they are summoned home as Ronni has motor neurone disease and is at the end of her life.

Can this fractured family forgive their past and heal? This novel pulls on the heartstrings, but also feels like coming home.

SMALL GREAT THINGS Jodi Picoult (Hodder & Stoughton) WHEN a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt who will be held responsible, the black nurse who has been banned from looking after him by his white supremacist father.

years. home, salad she bottles care What follows is a tense courtroom drama after nurse Ruth Jefferson is charged with his murder and her fate lies in the hands of white public defender Kennedy McQuarrie.

event.

IT Picoult is an accomplished storyteller and this is a thought provoking book about prejudice and power.

take two ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE Gail Honeyman (HarperCollins) ELEANOR has worked at the same boring job for eight Crime Into Paula years. She has the same routine; home, the Archers and pasta and salad for tea. On a Friday evening, she buys a pizza and two bottles of vodka to see her through the weekend. Eleanor, who's 31, was in care through much of her childhood and has hazy flashbacks to a traumatic event.

When scruffy new office IT guy Raymond and Eleanor see an elderly man take a tumble, it draws the two of them together into a tentative friendship that will eventually help Eleanor break free from her lonely existence and learn how to live.

She's a joy to read as a character.

CRIME AND THRILLERS INTO THE WATER Paula Hawkins (Doubleday) THE follow-up to the huge-seller The Girl On The Train is set in a village in Northumberland, where Jules Abbott returns home following the death of her estranged sister, Nel.

Was it suicide or foul play? The plot quickly thickens, as the stretch of water where she's found has a long history as the scene of a series of tragic female deaths.

Nel herself was artistically obsessed with this place, known locally as The Drowning Pool, and the book similarly seeks to draw us in to its darkly compelling depths. Hawkins is very good at describing characters experiencing extreme emotions, and there are passages and scenes that are gripping.

THE CHILD Fiona Barton (Bantam Press) JOURNALIST Kate Waters is back and this time investigating the decades-old skeleton of a baby found on an east London building site. Kate is determined to find out who buried the baby and if it's Alice Irving, a newborn stolen from a local maternity hospital in the Seventies. The pace of Kate's investigation is matched by the unravelling story of Emma Massingham, who is struggling to come to terms with her own past. …

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