• Fault Lines by Emily Itami is a brilliant, modern love story. Set in Tokyo, it revolves around Mizuki, a Japanese housewife, who has a hardworking husband, two adorable children, a beautiful apartment … and a crushing sense of loneliness. But then she falls for Kiyoshi, and it soon becomes clear that she is living two lives – and that she can choose only one. Phoenix • We’re all about love this month, obvs.
• Jodi Picoult’s Wish You Were Here is all about how life happens when you are making other plans. In 29-year-old Diana’s case, that involves a promotion and flying off to an exotic island in the Pacific, where she knows her surgeon boyfriend is going to propose (hint, boys, don’t hide the ring in the sock drawer). But … Life! And Covid! Halfway through this book you’re hit with a massive twist, and then they just keep coming. Loved it. Hodder & Stoughton
• To Italy With Love by Nicky Pellegrino is another lovely, light, book club read. Two girls – both with not-the-best love history – meet in a romantic mountain town of in Italy. Where – obvs – love wins! Orion.
A chateau in Provence. Fresh from London and a recent cookery course, Alexandra arrives at the chateau where for one month she’ll be looking after three children. Three silent, rather hostile children, she discovers on her arrival.
A boy and two girls, badly in need of some love, attention, and an English education. But Alexandra has always loved a challenge and feels equipped to deal with most things life throws her. But what she is a good deal less sure about is whether she’ll be able to cope with their father – an impossibly good-looking, entirely unsuitable French count with whom she is trying very hard not to fall in love. Katie Fforde’s A Wedding in Provence … the perfect, perfect Valentine read. Penguin
Where The Grass Is Green by the fabulous Lauren Weisberger (author of The Devil Wears Prada) revolves around Peyton, a high-profile anchor for a morning news programme, who’s an American darling and can do no wrong. Until her husband is arrested. The charge? Admissions fraud … a payment (read bribe) to get their daughter into the best college. Off go Peyton and her daughter to hide out with her sister in the suburbs, hoping that the scandal will die down. It’s all glamour, and gossip and a sensationally enjoyable read. Harper Collins
OUR BOOK OF THE MONTH
If the earth moves this Valentine’s Day, it’s from the little jumps of joy around the world as Marian Keyes fans discover she’s just released a new book. And not any book. A Rachel Walsh book. Oh joy! Twenty years ago we read Rachel’s Holiday … and way back then in the nineties, she had a fondness for recreational drugs and was a hot mess. Now – in Again, Rachel – she’s good. She has love, a family, a brilliant job as an addiction counsellor. All her bad habits are behind her … now all she’s addicted to is expensive trainers! But when an old love interest reappears in her life, she hits a wobble. She thought she was fixed. But is all that about to change? It’s only February, but we’re convinced this is going to be our book of the year. Oh … and for those of you who are all ‘it’s just chick lit’ , MK reads are so, so much more. In her books she touches – with knowledge and empathy and a marvellously wicked humour – on domestic violence and mental illness, drug abuse and alcoholism, divorce and family (that Walsh family … just adore!). She, and her books, are warm, witty, brutally honest. And jolly great reads! Penguin Random House.
For these, and other great reads, visit exclusivebooks.co.za
Let’s kick off February Book Club with a Cap Classique with a touch of gold. Kanu Angelina Gold has 24 carats of edible gold flakes, the first for a sparkling wine in South Africa. Paying homage to the 50th anniversary of this exceptional wine style in South Africa, Johan Grimbeek, winemaker and cellar master at Kanu, describes this rich salmon-hued and gold-flecked wine with a very pale rim as ‘freshing and crisp, displaying red berry fruit, crunchy red apple and delicate candyfloss flavours. Entry onto the palate is dry with persistent red fruit, malted barley and wild strawberries, and has an extended finish with a toasty undertone’. He assures us that extensive research and development has been undertaken regarding the insertion of gold flakes into wine, and they’re completely edible and harmless. Another we-love feature is the light-emitting diode (LED) unit in the bottle’s punt which lights up the gold flakes when switched on. R1200 a bottle, available from kanu.co.za