Stock up on books about love, loathing, murder, mothers and (on the serious side), raising men
If you’re a fan of chick lit, you’re obviously a fan of Katie Fforde – so A Springtime Affairwill be a perfect read for May. Revolving around Helena and Gilly, it’s all about a season of new beginnings … particularly in the love department! Gilly runs her own B&B business from her much-loved family home, which she doesn’t want to part with – at any price. But then she meets handsome estate agent Leo, who soon has her wondering whether it’s finally time to sell up and try something new in life. Her daughter, Helena, is also embarking on a budding romance. A talented weaver, she’s becoming very close to her new landlord, Jago, who’s offered to help her at an upcoming craft fair that could give her dream career a major boost. With spring in full bloom, Helena and Gilly begin to ask themselves the same question … could their new loves lead to their happily ever after? Light romance … just lovely. R290 • As the wife of retired ship’s doctor Dr Henry Parker, Evelyn is living out her twilight years aboard the Golden Sunset. Every night she dresses for dinner – gown, tiara – and regales her fellow passengers with stories of a glamorous life travelling the world in luxury, and shows off her superior knowledge of ships’ customs. When Henry goes missing, Evelyn sets off to search every part of the grand ocean liner … from the casino and nightclub to the off-limits areas. Misadventures are had, new friends are made, scandalous behaviour noted – all news to Evelyn. If only she could remember the events of the night before as clearly as she can recall the first time she met Henry on a passage from England to Australia in 1953, when she fell in love and abandoned her dreams of become a midwife to be a wife instead. Why, she wonders, is it so hard to forget some things and so hard to remember others? And where is Henry? Love, memories and a life well lived, The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker by Joanna Nell is marvellous. R330.
A lifetime of love. Six months of silence. One last chance. For six months, Maggie and her husband, Frank, have lived under the same roof, slept in the same bed and eaten at the same table. All without words. In all those months, he hasn’t spoken to her. She has plenty of ideas as to why her husband’s gone quiet, but it will take a heartbreaking turn of events before Frank finally starts to unravel the secrets that have silenced him. With lovable, believable characters, The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves is about the power of love and the importance of leaving nothing unsaid. A really wonderful weekend read. R299. •As a specialist in palliative medicine, Dr Rachel Clarke chooses to inhabit a place many people would find too tragic to contemplate. Every day she tries to bring care and comfort to those reaching the end of their lives and to help make dying more bearable. Rachel’s training was put to the test in 2017 when her beloved GP father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She learned that nothing – even the best palliative care – can sugar-coat the pain of losing someone you love. And yet, she argues, in a hospice there’s more of what matters in life – more love, more strength, more kindness, more joy, more tenderness, more grace, more compassion – than you could ever imagine. For if there’s a difference between people who know they are dying and the rest of us, it is simply this: the terminally ill know their time is running out, while we live as though we have all the time in the world. Dear Life is an amazing book about the vital importance of human connection, by the doctor we would all want by our sides in a time of crisis. It is a love letter – to a father, to a profession, to life itself. Around R333.
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For more than a decade, international specialist parent psychologist Megan de Beyer has held Strong Mothers – Strong Sons courses … courses designed to help those mums (read all of us!) who find parenting a teen boy stressful, challenging, confusing – and sometimes downright frightening. Now Megan has put her knowledge, advice and lessons into How to Raise A Man – the modern mother’s guide to parenting her teenage son. It’s crammed with everything from how to have better parenting conversations to mistakes we may be making to respecting the bro rules, along with handling anger (his and ours), things all boys must learn and how to change our parenting style. There’s info on all the issues we have to face – sex and alcohol, addiction and porn, sexting and defiance (and for all of those who’re thinking ‘not my boy’ … you’re probably wrong!). If you’ve a teen, or an about-to-be-teen son, we guarantee this will be the one book you won’t regret buying. R230. • Rose Gold Watts believed she was sick for 18 years. She thought she needed the feeding tube, the surgeries, the wheelchair. Turns out her mother is a really good liar. After five years in prison, Patty Watts is finally free. She’s keen to put old grievances behind her, reconcile with her daughter and care for her new infant grandson. When Rose Gold agrees to have her mum move in, all appears to go well. But in truth, Patty wants her daughter back under her thumb. Rose Gold want’s her mum gone. Forever. In Stephanie Wrobel’sThe Recovery of Rose Gold, it’s mother against daughter. Who’ll win? R290.