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A whole lot of fun at book club this month

Catherine Alliott writes the best weekend reads. Easy but so enjoyable. In The Pink House, Hugh’s parents, owners of said house, have divorced, and neither wants to stay in the family home. So it’s up to Hugh and his wife, Emma, to move in, and take over all that comes with it, including Hugh’s sister who lives in the garden cottage, and a mother-in-law from hell. Art exhibitions in the barn, their son’s glorious wedding, estranged family arriving unexpectedly …. all goes along swimmingly until Emma runs into Rory … the one that got away! A few twists to keep things exciting … such a great read. Michael Joseph

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After the mysterious death of her sister, Tess is grief-stricken, lonely … and broke. She’s forced to B and B Rosie’s old room to pay the bills. With strangers in her home, Tess discovers a distraction: Their possessions. Tempted into the room while they’re out, she goes through her guests’ things, imagining the stories they hold. When handsome and inscrutable Arran takes the room, Tess finds his diary. The entries are about an unnamed woman. Crush or obsession? Slowly, his writing takes a darker tone, and Tess can’t stop reading. But in her compulsion to uncover the truth, there’s something Tess fails to notice. The Guest Room by Tasha Sylva is a taunt, clever read. Welbeck

Summer is coming to a close on Long Island, and Alex is no longer welcome. One misstep at a dinner party and the older man she’s been staying with dismisses her with a ride to the train station and a ticket back to the city. But with few resources, and a gift for navigating the desires of others, Alex stays on the island, drifting through the gated driveways and sun-blasted dunes of a rarefied world, trailing destruction in her wake. Taunt and sensual, Emma Cline’s The Guest captures the latent heat and potential danger of a summer that could go either way for a young woman teetering on the edge. Penguin

Cassandra is a creature of habit. She likes what she likes. Museums, jumpsuits, her boyfriend. And strongly dislikes what she doesn’t. Mess, change, her boss drinking out of her mug. Her life runs in a pleasing, predictable order. Until now. She’s just been dumped. She’s just been fired. And her local café has run out of banana muffins. But then she discovers she can go back and change the past. So she should be able to find a way to fix the life she accidentally obliterated. The Cassandra Complex by Holly Smale. One woman. One bad day. Endless chances to put things right. Penguin

Sex. Suspense. A remote, isolated villa. A snow storm. Alex gets more than she signed up for when she’s selected to be one of five invited to a month-long writing retreat at the estate of a controversial high priestess of feminist horror. She, along with her former best friend and currant rival, are offered the chance to win a life-changing, seven-figure publishing deal … if they manage to complete an entire novel from scratch. You get a faint idea of the outcome as the first of the five women disappear … but that doesn’t stop The Writing Retreat being a great debut novel by Julia Bartz. Magpie Books

Imagine. The perfect couple. They go together like bread and butter. Gin and tonic. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. Except, now they don’t. They broke up six months ago. And they still haven’t told anyone. Which is how they end up sharing a bedroom at the cottage that has been their yearly getaway with their best friends for the past decade. A place where everyone leaves behind their lives, drink far too much wine and soak up the sea air with their favourite people. Only this year, they’re lying through their teeth. They’re going to have to fake it. And hey … it’s a flawless plan – if you look at it through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses. Fabulous characters, off-the-charts chemistry, Emily Henry’s Happy Place is a wonderful feel-good read. Penguin Books

Books available from Exclusive Books in store or online at exclusivebooks.co.za


Compiled by: Kym Argo

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