Every year, Sarah writes a love-filled birthday letter to Izzy, her now seven-year-old daughter. And when she falls pregnant with her second child, she promises Izzy that when the new baby arrives, life will not change, only get better. But then, when five months pregnant, Sarah collapses and her future, and that of her pregnancy, is in the hands of her husband and sister, who don’t agree about what treatment options the doctors offer, and the family fights begin. Sinead Moriarty’s tales are always heart-warming (and sometimes heartbreaking) … Seven Letters is both – and thought-provoking, too. Penguin, R290.
When Lucy’s affair with her married boss turns sour and she’s retrenched, she moves to a quiet village where no-one knows her history. She’s the incomer, as the locals call newbies, until another arrives. Alice, also young and single, moves into the house next door. She’s a little strange and Lucy doesn’t trust, or even like, her much. Even less so when Alice suggests starting a book club, her way of getting in with Lucy’s friends. And Lucy’s right not to trust her. Alice has moved into the village for just one reason. Revenge! Once you’ve started CJ Cooper’s The Book Club, you won’t put it down! Little Brown, R325.
When new mother of twins Lauren is woken in the middle of the night, she hears unusual noises from the bed alongside hers in the maternity ward. In that half-awake, half-asleep state new mums find themselves in, she thinks there’s a new arrival in the ward … another mother, apparently also with a set of twins. Drifting in and out of sleep she’s not sure what’s a dream and what’s not but she’s convinced someone is trying to steal her children, and she locks herself and her babies in the bathroom until the police arrive. The next morning, DS Joanna Harper picks up the list of overnight incidents that have been reported, and sees the report of an attempted abduction, but it’s been flagged as a false alarm. She’s told there’s no case, but Harper feels something’s not right, so visits the hospital anyway. She discovers no-one believes Lauren … but Lauren, and soon Harper, are convinced the twins are in real danger. Little Darlings by Melanie Golding is a haunting, unputdownable read. Scary stuff! HarperCollins, R305.
Also look out for…
Good friends. True love. And all the signs of the zodiac. Those of you who enjoy David Nicholls, Marian Keyes and Jojo Moyes are going to love Minnie Darke and her brilliant, feel-good romantic comedy. In Star Crossed, Justine Carmichael (Sagittarius, aspiring journo and sceptic), bumps into her teenage crush Nick Jordan (Aquarius, struggling actor and true believer) by chance. Or is it? Could it be written in the stars? She discovers Nick relies on the astrology column published in the magazine where she works, and makes a few adjustments to the Aquarius horoscope, thinking it may help her love life. After all, it’s just the stars. What could possibly go wrong? Funny, romantic … chick-lit at its best. Penguin, R290.