Library Loot

My public library has finally reopened. The walls and ceiling are now pale blue and, more importantly, I have three new books!

Here’s this week’s loot:

an-equal-stillness

An Equal Stillness by Francesca Kay

“Jennet Mallow is born in Yorkshire in the 1920s but her interest in art and creativity alienates her from her family, her father who is a priest, her conventional sister and her emotionally stunted mother. Jennet moves to London in search of a more exciting life and finds it in her new environment and in the handsome and enigmatic figure of the painter David Heaton. When Jennet falls pregnant, her parents more or less force the two to marry. In the postwar austerity of the 1940s, the young couple struggles to make ends meet and Jennet finds that her home life is gradually eroding everything she has fought to achieve. Aware that David is becoming increasingly reliant on drink and tired of the dank and drab bedsit in which they live, Jennet suggests they move to Spain. There, the bright blue skies, warm air and sunlit beaches give the couple and their children a new lease of life. Jennet begins to paint again and an agent takes an interest in her work. But as Jennet’s own career begins to take off, her relationship with David sours and the two enter a destructive spiral with tragic consequences. Written in the form of a biography, An Equal Stillness is an outstanding debut, breathtaking in the poise and beauty of its language and craft.”

I wanted to read this ever since I saw it on the shortlist for the Orange New Writers Award. It looks absolutely wonderful!

what-to-do

What To Do When Someone Dies by Nicci French

“‘This is not my world. Something is wrong, askew. It is a Monday evening in October. I am Ellie Falkner, 34 years old and married to Greg Manning. Although two police officers have just come to my door and told me he is dead . . . ’ It’s devastating to hear that your husband has died in a horrific car accident. But to learn that he died with a mystery woman as his passenger is torment. Was Greg having an affair? Drowning in grief, Ellie clings to Greg’s innocence, and her determination to prove it to the world at large means she must find out who Milena Livingstone was and what she was doing in Greg’s car. But in the process those around her begin to question her sanity … and her motive. And the louder she shouts that Greg might have been murdered, the more suspicion falls on Ellie herself. Sometimes it’s safer to keep silent when someone dies …”

Nicci French’s books have always been a bit hit and miss for me, but this one was shiney and new and the premise looked interesting, so I picked it up!

the-housekeeper

The Housekeeper by Melanie Wallace

“When Jamie Hall finds a boy tied to a tree and cuts him loose, she can have no idea of the desperate chain of events her act of humanity will trigger. An orphaned teenage runaway who has fetched up with only her dog and her backpack in the lonesome town of her grandparents’ birth, Jamie becomes housekeeper to Margaret, a retired photographer. There she meets Galen, a trapper who has done a stretch inside and who now lives at a remove from life. Slowly, they come to realise that each has something the other craves. But when the feral boy Jamie releases, mute and crazed from all he has endured, sets out on a lethal spree, he is stalked by Harlan, a dangerously unhinged poacher who was once a childhood friend of Galen. As Harlan persuades himself that Jamie is sheltering the boy, these various stories of loss, redemption and pursuit become shackled together, and Jamie’s hard-won chance of security is plunged into peril.”

Another Orange book – this one was longlisted in 2007.

library-loot

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

And what did you find in the library this week?

See more Library Loot here.